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Garam Masala and Cilantro Roast Turkey Breast

November 18, 2015
Garam Masala & Cilantro Turkey Breast

This was voted the best turkey we have ever made. I cooked this delicious turkey breast the same way I have been for the last few years. I like to make a compound butter for under the skin; I like to add bacon on top and I like to stuff the cavity with some citrus. I made the compound butter with garlic, lemon zest, garam masala and cilantro to keep with the Indian theme. It made the turkey super flavorful and delicious!

  • 1 8-9 pound turkey breast
  • ½ stick butter, room temperature
  • 2 large garlic cloves, grated
  • Zest of two lemons, save the lemons for the cavity
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1-2 teaspoons garam masala
  • ½ cup cilantro, chopped
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 3 to 4 bacon strips
  • 1 cup baby carrots
  • 1 large onion, cut into quarters
  • 4 to 5 garlic cloves, skins on
  • 1 to 2 cups homemade turkey stock

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (preferably convection)

Mix the butter with the garlic, lemon zest, salt, garam masala and cilantro. Loosen the skin of the turkey breast and carefully spread the butter under the skin. Salt and pepper inside and outside of the turkey breast. Stuff the cavity with the lemon pieces. Place the bacon strips on top of the turkey breast and place on the stand.
Add the carrots, onion and garlic to the bottom of the roasting pan. Add the stock. Place the stand into the roasting pan. Let turkey sit for 2 to 3 hours before roasting in oven.
Roast in the oven till the internal temperature is 160 degrees F. Half way through the roasting process, take the bacon (when bacon is well done) off and continue cooking. Take out of oven onto a cutting board and cover with aluminum foil for 20 minutes. In the meantime strain the juices out of the roasting pan. Separate the fat and add the juices to the gravy pan.
Slice the turkey and serve with hot gravy.

Make Ahead Turkey Stock for Thanksgiving Gravy

November 15, 2015

Turkey Stock 5Time to make your own turkey stock!!! It makes a big difference if you use homemade, with your own flavor profile..

By this time of year, most grocery stores have turkey necks and backs for just a few bucks. I buy a pack and roast them simply with olive oil, salt and pepper. I let them hang out in the oven till the pieces are golden brown and delicious looking. I then add them to a big pot full of chicken broth, and lots of vegetables and aromatics. For me garlic and fresh herbs are a must- like thyme, rosemary, etc. I like my gravy dark brown and so use a box of beef broth to richen the color. The stock cooks for at least an hour or two until the liquid is reduced quite a bit- in this case I reduced it to 3 cups. From here you have an option to continue the process and make the gravy and freeze for later. I find the gravy consistency compromised after it is frozen- so I stop at this point and freeze the stock.

You can take it out two days before thanksgiving and let it thaw in the fridge and make the gravy the morning of.

  • About a pound or a pound and a half turkey neck and back
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Preheat the oven to 400 degree F.

On a lined baking pan, place the turkey parts. Drizzle olive oil and sprinkle the salt and pepper. Roast for an hour or till the parts are golden brown. Take out of the oven and keep aside.

Turkey Stock 3

  • Two boxes of 32 oz chicken stock
  • One box of 32 oz beef stock
  • 1 large onion, cut in half
  • 1 head of garlic, cut in half
  • 1 cup carrots, roughly cut up
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary

In a large stockpot add the chicken stock, beef stock, onion, garlic, carrots, thyme and rosemary. Add the roasted turkey parts and bring to a boil. Once the liquid comes to a boil, lower the heat to a simmer and cook for 2-3 hours or till the liquid is reduced to about 3 cups. Strain the liquid out by pressing all the goodness out of the cooked vegetables. Take out in a container and refrigerate over night. Skim the excess fat off and freeze till needed.

Turkey Stock 4

Coconut Chicken Curry

April 8, 2015
Coconut Chicken

I taught this dish yesterday in one of my cooking classes and it came out delicous. When I was testing the dish, I started with something completely different. It was okay, tasted fine but it didn’t stand out. So I decided to add some mustard seeds, crushed tomatoes and onions. That made a big difference in the taste and texture of the gravy. I love going out for south-indian food, especially since I am from the north. I then like to come home and try to replicate the dishes to the best of my ability. Hope you enjoy my version of a south-indian chicken dish!

  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs cut into 2 inch pieces


  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 3-4 inch ginger minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 lemon juiced
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper


  • 1 medium white onion sliced
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 cup crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup low fat coconut milk
  • Salt to taste
  • ½ cup chopped cilantro for garnish

Mix all 5 ingredients and marinate the chicken for 2 to 3 hours. In a heavy saucepan heat the olive oil and add the mustard seeds, cook for about a minute until the seeds begin to sizzle. Add the chicken with the marinade, coriander powder, cayenne pepper, salt, garam masala and sauté for about 5 minutes or until golden brown.  Add the onions and cook for 5-6 minutes while the chicken cooks. Add the crushed tomatoes, cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the coconut milk and let it simmer till the sauce thickens. Adjust seasoning and add the cilantro.

Cilantro Chicken Shepherds Pie with Brussels Sprouts

January 21, 2015
Shepheards Pie1

I made shepherds pie with the leftover chicken from yesterday. I paired Brussels sprouts with the yummy chicken and it was a bit hit!!!

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cups shredded Brussels sprouts
  • 2 cups of leftover cilantro chicken, shredded with gravy
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • Salt
  • 4 to 5 medium yellow potatoes, peeled and 2 inch pieces
  • ½ cup half and half
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 egg yolk
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Heat a frying pan with butter. Add the shredded Brussels sprouts and sauté on medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the chicken and sauté for another 2 to 3 minutes. Add the flour and sauté for another minute on medium heat. Slowly add the broth and bring to a boil and let it cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Add salt for seasoning. Keep aside.

In the meantime, bring the potatoes to a boil in a medium saucepan with water. Let simmer for about 10 to 12 minutes or till the potatoes are soft. Drain and mash, leave in the saucepan. Microwave the half and half and butter in a small bowl for a minute. Add the mixture to the mashed potatoes and mix well. Add the salt and pepper. Mix well and check for seasonings. Add the egg yolk and mix well.

Transfer the chicken mixture into an ovenproof 8X8 dish. Top with the mashed potatoes making sure all the edges are covered. Bake in a 400 degrees oven for about 30 minutes or till the top is golden brown. Let sit for 10 minutes and serve with a salad.

Shepheards Pie

Tamarind Glazed Turkey

November 23, 2014
Tamarind Orange Glazed Turkey Breast

If you are looking for a super flavorful turkey this Thanksgiving- this is the recipe for you. It has a bit of Latin flair to it and it is delicious!!

  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon tamarind concentrate
  • 2 tablespoons orange zest
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika

Add the broth, orange juice, tamarind concentrate, orange zest, brown sugar, salt and smoked paprika to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer for 20 to 25 minutes till it is reduced to 1 cup and thick and syrupy.

Compound Butter

  • 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • Zest of 2 navel oranges
  • Pepper

Mix the butter, salt, garlic, zest and pepper in a small bowl until everything is incorporated well.

  • 2 to 3 cups chicken stock
  • 2 5 to 6 pounds turkey breasts
  • 12 carrots
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Place the carrots at the bottom of a roasting pan. Add the chicken stock and place the rack into the pan. Place the turkey on to the rack. Salt and pepper the cavity and stuff with leftover oranges. Spread the compound butter under the skin, spreading it well all over. Salt and pepper the outside generously and spread the glaze all over the bird. Roast till the temperature inside the bird reaches 165 degrees F. Take out and place onto the cutting board and cover with foil. Take the carrots out and pour the juices into a measuring cup. Skim the fat off the top and pour the liquid to the prepared gravy. Taste for seasonings. Slice the turkey and serve with hot gravy.

Make Ahead Gravy

  • 4 cups homemade or store bought turkey stock
  • 1 large shallot, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • Salt
  • Pepper

In a large frying pan, heat the butter and add the shallot and garlic. Saute for a minute over medium heat. Add the flour and turn the heat to medium high heat, stirring constantly. Cook the flour for at least 10 minutes or till it turns chocolate brown. Slowly add the stock, whisking vigorously at the same time. Bring to a boil and check for seasonings. Add salt and pepper accordingly. Once the turkey is done, add the drippings to the gravy and reheat.

Cornbread & Chorizo Stuffing

November 18, 2014
Cornbread and Chorizo Stuffing

Thanksgiving is not complete without a yummy stuffing. We never make the stuffing from the box- we like the one from scratch. The good thing about homemade stuffing is that you can make it in advance. This could be put together a couple of days before the big dinner and refrigerated or frozen.

You guessed right- this recipe has all the Latin flavors as well. There is the smoked paprika and orange zest – similar flavors to the turkey and the gravy. It also has chorizo- anything with chorizo is delicious! The leeks and the celery provide a nice crunch and the cranberries bring a delicious sweetness to the dish. This stuffing complemented the turkey and the rest of dishes beautifully!

  • 1 loaf cornbread, homemade or store-bought
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Cut the cornbread into 1-inch cubes (about 6 cups). Place the cubes onto a lined baking sheet and toss with oil, thyme and paprika. Season with salt and pepper and bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until lightly toasted. Keep aside.

  • 1 pound fresh chorizo, casings off
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 celery ribs, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 leeks, sliced
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • Zest of two oranges
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 to 2 cups chicken broth

Saute the chorizo in large frying pan on medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes. Take the chorizo out using a slotted spoon. Add the butter, celery, onion and leeks. Saute on medium low heat for 10 to 12 minutes. Add the cranberries, orange zest, paprika and thyme, cook for another 5 to 10 minutes. Mix well and add the toasted corn bread and cooked chorizo. Mix well and check for seasonings. Turn the heat off and transfer everything to a large bowl. Add the beaten egg and chicken broth 1 cup to start with. Toss all together and bake in a buttered dish covered with buttered foil for 40 to 50 minutes. Add more chicken stock if reheating or as needed.

Buttered Haricot Vert

May 19, 2014
Buttered Haricot Vert

I made these beans with the roast chicken breast. As I was making the gravy, I took out some yummy chicken and potato bits from the bottom of the roast pan and added them to the beans. All the yummy flavor made the beans absolutely delicious.

  • 1 pound haricot vert (I found green and yellow), trimmed and rinsed

Bring a medium saucepan with water to a boil. Blanch the beans for 2 minutes and shock in cold water to keep the color.

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Melt the butter and oil in a frying pan and add the beans. Coat and mix together and add the salt and pepper. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes and serve.