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Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

I dunno about you all, but I am STUFFED! Yep, Mom and I did the only rational thing this Turkey Day and cooked an 8-pound whole turkey breast. I mean, it's just the two of us and she's had a lap-band procedure. Even though it came out GREAT, we STILL have half the meat left - and we've been gnawing on it since 3PM.

We didn't put stuffing in the bird because, as you can imagine, there's no real 'cavity' to hold it in place when it's just the breast. So we placed it in the pan over a bunch of quartered fruit, one each of lemon, orange, apple and yellow onion. We didn't skin the lemon, orange or apple so that meant all the essential oils in the lemon and orange rind seeped out during roasting. Talk about a great way to scent the meat! Oh yes, we happen to have some fresh sage growing in our yard and we tossed two handfuls of that in the mix. We basted the skin with an herb-butter mix (sage, thyme, onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper all mixed into softened butter) so that it got nice and crispy brown. Talk about MOIST!

I have a suspicion that if you don't want to brine the bird, cooking the dressing separately helps to keep the meat moist as the stuffing doesn't draw the moisture out during cooking.

We made an apple-and-cranberry stuffing recipe we found on the FoodTV site from Paula Deen's area. Quite good! It uses Hawaiian sweet bread for the breading cubes (yes, you'll have to cube and toast them before use) and when mixed with the fruit and cinnamon it makes for a sweet dressing instead of the herb-savory kind we've usually had. You simply have to try it!

Anyway, there's lots we're thankful for this year and we look forward to next. Hope all of you who celebrate the U.S. Thanksgiving Day had a good one wherever you are.

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