I love a can of coconut milk for a lot of reasons but one of my favorite things to do with it is add a can to my turkey or chicken noodle soup. I’ve already made soup this way about three times in the past few months because I just cannot get enough of it. Homemade soup is the best. Just put your leftover chicken or turkey carcass in a large pot, fill with water, add a fair amount of salt, and boil to make your stock. Strain out your stock and pick off all the meat from the bones and return it to the stock. At this point I’ll check the salt content and I usually add a can of chicken broth or possibly some bullion to round out my stock. Finally your mirepoix and whatever else you want in your soup goes in. I love making a traditional noodle soup and adding the can of coconut milk and a few spicy dried thai chilies for some heat. The coconut milk provides a unique flavor that blends perfectly with the flavor of a traditional noodle soup and it is not too sweet. SO GOOD!
I’m not the biggest brining spokesperson in the world. I feel that the most important thing about cooking a tender, juicy bird is the cooking of it, not the brining of it. However, this brine recipe I found from Mario Batali actually does make a difference and it adds a subtle flavor that reminds me of meat roasting in the oven and fall.
1 cup kosher salt
1 stick cinnamon
1 bunch fresh rosemary
1/2 cup apple cider
2 quarts boiling water
2 quarts ice
In a container large enough to hold your chicken or turkey, combine the salt, cinnamon, rosemary, and cider. Pour in the boiling water and stir to dissolve. Next, stir in the ice and add your bird which should be completely submerged (you may need to put a plate on top of it) in the brine and refrigerated for 1-4 hours. I ended up adding a tbsp. of apple cider vinegar to the brine and I only used a little more than a quart of ice and let the brine sit in the fridge briefly to make up for the lost ice. When your bird is done in the brine, pat it dry and only add about 1/3 of the salt that you would normally apply to the outside.
This unique take on a sloppy joe is deeply satisfying just like a traditional sloppy joe but it is also very fresh and light. First, I put together some Tomato Cucumber Relish but left out the lemon juice. Next, I browned some lean ground turkey and added a can of my favorite sloppy joe sauce. Finally, I used a kaiser roll and hollowed out the top of the roll to create more room for the toppings. I topped the turkey with the relish and some feta cheese. Do not add too much of the relish, you want the turkey to be the star. This recipe is surprisingly good. Every time I took a bite I thought, “This is different, but this is SO GOOD.”
Here’s one of the sandwiches I made with my pickled onions. First, I applied a thin layer of mayo on one side of my sourdough wheat bread and a thin layer of plain yellow mustard on the other. Beginning from the bottom up I used turkey breast, pickled onions, tomato, red leaf lettuce, and bacon. Also, I cracked some black pepper on top of the turkey. I think that lightly seasoning your sandwich with salt and pepper is extremely important for delicious sandwiches. I did not, however, apply salt this time because of the saltiness of the bacon… mmm bacon.