|No, it's not turkey leftovers! - Photo by Wasabi Prime|
Certainly nothing earth-shattering, and not really worth posting a recipe, as this was more of a way to clear the fridge for the onslaught of Turkeyday grocery shopping. It was also an excercise to practice taking apart a fowl beast. At the risk of upsetting Thanksgiving purists everywhere, I didn't cook an intact turkey this year -- Norman Rockwellian meaty centerpiece be damned! I bought a whole bird, but I went all Boxing Helena on its poultry booty, removing the meaty parts for faster and controlled cooking. I didn't want performance anxiety, so I practiced on a small chicken and figured I'd play around with a cranberry sauce while I was at it.
I wish I could find a clip from Alton Brown's Good Eats episode where he showed how to separate a chicken into its main meaty parts, where he used a wooden skeleton of a dinosaur to illustrate how all the parts joined and interlocked. It was a really helpful way to visualize how the parts were connected, and where to cut so as not to shatter bones. I was inspired by that how-to, and that helped with cutting down the chicken. I think the episode was called Fry Hard II, if you happen to have it on DVD.
Once the practice round was completed and I felt at least a little more comfortable with the idea of dismembering a larger bird, this meal sort of appeared out of the UnRecipe ether. A friend had given us apples from her tree, and we had spinach, walnuts, and goat cheese in the fridge. I'd had a bag of fresh cranberries for an as yet-to-be-revealed project, and I figured I'd just use them and buy a fresh bag for Thanksgiving. I made a cranberry sauce using a bit of Hightower Cellars' 2007 Murray Cuvee. I wanted to see how adding a bit of wine to the cranberries would work out for flavor. It ended up bringing out too much bitterness, but it helped develop the intent over what I would use for Thanksgiving dinner's cranberry sauce, adding more sweetness and some spice to balance the wine's acidity. As for the rest of the bottle of Murray, it went well with the rest of the simple, satisfying dinner. Indy the Wonder Pup approved of our wine choice, but did not approve of the fact that she got neither a sip of vino, nor a taste of roasted chicken. Sorry, pup.
|What? I can't haz wine? WTF?! - Photos by Wasabi Prime|
* Thanks to Hightower Cellars for providing the wine. We were excited to try this one first, as Indy most certainly approved of the label design.