Salsa Verde Chicken Tortilla Soup with Smoked Paprika

Photo Credit: carlsbadcravings
Photo Credit: carlsbadcravings

Salsa Verde Chicken Tortilla Soup with Smoked Paprika

Salsa Verde Chicken Tortilla Soup – just what the doctor ordered when you’re fatigued, crazy busy or simply want to put your feet up and still enjoy a tantalizing bowl of hearty fiesta salsa verde soup.
Cook time: 8 hours
Total time: 8 hours

Serves: 6-8
Ingredients

Salsa Verde Chicken Tortilla Soup
1 1/4 pounds chicken breasts (frozen is fine)
4 cups chicken stock
2 cups salsa verde
2 (14.5 oz) cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15.25 oz) can sweet corn, drained and rinsed
1 zucchini, peeled, sliced and quartered
1 large poblano pepper, seeded and chopped
1/2 onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup lime juice
3 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 – 1 teaspoon chipotle powder*
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Toppings
6 6” corn tortillas
Mexican cheese
Sour cream
Cilantro
Avocado
Lime juice
hot sauce
Salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. Add all of the Salsa Verde Chicken Tortilla Soup Ingredients to the slow cooker. Cook on low 6-8 hours or on high 3-4 hours. When chicken is tender, shred and return to slow cooker for at least 20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, slice tortillas into 1/2″ strips using a pizza cutter. Place on a baking sheet in a single layer and bake at 425F degrees for 10-12 minutes or until crispy and slightly golden.
  3. When ready to serve, taste soup and add additional salt, pepper, honey, hot sauce to taste. Top individual bowls with tortilla strips and any desired toppings.
Photo Credit: carlsbadcravings
Photo Credit: carlsbadcravings

Notes
*You can start with a little chipotle powder and add more to taste at the end. I use 1 teaspoon and it is spicy.

Sage Butter Roasted Turkey with Apple

roastedturkeySage Butter Roasted Turkey with Apple

A butter mixture with fresh sage, garlic, and salt makes this turkey super moist. Bringing the turkey before roasting gives it tons of flavor. An easy roast turkey recipe for a beginner.
Yield: Serves about 7-8 people

Ingredients
For the brine:

  • 1 and 1/2 gallons of water (24 cups)
  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 and 1/2 tablespoons peppercorns
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 3 cloves garlic, mashed and roughly chopped
  • 3 tablespoons fresh rosemary, roughly chopped*
  • 3 tablespoons fresh parsley, roughly chopped
  • 3 tablespoons fresh sage, roughly chopped
  • 3 tablespoons fresh thyme, roughly chopped

For the butter rub:

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 large bunch of sage, chopped fine
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed and minced
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons salt

For the Turkey:

  • 1 12-14 pound turkey, fresh or frozen and thawed
  • 5-7 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 large stalk celery, roughly chopped
  • 1 apple, quartered
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 2-3 sprigs thyme
  • 2-3 sprigs rosemary
  • 2-3 sprigs sage

Materials needed:

  • 1 Pop Up Disposable Cooking Thermometer
  • a huge pot to boil the brine
  • a huge pot/bucket to brine the turkey in
  • paper towels
  • turkey oven bag
  • large roasting pan with roasting rack
  • kitchen twine, if your turkey is not trussed
Photo Credit: thefoodcharlatan.com
Photo Credit: thefoodcharlatan.com

Instructions

  1. If you are using a frozen turkey, thaw it in the fridge for a few days before you brine it. Allow one day of thawing for ever 5 pounds of meat. Do not brine a frozen turkey. (It won’t absorb the brine).
  2. Several hours or even the day before you want to brine the turkey, cook the brine. You need time to let it cool down completely; a warm brine will make the turkey absorb too much salt.
  3. To make the brine, combine all ingredients in a very large pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Cook for 3-5 minutes or until the sugar and salt are dissolved. Turn off the heat. Let cool to room temperature, and refrigerate it if you are not using it right away.
  4. Unwrap your turkey in a clean sink. Remove the neck, which is usually in the main cavity, and the giblets, which are usually in a bag in the other end. (Save for turkey gravy/turkey stock.) Rinse the turkey with cold water.
  5. Place the turkey in a large pot or bucket and cover with cooled brine. You can do this in a turkey oven bag that is well sealed (You still need a large bucket or pot for it to sit in though.) If the turkey is not all the way covered, you can add a little more water to the brine. Mine wasn’t completely covered and it was fine. Either way, be sure to flip the turkey 2/3 of the way through brining so that it brines evenly.
  6. Refrigerate for 18-24 hours. Don’t do it much longer than that or your turkey will get mushy and taste over seasoned.
  7. Remove the turkey to a clean sink. Discard brine. Wash the turkey with cold water, or soak it in a plugged up sink for 15 minutes. You want to make sure to get all the brine off of it. The brine has already done it’s work to tenderize the turkey meat, you don’t need the salt on the outside.
  8. Remove your turkey from the sink and pat dry with paper towels. (Clean your sink with bleach). Do your best patting it dry, you may need to keep grabbing more paper towels.
  9. Wash your hands and make the sage butter. Add the 2 sticks butter to a medium bowl. Finely chop the sage on a cutting board. Crush and mince the garlic and place it on top of the chopped sage. Sprinkle with 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. Use the side of a chef’s knife to smash the sage, garlic, and salt together until everything is incorporated. (See photos below)
  10. Add the mixture to the bowl with the butter and combine.
  11. Use your hands to separate the skin on the turkey breast from the meat. This is easier said than done. You will have to break apart some membrane-y feeling stuff and you have to be pretty forceful. Try not to tear the skin of course. I found this video helpful. Try to get your hand as close up to the neck as you can.
  12. Once you have gotten your hand under the skin, grab a fist full of sage butter and rub it under the skin. Use a lot, maybe close to half. Rub the rest of the outside and inside of the turkey with the sage butter until it is gone. Make sure you turn the turkey over and get the back, wings, legs, etc. The butter doesn’t stick to the skin very well, but do your best.
  13. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
  14. Now it’s time to stuff the turkey with aromatics. You won’t be eating the stuffing, it’s just for flavoring. If your turkey is trussed with plastic, carefully remove the turkey legs from the plastic so that you have easier access to the cavity. Stuff in 1 roughly chopped carrot, the celery, apple, onion, thyme, rosemary and sage. Return the turkey legs to the plastic trussing, or tie together with kitchen twine.
  15. Add the remaining carrots and 2 cups of water to the bottom of the roasting pan, underneath the rack.
  16. Tuck the wings under the back of the turkey, like it’s got it’s arms behind it’s head laying out on the beach. (Here’s a good demonstration.)
  17. Insert your Pop Up Thermometer if your turkey doesn’t already have one. Push it all the way in to the thickest part of the breast.
  18. Get someone to hold open the turkey bag for you while you place it in.
  19. Place the bagged turkey on a rack in a roasting pan, on top of the carrots. Seal the bag and cut a few slits in the top. Place the roasting pan on the lowest rack of your oven. Make sure your thermometer is visible through your oven window.
  20. Set a timer for 2 hours and 15 minutes. After that, check your turkey every 5 minutes to see if the thermometer has popped up.
  21. Remove the turkey from the oven and let it sit without opening the bag for at least 15-25 minutes. (This is a good time to use the freed oven for warming other dishes.)
  22. Cut the bag open, discard the thermometer, and use old oven mitts to transfer the hot turkey to a cutting board. Discard the aromatics. Carve the turkey. I like this tutorial from Alton Brown.
  23. Save the turkey carcass for homemade turkey stock.

Notes

*When you are buying your herbs, buy 1 (.75 oz) box thyme, 1 rosemary, and 2 sages.
This recipe can easily be doubled for a 20+ pound turkey.

Easy Apple Crisp

Apple Crisp
Apple Crisp – tastesbetterfromscratch.com

Easy Apple Crisp

I just love apple crumble and this has to be one of my favorites. Its really easy and worth the effort. Give it a go and let me know what you think.
For the crumb topping
  1. 1/2 cup flour
  2. 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
  3. 1/2 cup brown sugar
  4. 1/2 tsp baking powder
  5. 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  6. dash of salt
  7. 1/3 cup unsalted butter, diced into small chunks
For the Apple filling
  1. 3-4 large Granny Smith apples, peeled and sliced thin
  2. 3 Tbsp butter, melted
  3. 2 Tbsp flour
  4. 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  5. 3 Tbsp milk
  6. 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  7. 1/4 cup brown sugar
  8. 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  9. dash of salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. In a medium size bowl combine the crumb topping ingredients with a fork or pastry blender until it resembles small crumbs. Refrigerate while you prepare the apple filling.
For the Apple Filling
Apple Crisp
Apple Crisp – tastesbetterfromscratch.com
  1. In a small bowl, combine melted butter and flour until well blended. Add lemon juice, milk and vanilla and stir well. Stir in brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Pour butter mixture over apples and toss to coat. Pour apple mixture into an 8×8-inch baking dish and spread into an even layer. Sprinkle crumb topping evenly over the apples. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown and top is set. Remove from oven and allow to cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.

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