My Favorite Sandwich

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I don’t know about you, but it’s starting to feel like spring around here. The gloomy weather typical to this area is starting to lift and the Pacific Northwest is actually starting to feel like a great place to live with a mild climate. Without the rain, on clear days I can see the Olympic mountains and I start thinking about all the things I want to do outside as the weather gets better and better. One of the things I want to do some more of is hiking. Low-level hiking. I mean I want to see nature but I don’t want it to be super hard. That’s just kind of how I roll. Anywho, this weather and dreaming of outdoor activities makes me think of portable lunches that I could bring to said activities. Or a picnic. Or just lunch on a Tuesday. This is my go-to sandwich. It’s on the lighter side, but still very filling, and most importantly super delicious.

I present to you the turkey-apple-cheddar sandwich with honey mustard! It’s a rather mighty turkey sandwich. And honestly, I can’t take credit for this. I discovered this sandwich at Rebecca’s cafe, a restaurant across the street from where I used to work when I was living in Boston. I had this several years ago and fell in love with it. I’ve been recreating it ever since.

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The heart of this sandwich is really the Granny Smith Apple slices. No other apple will do! It provides a tart apple flavor with a crisp texture. Also, the honey mustard makes all the difference. No other mustard will do! This sandwich is a delicate formula that cannot be altered or the fate of the entire universe will be in jeopardy!

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I’m just kidding. It’s just a delicious combination, give it a try and let me know what you think.

Start out with some hearty whole wheat bread. Next, let’s get some honey mustard on there. I like it on both slices of bread. I’m just that kind of a girl. And by that I mean I can’t stand a dry sandwich. Yuck.

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Now it’s time to add those apples slices I like the slice the apple as pictured below so I get nice large slices and then I eat the rest of the apple with my lunch. Are you packing you lunch for later and want to save the apple for later as well? Dip the extra apple slices into cold water and lemon juice before packing them and they won’t get brown as they sit in your lunch bag waiting for lunch.

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Next comes the turkey slices. I usually put on 4 slices.

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Next add a few slices of sharp cheddar.

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And last but note least, and completely optional a few tomato slices. I mean really, what’s a sandwich without some tomato?

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Put the sandwich together and you’re ready to go.

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Turkey Apple Cheddar Sandwich

Ingredients:

  • whole wheat sandwich bread
  • honey mustard
  • 1 Granny Smith Apple
  • sliced turkey
  • sharp cheddar cheese
  • tomato slices

Directions:

Spread the honey mustard on both slices of bread. Next, assemble the sandwich ith the remaining fixings and enjoy!

The Bird is the Word

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It all started this past November a few days before Thanksgiving. First of all, if you don’t already know this, you should; Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I love, love, love it. I love all of the cooking/baking/love that goes into it. This year I was able to host my very first Thanksgiving, and even though I’m pretty sure I drove my husband crazy, I loved it. But I was spending so much time focusing on which side dishes to prepare (See: Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese, Roasted Mushrooms, and Buttermilk Biscuits ) that I really kind of forgot the turkey. I know, I know, that’s crazy talk.

So a few day before Thanksgiving, I started looking at different recipes for roasting a turkey. That’s when I came across various claims that spatchcocking a turkey is the fastest and greatest way to roast a turkey. So let’s back up, today’s word of the day is spatchcock. This is a cooking technique for poultry where the back bone is removed, the bird is pressed flat, and then cooked. Basically it’s a fancy word for butterflying a whole bird.

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Let me just say, this blew my mind. I had never heard of it before and I was kind of fascinated by a technique that claimed to cut cooking down significantly and produce a juicy turkey with a crispy outside. But this was days before Thanksgiving, and I was not brave/crazy enough to experiment with this technique for the very first time on Thanksgiving.

Now let’s fast forward to a few weeks ago. My time had come, and I was ready to try this whole spatchcocking thing for myself. I bought a 4 lb chicken, brined it, and gave it a try. OH MY GOODNESS. It was magnificent! It was delicious! It was more than I dreamed it would be. Thankfully my husband called to say he would be working late that night because I almost ate the whole chicken myself. I have no regrets.

So without further ado, I give you my recipe for a fool-proof roasted chicken. Be brave! This yields awesome results and I will most certainly be doing this the next time I host Thanksgiving.

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Spatchcock Roasted Chicken

Ingredients:

  • brine for the chicken
  • 4 lb roasting chicken
  • 2 oranges
  • 2 lemons
  • cooking spray
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 2 tsp bacon fat (optional)
  • salt
  • pepper

Step 1: Brine the bird

You can use any brine you like. I halved this recipe from Pioneer Woman. I like this one in particular because it gives the bird sweet and savory flavors. I swear by brining whole birds before roasting, you’ll never have a dry roasted bird again! I recommend brining for at least 16 hours, or up to 24 hours before roasting.

Step 2: Spatchcock

Take the chicken out of the brine and allow it to drain for a few minutes.

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Place the chicken on a cutting board and pat dry with a paper towel.

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Using kitchen scissors, cut vertically along the backbone of the chicken on both sides and remove entirely.

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Flip the chicken over and press the bird as flat as you can.

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Step 3: Roast the chicken

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Place a cooling rack in a flat baking pan and put in the oven while it is preheating. Slice the lemons and oranges into thin round slices and set aside. Melt the butter (and bacon fat if using) in the microwave and set aside.

Once the oven is up to temperature, remove the hot pans from the oven. Carefully, spray the cooling rack with non stick cooking spray and arrange the lemon and orange slices on the the rack.

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Place the chicken on top of the citrus. Brush the skin with the melted butter (and bacon fat) and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

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Roast for 50-60 minutes until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165. Let the chicken rest for 10 minutes before cutting up and eating.

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Just look at that beauty.

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How you doin?

Sorry, I’ve been watching a lot of Freinds reruns lately. I regret nothing.

The wings and thighs are my favorite, and I love using the juicy meat from the breasts in sandwiches and soups. After carving the chicken, save those bones! Later this week I will share with you my absolute favorite recipe for brown chicken stock.

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Enjoy and let me know how your chicken turns out.

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Spatchcock Roasted Chicken

Ingredients:

  • brine for the chicken
  • 4 lb roasting chicken
  • 2 oranges
  • 2 lemons
  • cooking spray
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 2 tsp bacon fat (optional)
  • salt
  • pepper

Directions:

Step 1: Brine the bird. You can use any brine you like. I recommend brining for at least 16 hours, or up to 24 hours before roasting.

Step 2: Spatchcock

Take the chicken out of the brine and allow it to drain for a few minutes. Place the chicken on a cutting board and pat dry with a paper towel. Using kitchen scissors, cut vertically along the backbone of the chicken on both sides and remove entirely. Flip the chicken over and press the bird as flat as you can.

Step 3: Roast the chicken

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Place a cooling rack in a flat baking pan and put in the oven while it is preheating. Slice the lemons and oranges into thin round slices and set aside. Melt the butter (and bacon fat if using) in the microwave and set aside. Once the oven is up to temperature, remove the hot pans from the oven. Carefully, spray the cooling rack with non-stick cooking spray and arrange the lemon and orange slices on the the rack.

Place the chicken on top of the citrus. Brush the skin with the melted butter (and bacon fat) and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Roast for 50-60 minutes until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165. Let the chicken rest for 10 minutes before cutting up and eating.