Monday, January 11, 2016

A Religious Experience - Turkey Leg "Osso Buco"

I had one. Yesterday. This is no joke, like when I quote Robert Preston's line to Julie Andrews in "Victor/Victoria": "Oh, the bathroom is a religious experience!" No, this really happened and even I, a believer, am stunned. And gratified and grateful and hopeful that the person who was the subject of my rather fervent prayers continues to improve.

Perhaps this experience had something to do with the fact that I prayed to "my" God, as well as to "their" God. Because I am an eternal wiseass, and because I had just gotten worrisome news, at one point I remember asking if Anybody could please get a message to Jesus. 

Laugh if you will, you unseen nonbeliever, but my prayers were answered immediately - my phone buzzed and I saw the message that there had been a release from the hospital. Thank you, God, in all of Your aspects.

Yesterday was a very rough day, fibromyalgically speaking, and you probably don't want to hear me bitch yet again. (Today is not starting out any better. Half an hour sleep; the rest of the time I was awake and in pain. Just now, while sitting in kitchen, I put my head down and after a few minutes I got an excruciating  pain on the left side of my head, from nasal cavity to my eye and up through to the back of my head, immediately followed by the sharp smell of ammonia. WTH?) We had an invite for breakfast, but I couldn't get out of bed much less go out of the house. And that's all I'm going to say about that except I do have a recipe to share, prepared late yesterday afternoon in desperation (cook or chuck the turkey leg, there is no refreeze) but it's not difficult.

Turkey Leg "Osso Buco"

1 3/4 - 2 pounds turkey leg (drumstick) cut crosswise
1/2 pound cherrywood smoked bacon, cut into squares
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 large onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
6 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
kosher salt and ground black pepper, to taste
grated zest from 1/2 large navel orange
1 tablespoon ketchup
1 tablespoon honey
1-12 oz. bottle Shock Top Raspberry Wheat beer
chicken stock, as needed

In a deep heavy skillet, heat the oil over medium high heat.  Add the bacon in batches so the pieces don't stick to each other. Cook until brown but not burnt or hard, then remove and set aside.

Sprinkle the turnkey with some salt and pepper, then cook in the hot bacon fat about 2 minutes each side, until golden brown. Remove and set aside. Discard the bacon fat and let the pan cool, then wipe out the solid bits with a paper towel. Add the butter and return to medium heat, then add the carrots and celery,  Cook for a few minutes, then add the onion.  Cook for a few more minutes, then add the garlic and cook a little longer, until the garlic is fragrant.

Now add the spices, the ketchup, and the honey and stir to combine. Pour in the beer, stir, and add the bay leaf and orange zest, stirring.  Return the turkey to the pot, cover and cook for 2 hours on low to medium low. Halfway through, turn the turkey over. Check the sauce and adjust for seasoning. Cook until the turkey is very tender. There is not a great deal of sauce, so you can add some chicken stock to thin it out. Always taste and adjust your seasoning.

If you can't find the Shock Top Raspberry Wheat (I found it in Publix, individual bottle) and use a dark ale instead, cook the vegetables in 2 tablespoons of reserved bacon fat instead of the butter. I had originally planned on stirring the cooked bacon back into the sauce, but when I tasted the delicate flavor, decided against it. You can add the bacon back, or incorporate it into a side dish to accompany the turkey osso buco - I'm think of a risotto with bacon and peas. I promise to share that recipe if I go that way, but right now I can't stand up, much less stand at the stove for a half hour stirring risotto.

By the way, if you live near a Spanish supermarket like Bravo, check it out for the cut turkey legs. The price is going to be much better than Publix or even Walmart.

Oh hell, I may just cheat and make regular rice, the boil-in-bag type, and mix butter into it and then the bacon and peas. Don't forget the ground black pepper.

I have to show off a wonderful gift my son made for me. It's already in one of the china cabinets. It is BEAUTIFUL.

I love it.

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