Turkey Carcass

Basic Turkey Stock

Dave DeWitt Cooking with Chiles, Cooking with Chiles at the Holidays Leave a Comment

Here’s what to do with that sad-looking turkey carcass that keeps staring you in the face after you’ve de-fleshed it. You can do the same thing with chicken parts, trimmings, and carcasses. It’s a classic stock from the French school, and may be reduced further to intensify the flavor. It freezes very well. If you’ve been buying bullion in cubes or cans, do yourself a favor, reduce the sodium content, and make this stock from scratch. Breaking the turkey bones releases marrow and adds flavor. It is not hot and spicy in this form, but you can add chile powder or a hot sauce to taste if you wish.

Scottie's Creole Butter

Scottie’s Creole Butter

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This recipe was inspired by my friend Scottie Johnson from Chicago. We first met via The BBQ Forum on the Internet and realized we were almost neighbors. I wish you could see his adorable little girls. It was first created for deep-fried turkeys, but works just great in the BBQ for all poultry and it makes a great fish marinade too.

avocado and corn tostada

Avocado and Corn Tostadas with Spicy Chile Sauce

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Albuquerque-area resident and vegetarian cookbook author Nanette Blanchard has self-published a booklet of her favorite southwestern plant-based recipes. Fiesta Vegan: 30 Delicious Recipes from New Mexico contains her take on traditional recipes such as Posole, Calabacitas, Sangria, and Capirotada. Each of the recipes includes a color photo and a nutritional analysis. Fiesta Vegan also offers a list of online sources for specialty ingredients and recommendations for New Mexico stops for food-lovers. The 40 page booklet is available either in print or as a .PDF download. You can also find a Kindle version without photos; information on all the booklet versions is on her web site here. Blanchard also maintains a food blog, Cooking in Color.

If you can’t find prepared tostada shells you can simply serve this recipe on top of your favorite brand of tortilla chips. The Spicy Chile Sauce is also a great accompaniment to your favorite scrambled tofu recipe.


Spicy chile sauce:

2 (8 oz.) cans no-salt-added tomato sauce

½ c. water

1 Tbsp. agave nectar

2 cloves garlic, minced

¼ tsp. ground cumin

1 tsp. dried Mexican oregano

2 Tbsp. dried onion flakes

2 tsp. piquin chile flakes or any crushed hot red pepper flakes

¼  tsp. sea salt or to taste


For tostadas:

8 tostada shells

3 c. shredded Romaine lettuce

1 (15 oz.) can no-salt-added pinto beans such as Eden Brand, drained and rinsed

2 avocados, sliced

1 c. frozen corn, thawed

2 Tbsp. pickled jalapeño rings

¼ c. sliced black olives

Fresh  lime slices for garnish



To make Spicy Chile Sauce: Put all ingredients in saucepan and cook over medium/low heat, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes or until thick and the flavors have all blended.

To assemble tostadas, place 2 tostadas per person on plate. Add ¼ of the Romaine and pinto beans. Top each with about 1/3 c. of the Spicy Chile Sauce and top with avocados, corn,jalapeños and black olives. Garnish with fresh lime slices.

Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 1036 Calories; 30g Fat (37.7% calories from fat); 17g Protein; 95g Carbohydrate; 18g Dietary Fiber; 0mg Cholesterol; 503mg Sodium.  Exchanges: 4 1/2 Grain(Starch); 1/2 Lean Meat; 1/2 Vegetable; 1/2 Fruit; 6 Fat.

Mesquite-Grilled Turkey Legs with Jalapeño-Cilantro Lime Basting Sauce

Mesquite-Grilled Turkey Legs with Jalapeño-Cilantro Lime Basting Sauce

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This is one of the simpler and quicker ways to prepare turkey. You can add mesquite chips soaked in water to the fire to add a little smoke flavor to the turkey legs. And go ahead, be daring and add a couple of tablespoons of tequila to the sauce. Grill over a fire with soaked mesquite chips added. Serve with hot German potato salad and ranch-style baked beans.

You can read Mark Masker’s article on smoking turkey on the Burn! Blog here.


Jalapeño-Cilantro Lime Basting Sauce:
1/4 cup lime juice
6 jalapeño chiles, stems and seeds removed, chopped
2 fresh tomatillos
1 ½ teaspoon sugar
2 cloves garlic, chopped
3/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
½ teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper

4 small turkey legs


Place all the ingredients for the sauce in a blender or food processor and puree until smooth, adding some water, if necessary, to make a smooth sauce.

Bring the turkey to room temperature and, gently loosen the skin without tearing, brush the sauce over the legs and under the skin, reserving any remaining sauce. Allow the turkey to sit at room temperature for an hour.

Grill the turkey legs over a medium fire, basting regularly with the sauce. Cook for 30 minutes, turning often, or until the internal temperature of the legs reaches 160 degrees F. for medium.


Grilled Scallops with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

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Because scallops cook so quickly, they’re ideal for cold weather cooking. Try to get day boat or dry-packed scallops (scallops that haven’t been treated with sodium tripolyphosphate (STP) which causes the scallops to absorb water, increasing the weight and the price of the scallop. “Enhanced” scallops won’t sear properly due to the excess liquid.


12 large dry-packed sea scallops, about two ounces each
Extra virgin olive oil
Coarse kosher salt
Freshly ground Tellicherry black pepper

For the sauce:

1 large shallot, minced
2 springs fresh thyme
1 cup white wine (Pinot Grigio is a good choice)
1 (7-ounce) jar roasted red peppers, drained and chopped
1/4 cup chicken stock
2 teaspoons minced jalapeño
1 1/2 teaspoons lime juice
Coarse kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper


Remove the “catch” or side muscle from the scallops. Rinse the scallops under cold water and pat dry. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

Prepare the sauce:

In a small saucepan over medium heat combine the shallot, thyme and wine. (Never use “cooking wine.” Cook with a wine you would drink.) Simmer until the liquid is reduced by one-half, about 10 minutes. Strain into a blender bowl discarding the thyme and shallot.

Add the roasted red pepper, chicken stock, jalapeño and lime juice; process until smooth. Return the sauce to the stovetop and cook until reduced by one-third. Keep warm over low heat.

Prepare the grill for high-heat direct cooking. Place the scallops on the grill, close the cover and cook for two minutes. Using tongs, flip the scallops (if the scallop don’t release easily from the grill close the cover and cook another 30 seconds). Cook the scallops on the second side for another two to three minutes or until the scallops are opaque.

Transfer the scallops to a warm platter. Place a dollop of sauce atop the scallops and serve over mixed field greens.