This week is Thanksgiving and I have been thinking for some time about how to use the leftovers. One of my favorite savory breakfasts is chicken and waffles, so I thought why not turkey and waffles? I had previously used turkey stuffing as a base for my Thanksgiving Benedict so why not use it to make the waffle. I have seen it done before, but I wanted to do it with a breaded fried turkey thigh. First I would brine and debone the thigh then bread it and fry it just like fried chicken. All that remains it to decide whether I want to use maple syrup or turkey gravy.
turkey thighs or breast
2 cups flour seasoned with salt and pepper
2 cups panko bread crumbs
oil for deep frying
leftover stuffing (2 cups per person)
1 tbsp. salt, 2 tsp. sugar dissolved in 1 quart water
1. Brine the turkey in the salt, sugar mixture for at least 2 hours or overnight
2. Dry the turkey and dust in the flour. Dip in beaten eggs then roll in the panko bread crumbs. Fry in 325 degree oil until lightly golden brown. Transfer to a 300 degree oven and finish cooking until the turkey reaches 165 degrees internal temperature.
3. While the turkey cooks spoon the leftover stuffing into a hot waffle iron and cook until nicely browned. Serve the turkey on top of the waffle and serve with gravy or if you wish syrup. The waffles can be done before and heated up in the toaster before serving.
One of the things I look forward to once the leaves start to fall is pumpkin pie. I wanted to make something comforting for breakfast but also familiar and I began to think about a bun after enjoying cinnamon rolls at one of my wife's favorite restaurants. Why not replace the cinnamon sugar mixture with a sweetened and spiced pumpkin puree. Adding some roasted pecans or even crushed pralines would add the additional textural element to put it over the top. I make a yeasty, buttery roll base that I proof overnight in the refrigerator to add extra taste. Now all we need is to roll out the dough, add the puree, roll, cut, assemble, proof a second time, bake and finally glaze. I used a confectioner's sugar glace but a creamed cheese frosting would also be great. I opted for the sugar glaze because you can see the structure better. Both taste great and I used the leftover puree to make a pie! (I could not resist)
1 3 to 5 pound pie pumpkin
4 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup warm water
1 envelope instant yeast
2 sticks cold butter
2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup sugar plus an extra tsp. to activate yeast
3 extra large egg yolks (or 4 large)
1 cup cream
3 Tbsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. fresh grated nutmeg
splash of vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. ground allspice
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 cup chopped toasted pecans or chopped pralines
1 1/2 cup confectioners sugar
splash of vanilla extract
7 Tbsp. soft butter
enough milk to make a spreadable glaze ( start with a Tbsp. then add more if needed)
1. Slice the pumpkin into slices and remove seeds and roast at 350 degrees until tender and cool. Remove rind and puree adding light brown sugar, the cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice or you can use premixed pumpkin pie spice.
2. Add the yeast and a tsp. sugar to the warm water to activate the yeast.
3. In a large bowl, sift in the flour and salt. Add the brown sugar and mix. Cut the cold butter into small cubes and work into the flour mixture using your fingers or a pastry blender until the butter is well mixed into the flour and no more then pea sized. Add the yeast mixture, egg yolks and cream and mix until a ball is formed. Cover with a sheet of plastic wrap and let rest the refrigerator overnight.
4. The next day divide the dough in half and roll the dough out on a floured surface to a 9 by 12 inch rectangle and spread 2 Tbsp. of soft butter over the dough. Spread a layer of pumpkin puree between a quarter to half an inch thick. Sprinkle with half of the chopped nuts. Roll up starting with the long side like a jelly roll. Cut in half and each side in half again. Half each piece again and you will have eight pieces. Repeat the same process with the rest of the dough to create eight more pieces. Grease a 12 by 12 baking dish with more butter or cooking spray.
Turn the rolls on edge into the dish, four rows of four, cover with a tea towel and let rise until doubled in size.
5. Bake in a 400 degree oven until nicely browned and a toothpick inserted comes out clean about 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool a bit before glazing.
6. Remove the buns from the pan. Add 3 Tbsp. softened butter to the confectioner's sugar, add the vanilla and one Tbsp. milk. Mix together until a thick glaze forms adding a little more milk if too thick. Brush over the warm buns (If the buns are too hot wait longer), pull apart and serve.
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How does a good chef think? What is the creative process a
chef uses to come up with new and exciting dishes? What do I need to know to enable that creative process? These are the questions I want to explore in this series of articles. As a chef and an avid cookbook collector I am drawn towards
ideas and techniques of cooking rather than just a collection of recipes. I believe to grow as a chef, I need to continually learn and hone new techniques along with perfecting each technique I use every day. Whenever I go to a restaurant, whether fine dining, neighborhood pub, avant garde, or even fast food, I continually ask myself how can I do this better, what works and more important, what doesn’t? Feel free to send me comments, ask questions. Together, we can explore and make creative cuisine.
Spending almost thirty years in the computing field, I was able to travel experiencing a wide variety of tremendous cuisine. First I became a foodie, and when the opportunity arose, I was able to attend culinary school following my passion. I work as a part-time private chef and volunteer time at the community café in North Bend Oregon providing affordable meals in a restaurant setting to my community.