Give Thanks With A Grateful Heart

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thanksgiving-feastThanksgiving is a wonderful time to be with family, celebrating with delicious, perfectly golden brown cooked turkey with all the trimmings. It’s a time of laughter, warmth and of course being thankful for all, and who you have in your life. In this time while we have a nice, warm house to celebrate, there are some that do not have a place to call their own. These individuals will be heading to a shelter to receive their thanksgiving feast. While we have so much to be thankful for, what a better way to be thankful for what we have than by helping others who are less fortunate?! Per the Phoenix Rescue Mission, last year alone, there were almost 26,000 individuals who experienced homelessness just in Maricopa County. There are many opportunities at homeless shelters, soup kitchens and food banks that you and your family can help during this time. The good news too is there are opportunities right here in the East Valley; Phoenix is not the only place that helps serve people experiencing homelessness.

Here is a list of places that would love to have you and your families:homeless

Remember to call ahead of time to ask any questions you may have and to see in what ways you and your families can help.

This Thanksgiving, here at CityScape, we would like to express our gratitude for your continued loyalty and for allowing our family to serve yours. Have a safe and fun Thanksgiving.

In the Kitchen

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Thanksgiving Turkey

It’s Turkey Time!

It’s that time of the year where family, friends, and neighbors come together to enjoy the festivities. Here at CityScape Insurance we use this day as an excuse to stuff ourselves to the point of exploding. We’ll pay for it in the gym the following weeks but it’s worth it.

Cooking turkey is an art and many ask the question, “How do I cook the perfect bird?” You’re not alone, every year we ask ourselves the same question. So what we’ve decided to do is share our favorite recipes and see what you think.

 Oven Roasted Turkey

Ingredients

  • 1 Turkey, any size
  • 2 1/4 Cups of chicken or turkey broth
  • 1-2 Sticks of melted butter (for basting)
  • 1/2 Diced white onion
  • 1 Can of Green Chili Peppers
  • Table Salt
  • Black pepper & garlic seasoning (whisk in with melted butter)

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and position the racks to the bottom third of the oven.

2. Pull the turkey out of the fridge about an hour ahead of time. Be sure to clean and rinse the turkey prior to prepping. Rub down the entire bird with salt and butter. Place the turkey breast side down on the roast rack and let sit for an hour prior to placing in the oven.

3. Pour the 2 1/4 cups of broth into the roasting pan about 15 minutes after placing the turkey in the oven. We also suggest placing a 1/4 cup of broth inside the turkey. This makes the meat juicy inside and out

4. Rule of thumb for cooking a turkey is 12 – 15 minutes per pound. We generally cook an 18 lb turkey for 4-41/2 hours, depending on the internal temperature. Since we cook our turkey without the stuffing this can cause the turkey to cook much faster so be sure to check the temperature about half way through the cooking process and adjust the time accordingly.

5. Every 30-45 minutes it’s important that you pull the turkey out of the oven (be sure to shut the oven door to avoid losing too much heat) and baste it with the broth and juices collected at the bottom of the pan. In the last 45 minutes of cooking, baste the turkey with melted butter and green chili’s to give the skin a golden brown look and a nice little kick.

6. When you think the turkey is done cooking pull it out of the oven and check the temperature in both breasts and the inner thighs. If the temperature is 165°F then your good to go.

7. It is important that after you pull the turkey out of the oven you remove it from the pan. To do so lift the rack and turkey onto a cutting board, gently cover the turkey with aluminum foil trapping the heat and allow the turkey to sit for about 30 minutes. This allows the meat to firm up, making it easier to cut.

8. Now our favorite part, carve the turkey, serve, and enjoy.

Deep Fried Turkey

Ingredients

  • 1 (10-14 lb) turkey
  • 1 cup of salt
  • We call it our “Pub Seasoning”
    • 1/4 cup of cajun seasoning
    • 1/4 cup of black pepper
    • 1/4 cup of garlic powder
    • 2 1/2 TBS of onion powder
  • 3 to 5 gallons peanut oil

It is very important not to over fill the pot with oil. Having too much oil can cause overflow and possibly a fire. The pot should not exceed 3/4 full. A useful tip to measure how much oil is needed, place the turkey in the pot and fill it until it tops the turkey. From there remove the turkey and either draw an imaginary line or use a wooden spoon to determine the level. (We use the spoon trick and mark it with masking tape, with as much going in the household it’s easy to forget the imaginary line.)

1. Pull the turkey out of the fridge about an hour ahead of time. Wash the turkey thoroughly prior to prepping, then rub down the entire bird with your mixed seasoning. Allow the bird to reach room temperature prior to cooking.

2. Heat the peanut oil to 350°F in a large stock pot. Once temperature has been reached slowly place the turkey in the pot (we recommend wearing hot mitts and suggest using tongs to avoid burning your self).

3. Rule of thumb for frying a turkey is roughly 3 – 4 minutes per pound if you are uncertain follow the 3 minute rule and add 5 minutes onto the end of your cook time.

4. Once the turkey is done cooking carefully remove it from the pot (again we recommend wearing hot mitts and using tongs), place the bird on a bed of paper towels to absorb the excess oil. The bird will be really hot so it’s important you give it at least 5-10 minutes to cool prior to  serving.

5. There you have it, an absolutely delicious deep fried turkey.

We’re always looking for a better way to make Thanksgiving that much better so please share your favorite recipes for everyone to enjoy.