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Posts Tagged ‘dutch oven cooking’

Dutch oven Turkey

As many people make preparations for the pig out fest known as Thanksgiving, Tori and I got the jump on a yummy meal, and are now working on the left overs.  The girls will be here later this week and they are not huge fans of Turkey,  stuffing and other traditional fixin’s.  So to meet our cravings we cooked up a 10 pounder in the dutchy on Sunday.  I had cooked one this way a couple of years ago and it came out great…so this year we repeated our success with a touch of  Herbes de’ provence.

We started with a young turkey at about 10 1/2 pounds.  Anything much bigger than this will not easily fit into the dutchy.  This bird cost a whopping $5 at Safeway (with club card) list on it was about $13.50.  This combined with cornbread stuffing mix, and green bean casserole (also on sale at our local market) we had the majority of the meal covered for about $10, and here we are today still feeding off of this creation.

For slow roasting the bird I used the herbs as a dry rub, stuffed him in the dutchy, and set him in the oven. The first hour or so at 300 to get the dutchy up to temp, then another 4 hours at 250 ish. The dutchy seals in the moisture, and we get some nice carmelization and juice to make gravy.  The absolute beauty of slow roasting in the dutchy is,  after eating our primary meal, all we have to do is pick up the carcass and wiggle it and all the meat falls away.  The dreaded carcass meat recovery task is simplified…hello  leftovers.

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Simmer Peaches in Butter

During our stay at Zion we fired up the “dutchy” for some classic cobbler, we use this pot a lot for all kinds of meals, but what we call cowboy cobbler is one of our favorites.  With larger groups we use the coal top 12 qt. 12″, for this batch it was just Tori and I so we used the smaller Lodge chicken cooker / skillet combo, this smaller set is one of our many cast iron pots and about the right size for two peoples travels.  Even at home most meals are cooked in cast iron, from small 4″ singles to 12″ family sized.

For this round of cobbler we started with a bunch of white peaches.  These are a bit firmer than the normal variety that most people see.  We got these fresh in Page on our way up to Zion.  When cooking out of season we often use frozen peaches or berry mixes for this recipe, we even did a tropical version once with some mango.

After slicing and pitting, we softened them up a little with a simmer in some butter, 1 stick worth,  this recipe is not for the dieting types. When we use frozen fruit this simmer step is skipped, and the butter gets added on top of the fruit.  Next we add a box of Jiffy cake mix, here we used yellow, but white works great too.

Add the Cake MIx

The next step is the baking, which is the hardest part. We usually make this dish as a desert after a dinner and often struggle with waning light and full bellies.  This round here at Zion we opted for Breakfast Cobbler, what better way to fuel a days hiking eh? The mornings still had a touch of chill to them so the fire was a welcome addition.  The trick to great campfire cooking is to keep the heat even, the simmer step preheated the pan and a few coals on top and a rotation or two will keep the hot spots away.

Cooking in the fire-ring

One nice thing about the chicken cooker/ skillet combo is that you can check the progress with out any “tools”.  Mitts or heavy gloves are required as the cast iron will be at oven temps so caution is required.  When we use the big “dutchy” I have to lift the lid with a pry bar to check cooking progress, that lift can be a little tricky if your coals are off balance.  This batch came out very nice with touch a crispy on one side.  Cooking time was about 15 minutes…but varies depending on preheat and the quantity of coals used…here practice will help.  Not to worry, some of our first batches were a little on the done side but were still consumed with vigor.

Done to Perfection

Tori likes lots of cake in her cobbler while I prefer a more balanced mix.  For larger batches we sometimes will use two boxes of cake mix, to keep it moist more butter is needed.  This batch had a nice balance of fruit and cake.

Balanced Cake and Fruit

Its not your typical bacon and eggs breakfast, or your healthier granola and yogurt…but it is made with real fruit…and for a big day of hiking the calories will soon be a memory.  The only trouble is deciding who gets the wash the pan.

Cobbler Gone!

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