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Ontario, Canada
I am a wife, mother and grandma who enjoys the many aspects of homemaking. A variety of interests and hobbies combined with travel keep me active. They reflect the importance of family, friends, home and good food.
Cook ingredients that you are used to cooking by other techniques, such as fish, chicken, or hamburgers. In other words be comfortable with the ingredients you are using.
--Bobby Flay

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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Our Thanksgiving Stuffed Chicken (Vacation Home)

The approach for cooking at our vacation home is a bit different than cooking at our permanent residence.  We don't have a well stocked pantry nor do we have storage space for a lot of food.  We don't have a large variety of seasonings and spices to use like we do at home.  We tend to shop for only a couple days of groceries at a time which ends up saving us a bit in food waste.  Quite often eating out is a spur of the moment decision especially when we have company visiting.  We don't have a lot of the small kitchen appliances I am used to using on an almost daily basis (eg. Kitchen Aid stand mixer) and those small kitchen appliances we do have are very much stripped down versions specifically bought with renters in mind meaning they don't have the features I'm used to having.  It is hot there as well so cooking indoors is not as desirable especially baking.  I have become very accustomed to cooking with natural gas and on charcoal for the outdoor grill, neither of which we have at our vacation home.  Instead I'm back to cooking with electricity and propane.  Don't get me wrong as I am definitely not complaining, just saying the the cooking style at our vacation home is rather different and by default adaptive than at home.

stuffed chicken
My husband's sister and our nephew spent the Canadian Thanksgiving with us at our vacation home.  I decided on making a meal that gave us the traditional flavours of home.  I bought a whole chicken then stuffed it as I normally would with turkey or whole chicken.  Unfortunately, I did not have any homemade poultry seasoning so had to buy a packet but it worked for our needs.  I do think I will buy a countertop roaster next trip as it won't heat the house like the oven does.

My stuffing is beyond easy to make.  I just break up bread slices into a bowl.  It is very much a guestimation as to how much it will take to stuff the bird.  Then I add chopped onions, dabs of butter, poultry seasoning, salt and pepper then mix well.  I form the stuffing into fist sized balls and stuff it into the bird in both the main and neck cavity.  Then I tie the legs together, dab the bird with butter and a little salt and pepper then roast as is.  The results are perfect every time with enough drippings to make a nice, rich gravy.  At home, I would normally serve the chicken or turkey with mashed potatoes and whole kernel corn but at our vacation home I substituted baked potatoes.  They cooked along with the chicken making it a frugal use of energy.  I also kept the carcass of the chicken to make chicken stock then froze it to be used during our next trip.  Normally, I would home can it but until I buy a pressure canner for the vacation home, it isn't an option.

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