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Thankful for Thanksgiving with Wesleigh Ogle from KATU

Here are a few notes from our morning with Wesleigh Ogle from KATU that will make your Thanksgiving dinner just a touch more fabulous…..

Turkey Basics

1 gallon vegetable stock
1 cup kosher salt
½ cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon peppercorns
6 bay leaves
1 ½ teaspoons all spice berries
1 gallon ice/water

Combine 1/2 gallon vegetable stock with salt, brown sugar and spices and stir until dissolved. Add remainder of vegetable stock and allow to cool until at least lukewarm. Add the ice/water combo and pour over turkey in a large enough container to allow the turkey to submerge. You may need to do this in an insulated cooler if weather isn’t cold enough to keep outside overnight. I put a plate over the turkey to weight it down and keep it submerged. After at least 12 hours I remove the bird, drain it and allow to sit at room temperature for about an hour before baking. I also make sure the skin on the top is dry. I then…

Stuff inside cavity:
1 apple
1 onion, peeled and halved
1 lemon, halved
1 head of garlic, halved horizontally
Sprig of rosemary
Sprig of sage
Parsley stems

I then baste the bird with a this….

Lemon, parsley and garlic butter:
1/2 lb butter, at room temperature
finely grated zest and juice of 2 small lemons
3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
small bunch of flat leaf parsley, leaves only, chopped

Process in food process or mix by hand. Rub all over the outside of the bird, and do your best to get it between the skin and the breast meat as well. This REALLY helps to brown the turkey evenly.

Put turkey in the oven legs first, if available. Roast for 500 degrees for 30 minutes or until golden brown, then foil cover and reduce oven to 350 until meat thermometer registers 161 degrees. For a 14 lbs bird, it will take around 2 – 2/12 hrs in total). At 350 degrees you’ll expect the turkey to take an additional 13 minutes per pound for larger birds.

Always use a meat thermometer, and make sure you put it in the thickest part of the thigh, entering the chicken at the crease between the breast and thigh. And don’t hit the bone, as the reading will be inaccurate.

When the turkey has come to temperature, let it rest for AT LEAST 30 minutes to let the juices settle. That is it. Your bird will be beautiful.

My favorite go-to recipe for the holidays….

Harvest Brie

1 firm apple, small dice

1 firm pear, small dice

2 tablespoon butter

1⁄2 cup brown sugar

1⁄4 cup golden raisins

2 tablespoons dried cranberries

1⁄4 cup sliced almonds, or nut of choice

1⁄2 cup white wine

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 brie wheel (16 oz – size depends on group size)

assorted crackers or bread

*on all of the above ingredients, measurements are not crucial, it can be “thrown” together

Preheat oven to 375F. Heat butter in ovenproof sauté pan over medium high heat until melted. Add apple and pear and cook for 2-3 minutes, then add nuts to toast. Add brown sugar and continue to cook until sugar melts and becomes saucy. Add raisins and wine and cook until slightly reduced. Place brie wheel on mixture in pan and place in preheated oven for 10-15 minutes, or until brie is soft to touch. Remove from oven and invert on a plate. Serve at once with bread and crackers.

Happy holidays!




KATU Afternoon Live – Quick Mediterranean Chicken

Looking for easy and healthy weeknight meals? Try this recipe we showcased on KATU’s Afternoon Live! Learn more recipes like this at one of our upcoming Simple Seasonal Suppers classes, Pressure Cooker class, or Sheetpan Meals class!

Quick Mediterranean Chicken

The Kitchen at Middleground FarmsServes 4

for the spice rub
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground cumin
¾ teaspoon turmeric
¾ teaspoon paprika, more for later
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
freshly ground pepper
7 large garlic cloves, chopped or pressed
2 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium red onion, sliced or roughly chopped
1 large lemon
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper

1 whole chicken, cut into pieces (alternatively, chicken breast or thighs)
1 tablespoon za’atar, optional
1 tablespoon toasted pine nuts
½ cup pitted green olives
½ cup chopped fresh parsley leaves

In a small bowl, prepare the spice rub by combining first 8 ingredients.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Cut the lemon in half and set one half aside.  Cut the remaining half into thin slices, then arrange the slices onto a foil lined sheet pan.  Scatter red onions on the lemon slices.  Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt & freshly ground pepper.

Place the chicken on the onions & lemons on a sheet pan (or alternatively in a cast iron pan) and spread the rub on each piece. To ensure good flavor, work some of the marinade underneath the skin of the meat. Sprinkle with za’atar.

Place the chicken in the 400 degrees F heated-oven; roast for 40-45 minutes

Remove from heat, and squeeze with remaining lemon juice. Garnish with the olives, toasted nuts, and fresh parsley.


Farm Crush

The Kitchen at Middleground Farms

“Get in your kitchens, buy unprocessed foods, turn off the tv, and prepare your own meals. This is liberating.” ~ Joel Salatin

You can see from the quote, why I’d have a farmer crush on this guy. In 2008, three years before we purchased the property that has become Middleground Farms, I devoured a book called YOU CAN FARM: The entrepreneur’s Guide to Start and $ucceed in a Farming Enterprise. 

It was written by farmer Joel Salatin of Polyface Farms, to show people how a person can raise organic food, with the utmost respect for the land and the animals, and make a profit.  The opening line to the book is “Do you have a dream of living on a farm?” and when I read that I knew he was writing to me.  Since his books have sold over 80,000 copies, I guess I wasn’t the only one.

Over labor day weekend, the team from The Kitchen at Middleground Farms got to spend the day with Joel as he continued his evangelism about the successes available to farmers when they are left alone to do what is right. Charlotte and her family at Champoeg Creamery hosted the event, a benefit for the Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund, and we were lucky enough to feed the collection of farmers with produce from our farm, tomatoes from seed genius Evan Gregoire of Portland Seedhouse, and grass fed beef from Champoeg Creamery.  It was an inspirational day for all of us. We were thrilled to be a part of it!