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The star of the show is the turkey, whether it is whole or pieces is up to you. For this recipe it’s best to use turkey with the skin on. The skin helps hold the green paste onto the meat without it moving or sliding off. This recipe can be made featuring any kind of poultry, turkey being a large bird requires a lot of green paste, reducing the amount for a smaller bird.
Green onions,thyme, rosemary, bay leaves, garlic bulbs with the wrapper , sage and tarragon are all super aromatic herbs that combine to result in a super savory turkey. Use as much or as little of the herbs you have on hand.
Poblano has a nice bite of heat and it has the crunch of bell pepper without any sweetness. Poblano act as broccoli would if this was the classic “ broccoli rice and cheese” so you want pieces large enough to bite can add crunch to the creamy rice but not too large its stands out against the rice. Poblanos are ideal because you can use enough to litter the casserole without making the dish super hot. For some added heat include a small amount of your favorite spicy pepper on top of the crisp poblano.
This recipe is meant to be kept simple. Use whatever white rice you have on hand whether its long grain, jasmine or basmati.
Cream cheese, cream and butter add a heavy richness to the dish, the cream cheese will help thicken the cream and the butter add a buttery richness to the rice casserole dish.
making the green paste is the easiest thing about this recipe. you simply place all the ingredients into the blender garlic bulb husk and all then blend till smooth. the blender will help break down the fibers and the long cook on the turkey will take care of the rest.
the key to stuffing the turkey skin is starting with a completely defrosted turkey. once defrosted use your hand to separate the skin from the flesh slowly all the way towards the breast. make sure the skin is loosened before taking a handful of green paste. once the skin is separated rub all the green paste under the skin all over the turkey. make sure to run some on the inside of the cavity. any remaining can be rubbed on the outside of the turkey. it will brown as it cooks.
making the poblano rice and cheese starts by using pre cooked rice, and settling in a pan with butter-sweated poblano, garlic and cilantro. once the rice is tossed it is folded into a rich cream cheese and cheddar cheese sauce .
poblano rice and cheese is broccoli rice and cheese. poblanos are the ideal pepper because they aren’t sweet and mild like a bell pepper but aren’t hot enough to make the dish overwhelmingly hot. the peppers also add crunch so you want to have enough to add texture to the casserole. if you want the casserole spicier build off of the poblano and add to it you can even spice it up with minced jalapeños or habaneros.
when making a recipe where an aromatic herb paste is to be blended and then cooked for an extended period of time, leave the husk on the garlic. it actually has some health benefits like antiviral and antifungal properties; it’s also rich in minerals. It also saves time. simply give the garlic a whack, remove the hardened stem in the middle and toss the rest of the bulb in to blend.