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Citrus & Spice and Everything Nice…

One of my favorite ways to marinate turkey breast is with citrus. I’ve learned that you can somewhat replicate sour oranges (often used in Cuban mojos) by combining the juice from regular oranges and limes.

This time, I actually used about 7 clementines and 8 key limes. I mixed that juice with a bit of olive oil (maybe a fourth of a cup,) about a tablespoon of chopped ginger root, a couple cloves of smashes garlic, teaspoon black pepper, and a teaspoon kosher salt. I poured that whole mixture over a double bagged 5 pound turkey breast and let it marinate for about 45 minutes in the refrigerator.

Then I mixed some of my Saz贸n of Little Egypt with a bit of brown sugar and black pepper and added enough olive oil to form a paste. I made a rack for the turkey breast with the squeezed lime and orange halves after filling the cavity with a cut up onion, a couple smashed garlic cloves, and a few of the citrus halves. Then I placed the turkey breast on the makeshift rack, cavity side down, and drizzled it with olive oil. I used a silicone brush to paint on the saz贸n paste mixture before pouring the remaining marinade in the bottom of the pain for some moisture. Next, it went into the oven for a couple hours at 350 degrees Farenheit until it reached an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. I believe it would have been fine at a slightly higher temp for a crisper skin because all of the marinade did a great job of tenderizing.

I think any leftovers might be good with some avocado and crostini…or maybe in a salad? Then again, some toasted bread, cheddar cheese, and sandwich fixings sound pretty good too… Since this is Illinois, a horseshoe made with with turkey over a pile a fries smothered in cheesy goodness would also work.

How Do You Do Chicken & Rice?

Chicken and rice sounds like a specific meal request, right? In Southern Illinois, we are blessed with so many wonderful food choices that you may need to clarify your choice. Between brick and mortar sights and food trucks/carts, there are many ethnic variances on this classic dish.

It seems pretty much every culture has some version of the meal. They may vary by cooking methods, sauces, spices, and sides. Below, you will see just a sampling of some of the wonderful local options for chicken and rice. What are your favorites?

As this is by far not a comprehensive list, I know there are other mouth-watering options out there. Please comment and let the rest of us know about them! Give your favorite locally-owned Southern Illinois eatery a shout out…

Above: Chicken Tiki Masala from India Delight in Marion

Above: Jerk chicken from Caribbean Hut in Cambria

Above: Mini chicken chimichangas from El Paisano in Carbondale

Above: Chicken Shawarma from Pita Alley in Carbondale

Above: A delicious plate from La Cocina Mexican Restaurant in Salem

Above: Hibachi Chicken from Fujiyama in Carbondale (they also have sites in Mt. Vernon and Effingham with a new site on the way in Marion.

Happy 20 Years!

Beer Can Alley

If you’ve driven around in the country by Salem, this serene scene might be familiar…

Beer Can Alley, a name that appears to make no sense now, was once lined with beer cans, among other things. That changed dramatically when the recycling movement really took off in the late 70’s and early 80’s.

Fortunately, the stretch of road was cleaned up, but the name Beer Can Alley stuck. Locals still affectionately use the name. It remains a beautiful, fairytale-like path to memories of home or visits to Salem for many.

This photo card is now available in the A Slice of Southern Illinois collection at Irons in the Fire, downtown Carterville.

https://instagram.com/ironsinthefire_?igshid=x451gntejvj2

Fall Cards

New cards for the season featuring images tied to Southern Illinois have begun arriving at Irons in the Fire in downtown Carterville. The sunflower featured in the photo card shown came from the u-pick sunflower field at Rendleman Orchard in Alto Pass. We had fun picking sunflowers, petting goats, and seeing all the wonderful things there.

The Cadence of Southern Illinois…

Remember Your First Responders

National First Responders Day is October 28. These men and women put their lives on the line daily to serve others and keep us safe. We are appreciative of all they do as well as the time that their families share them with us on a moment’s notice. It takes truly special people to serve our communities in the ways that they do.

A Slice of Southern Illinois has photo cards featuring various images from Southern Illinois that are suitable for remembering them. We try to keep these in stock at Irons in the Fire in Carterville.

Cover photo credit: Joshua Trammel