From the Justin Boots Family to yours, we want to invite you to spend time in our kitchen as we share on some of the best holiday dishes within Team Justin. Betcha didn’t know our athletes are good cooks, too!
It’s no secret that a holiday dinner on the ranch isn’t complete without some meat. After all, you know what they say… “The West wasn’t won on salad.” For the main course, we present to you bareback rider, Tim O’Connell’s “Best Thanksgiving Turkey Recipe”.
“I promise you this will be the best-tasting turkey you will ever enjoy for a family meal,” O'Connell said. “My family did this one time for Thanksgiving and now we have to cook it for every Thanksgiving and Christmas meal. Keep in mind I have 20 aunts and uncles and 90 first cousins, excluding all the children we now have. Everyone LOVES this turkey.”
• 1 Clean (New) 5-Gallon bucket
• 1 turkey
• cold water
• 1 egg
• “quite a bit” of canning salt
• 1 bag of light brown sugar
• 1 bottle of hickory liquid smoke
• your favorite grill
1. In a clean/new 5-gallon bucket, place your whole turkey inside the bucket.
2. Fill the bucket up with cold water until your turkey is submerged.
3. Remove the turkey, but make sure all the water is drained back into your bucket.
4. From there, place one egg in the water and add canning salt while mixing until the egg floats to the top (this takes quite a bit of salt).
5. Once the egg is floating, remove the egg. Mix in one bag of light brown sugar and one bottle of hickory liquid smoke.
6. Put the turkey back in the brine and place it in the fridge to soak it for 3 days prior to Thanksgiving.
7. On Thanksgiving day, light up your favorite grill and cook it until the button pops indicating your turkey is done.
As if a turkey full of flavor hasn’t made you hungry yet, next, on the mouth-watering holiday menu, we head down south for bull rider, Dustin Boquet’s, Louisiana Duck Gumbo.
• 4 duck legs or 1 whole duck
• salt and ground black pepper, to taste
• ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil or rendered duck fat, divided
• ¾ cup all-purpose flour
• 2 medium yellow onions, chopped
• 3 stalks celery, chopped
• 1 large green bell pepper, chopped
• ½ pound andouille sausage, halved lengthwise and sliced
• 4 to 5 cloves garlic
• 6 cups chicken stock
• 2 cups sliced okra, fresh or frozen
• ½ cup chopped green onion
• 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
• 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
• hot sauce, salt, and pepper to taste
• hot cooked rice
• garnish: chopped green onion
1. Preheat oven to 350°.
2. Place duck in a roasting pan, and season with salt and pepper.
3. Roast until tender, about 1 hour for legs or 2 hours for the whole duck. If desired, reserve rendered duck fat to make the roux. Let the duck cool, and pick the meat off the bones. Alternatively, duck can be smoked.
4. In a large cast-iron Dutch oven, heat ½ cup oil (or reserved duck fat) over medium-high heat until almost smoking. Add flour; cook, whisking constantly until the roux turns a deep brown, add onion, celery, and bell pepper; reduce heat to medium, and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in sausage, and cook for 3 minutes; stir in garlic. Whisk in stock, 1 cup at a time; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for 15 minutes.
5. In a small skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil (or rendered duck fat) over medium-high heat. When oil is hot but not smoking, sear okra, and add to pot along with the green onion. Add duck meat, Worcestershire, thyme, filé powder (if using), bouquet garni, hot sauce, and a little salt. Simmer over low heat for at least 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
6. Skim off any fat from the top. Season with salt, pepper, and hot sauce. Serve with hot cooked rice, if desired. Garnish with green onion, if desired.
A good holiday meal isn’t complete without all the “fixin’s”. Team Justin did not disappoint on the holiday sides, either. What better way to serve gumbo and turkey, than Grandma Barbara Byron’s Cornbread Dressing? Thanks to steer wrestler, Byron Walker, for his family’s long-time family recipe.
“See her original handwritten recipe. It's so old that no area codes were used.”
• 1 large pan of cooked cornbread, 2 boxes Jiffy cornbread mix
• 8 cooked biscuits
• chicken broth
• 1 cup chopped celery
• cup chopped sweet onion
• 1 Heaping tablespoon of sage
• tablespoon black pepper
1. Sauté celery and onions in Crisco.
2. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl adding enough chicken broth to make a medium-thin mixture.
3. Next, add a small amount of Crisco to add fat because store-bought broth has no fat
4. Hand mix to ensure a good mixture
5. Put in a cast iron pan or skillet and bake at 375 degrees till golden brown
Along with cornbread dressing, next, we have barrel racer, Shali Lord’s, Grandma Sue’s Corn Dip. This deliciously simple recipe is sure to help save time this holiday season.
• 2 cans Mexicorn (drained)
• 2 cans green chilis
• 1 cup sour cream
• cup mayonnaise
• 1 cup cheese
• 3 chopped green onions
• 1-2 bags of large Fritos
1. Combine all ingredients into a bowl
2. Next, stir all ingredients until evenly combined.
3. Prepare corn dip at least one day ahead of time and refrigerate after making the dip.
A holiday meal doesn’t seem complete at least not in the Potter household, without a good cranberry sauce. Barrel racer, Sherry Cervi’s father, Mel Potter, is a shareholder of Ocean Spray and sells his cranberries to the brand we all know and love.
So, naturally, Sherry’s submission is Wendy Potter’s Cranberry Sauce. This cranberry sauce is the perfect complement to turkey, but it has many great uses after your holiday dinner. Mix it with mayonnaise for leftover turkey sandwiches. Spread it on toast or pancakes. Add it to plain yogurt. Warm it up and top a scoop of ice cream with it.
• Prep Time: 5 mins
• Cook Time: 15 mins
• Total Time: 20 mins
• Yield: 2 1/4 cups (~9 servings)
• 12 ounces of fresh or frozen cranberries
• 1 cup of sugar
• 1 cup of water
1. Place the sugar and water into a medium saucepan and heat to a boil. Gently stir to dissolve the sugar.
2. While waiting for the water to boil, rinse the cranberries in a colander.
3. Add the cranberries to the pan and return to a boil. Lower the heat to simmer for ~10 minutes and gently smash the cranberries with a ladle.
4. Remove the pan from heat and let the mixture cool to room temperature. Transfer to a bowl and chill in the refrigerator.
Finally… We’ve made it to dessert and you’re in for a real treat! And a tasty one at that. We start the dessert lineup with the queen of country music herself; Reba’s Banana Pudding.
• 3/4 cup granulated sugar
• 1/3 cup corn starch
• 1/2 tsp salt
• 3 cups milk
• 3 eggs
• 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract, divided
• 1 tsp almond extract, divided
• 40 vanilla wafer cookies
• 4 medium bananas, thinly sliced
• 1 cup heavy cream
• 1 tsp confectioner's sugar
• Additional vanilla wafers and sliced bananas for garnish (optional)
1. Butter 2 qt serving dish or bowl.
2. In a pot combine the first 3 ingredients.
3. Stir in milk until smooth.
4. Over medium heat, cook stirring until sugar melts (about 5 minutes).
5. In a bowl lightly beat eggs.
6. Remove 1/2 cup of hot milk mixture.
7. Stir into eggs.
8. Stir the egg mixture into the pot of milk mixture.
9. Cook, stirring until the custard thickens, about 10 minutes.
10. Remove from heat.
11. Stir in 1 tsp vanilla and a half tsp almond extract.
12. Line the bottom of the dish with 20 wafers.
13. Top with half of the bananas and then half of the custard.
14. Repeat layering with remaining cookies, bananas, and custard to form one more layer.
15. In a bowl with a mixer @ high speed, beat cream, confectioner's sugar and remaining extracts until peaks form.
16. Spoon in dollops around the edge of the dish. Chill for at least 2 hrs.
17. Garnish if desired.
Still hungry? Wait until you taste none other than Mrs. Jane Justin’s famous deep-dish peach pie starting with a made-from-scratch crust.
Pastry Crust: *The recipe makes 2 single crusts or about 12 individual tart shells.
• 2 cups flour
• 1 tsp salt
• ⅔ cup vegetable shortening
• 6-8 Tbsp water
1. Lightly flour a large cutting board
2. Sprinkle about 6-8 tablespoons of water to make the dough. Work the dough as lightly as possible.
3. Roll the dough out as thin as you like on the board.
• 10 Fresh peaches or 1 qt. sliced frozen peaches
• Juice from ½ of a lemon
• ¼ cup water
• 1 ½ cup sugar
• 2 Tbsp. flour
• ⅛ tsp salt
• 4 Tbsp butter
• 1 pastry crust
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees while you gather ingredients.
2. Peel and slice peaches (if using fresh peaches) and place them in a pot on the stove.
3. Mix peaches and water and lemon juice and cook slowly until the peaches are tender.
4. In a separate bowl, mix sugar, flour, and salt.
5. Once the peaches are soft, pour them into a baking dish.
6. Spread the dry mixture over the peaches.
7. Dot with butter.
8. Cover with a pastry crust.
9. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes or until golden brown
For more recipes and dish inspiration from the late first lady of Justin Boots, purchase her cookbook below:
There you have it. A nice holiday meal brought to you by Team Justin. May your holiday season be full of cheer and new dishes to keep the conversations interesting and your family’s bellies full. Until then, we’ll see you around the table.