Forno Bravo Community Cookbook

Roast Whole Turkey



  • 1 medium-size turkey
  • 1 onion
  • 2 carrots
  • 3 sticks of celery
  • Olive oil
  • Salt, pepper and herbs of choice


Coat the turkey with olive oil, and them lay it on a bed of onion, carrot and celery, skin side up. Add salt, pepper, herbs and olive oil to the bird, then 1/2 cup of water. Cover the turkey with foil. The foil and water let the turkey cook through without burning.


Fire your oven until hot, and then let the heat fall to a moderate temperature, roughly 450-500ºF. If you have fired your oven for a longer period (2 hours or more), rake out the coals to allow the temperature to keep falling. If you do not have enough retained heat in the oven, you can leave a small fire, or coals at the start of cooking.

Add the turkey to your oven, and let it roast for about 1 hour and 45 minutes to 2 hours. After about 1 hour, remove the foil, and let the turkey brown. Take the turkey out of the oven, and covered it to rest.

Serve with oven roasted potatoes.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 1.9/5 (21 votes cast)

Roast Turkey Breast

turkey breast

Sometime you want turkey and gravy, but don’t want to roast a whole turkey. Try this turkey recipe instead. Use a stainless steel pan to brown the vegetables on the bottom to help make gravy.


  • 1 large turkey breast
  • 1 onion
  • 2 carrots
  • 3 sticks of celery
  • Olive oil


Lay your turkey on a bed of onion, carrot and celery, skin side up. Add salt, pepper, herbs and olive oil to the bird, then 1/2 cup of water. Cover the turkey with foil. The foil and water let the turkey cook through without burning.


Add the turkey to a hot oven, roughly 600ºF, and let it roast for about 1 hour and 15 minutes. After about 1 hour, remove the foil, and let the turkey brown. Take the turkey out of the oven, cover, and let it rest for a few minutes.

Remove the turkey to a serving plate and put the pan back in the oven to finishing browning the vegetables. After a couple of minutes, put the pan on a medium burner and add 4 Tbs flour and a little extra butter to thicken the sauce. Lightly brown the flour, and then added chicken stock for gravy — put the gravy through a strainer to remove the veggies. The kids were thrilled – this was the best gravy ever. As they said, great gravy with a little turkey on the side.


This dish works well with vegetables, such as green beans and cauliflower, roasted in terracotta pans in the oven. Add 1/2’ water in the pan for steam and covering the pan with foil.

It isn’t the thrill of a whole turkey, but you will enjoy it.


VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)

Roast Chicken with Lemon


You have a lot of flexibility when doing a simple roast chicken. If your oven is hotter than 550ºF, you can wrap the chicken in foil to keep it from burning, and remove the foil a few minutes before the chicken is done for browning. If your oven is less than 400ºF, you can leave it in the oven longer, 90 minutes or more. If your oven warm, but too cool to roast a chicken, you can light a small fire. The heat from the fire will not only help bake your chicken, it will give you a smoky flavor.


  • 1 whole chicken
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • Salt and paper
  • Lemons
  • Fresh herbs
  • Aromatic vegetables


Fire your oven until hot, and then let the heat fall to a low to moderate temperature, roughly 450-500ºF. Roast your chicken until done, according to the times listed above.

Rub inside and outside with olive oil.

Salt and pepper inside the cavity.

Place a whole pierced lemon, thyme and rosemary branches into the chicken’s cavity. One trick is to roll your lemons on the counter before piercing with knife to get better release of fluids.


Place a layer of aromatics in the bottom of the pans (onions, carrots and celery), to start a nice sauce or gravy.

Use a steel pan when roasting, and add diced onions under the chicken. When the chicken is cooked, put the pan and the browned onions on a cool top and de-glaze the pan with Madeira wine, then add 2-3 Tbs butter to make a nice sauce.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)

Roast Beef



  • One 8lb beef roast
  • 3 cloves fresh garlic
  • 2 Tbs rosemary (for the marinade)
  • 4-5 sprigs fresh rosemary (for the roasting pan)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • Fresh ground pepper to taste


Marinate a nice piece of beef overnight in red wine, olive oil, thyme, and rosemary.

The next day, fire your oven until hot, and then let the heat fall to a low to moderate temperature, roughly 350-400ºF. If you have fired your oven for a longer period (90 minutes or more), rake out the coals to allow the temperature to keep falling. If you do not have enough retained heat in the oven, you can leave a small fire, or coals at the start of cooking.

Place the roast on a bed of rosemary in a terracotta dish, and top it with some garlic cloves halves and a branch of rosemary.

The roast will brown at the higher heat, then roast slowly as the oven temperature falls. It should take somewhere from 2 to 3 hours to cook. When the roast just starts to drip its juices and it is brown on the outside, check the temperature with a meat thermometer. Pull the roast from the oven when the inside temperature of the roast is 135° to 140°F. Let the roast sit for at least 15 minutes before carving to serve.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 5.0/5 (1 vote cast)

Grilled Chicken a la Toscana Cooked Under Bricks


4-6 servings


  • 1 small (preferably free range) chicken, 3- 3 1/2 lbs
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 2 sprigs each, thyme and rosemary
  • Olive oil for rubbing
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp fresh cracked black pepper
  • 2 lb firm, ripe plum tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1 lb shallots, skin on, cut in half
  • 4 fire bricks, double wrapped in foil


Fire your oven to pizza heat, then let the temperature fall to 475ºF-500ºF degrees.

Remove and discard any lumps of fat from the inside of the chicken. Brine chicken for 2-4 hours (recipe below) in refrigeration. Rinse the chicken and pat very dry inside and out.

Place the chicken breast side down on a flat surface. With a pair of poultry shears, split the bird lengthwise along the backbone. Open it out, and press down with the heel of your hand to flatten completely. Turn the chicken skin side up and approaching from the edge, slide a finger under the skin of each of the breasts, making 2 little pockets. Repeat by creating a pocket on the thickest area of each thigh. Shove a sprig of herbs and slivers of garlic into each pocket.

Season the chicken liberally with salt and the cracked pepper.

Using a sharp knife, make slits in the skin near the tail and tuck the wing tips in to secure. The bird should be as flat as possible to ensure even cooking.

In a large cast-iron skillet or clay casserole, heat the olive oil over moderately high heat. When hot but not smoking, place the chicken skin side down in the skillet. Weigh it down with fire bricks wrapped in foil.

Place in the center of the wood-fired oven and cook until the skin is golden, about 15 minutes. Listen for sizzling!

Remove the weights and using tongs (so as not to pierce the skin), turn chicken over. Replace the weights, add the tomatoes and shallots and return to the oven to cook for another 15 minutes.

To test for doneness, pierce the thigh with a skewer. The chicken is done when the juices run clear. You may need to keep the chicken in the oven for another 20 minutes or until it is tender and legs pulls easily from the breast.

Transfer to a platter and cover loosely with foil. Let it rest for at least 10 minutes or up to 20. Carve and serve warm or at room temperature.

Mary Karlin 2006

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)

Pollo Fricassea (Chicken with White Wine)



  • 1lb (or how much you want) chicken legs and thighs
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup good olive oil
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1/4 cup olives


Fire your oven until hot, and let the temperature fall a little. Keep your coals hot, as you need the heat of the oven to brown your chicken. In a medium hot pizza oven, place the onions and olive oil in either stainless steel or terracotta pot that has a lid. The chicken should fit on one layer.

Sauté the onion until it is translucent, which should be pretty quick.

Then add the chicken and brown. Depending on your oven, you could do this without turning the chicken. Add the wine and pine nuts and cover. Bake until the chicken falls from the bone—it should feel stewed. Add the olives at the end to heat through.


We had it with lentils in a vinaigrette and Tuscan white beans. The sauce is great. Our friends liked it.

I looked the recipe up on Google (pollo in Fricassea), and there are options where you flour the chicken before you brown it, add an egg yoke to thicken the sauce, add peas, and use a mix of white wine and chicken stock.

Either way, it’s a great brick oven dish. A type of Italian Coq au Vin.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 5.0/5 (1 vote cast)

Brick Oven Roast Capon

The capon is the bird of choice for Christmas in Italy (it’s a male castrated chicken, ouch). The capon is a little fattier than chicken, and has a great flavor. A 6-7lb bird is large enough for a small dinner party. I boiled the head, feet and insides to make stock for risotto.

There are a couple of nice aspects to the recipe. First, it uses the heat of the oven and dome to brown and seal the bird, and it uses dessert wine and tomatoes to make a very rich and flavorful sauce/gravy. You turn the bird a number of times when the oven is still hot, then cover it with foil for the 90 minute roasting period. Our visitors said it was the best meal they’ve had on their trip.

6-7 pound capon
1 carrot, diced
1 onion, diced
1 glove of garlic, smashed and minced
1 glove of garlic, slivered (optional)
5 TBL olive oil
1 cup chicken stock
1 cup Vin Santo (I think any dessert wine will do)
1 can of peeled, chopped tomatoes

Place the carrot, onion, smashed garlic and 3 TBL olive oil to a metal cooking pan capable of holding a couple cups of liquid. Cut 6-8 slits in the bird meat and set the slivered garlic in the cuts. Place the bird in the pan, and coat it with the last 2 TBL of olive oil.

Oven Firing
Fire your oven until the carbon burns off (650F+), then shovel out all the coals and let it rest for a few minutes. Make sure you have driven enough heat into the oven to roast for about 2 hours. You want a hot oven, which is capable of browning your bird from the dome heat, but not so hot that you burn everything in the first few minutes.

Place the pan in the hot oven, and when the top of the bird starts to brown, turn the bird a quarter turn. Keep browning and turning the bird until it is a nice medium brown. Cover the bird with two layers of aluminum foil, taking care to cover the tips of the wings and the legs.

Add the stock, vin Santo and tomatoes. The liquids will cook into a great sauce, and the tomatoes will disappear.

Cook for 90 minutes, or until the bird is done.

Strain the sauce to remove the carrot and onion pieces, and skim off the excess oil and fat. You can either use the sauce as is, or as the base for a thickened gravy.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)

Stuffed Turkey Roll — Rotolo di Tacchino

Here is a stuffed turkey roll recipe that works great in a brick oven. The heat of the oven sears the stuffed turkey, and browns the pan drippings to make a wonderful, light sauce. We stuffed our turkey with a ham and cheese frittata, which is a nice change from a traditional bread stuffed. This is a good summer meal.

To make a turkey roll you’ll want about two pounds of breast meat, ideally from a turkey large enough that this will be half a breast. You can use any type of frittata, including ham and cheese, ham and spinach, and onion.


• 2 pound turkey breast meat
• 1 cup chopped cooked spinach, drained well
• 1/2 pound ham
• 1 strip of bacon
• 1 sprig of rosemary
• 1 onion
• 2 eggs
• Olive oil
• Salt, pepper, and the herbs of choice to taste
• Butcher’s twine


Begin by preparing the spinach and making the frittata. Saute the onion and add the eggs. Stir the eggs for a few seconds, then let set. Add the ham and spinach and cook for a few more moments. When the bottom of the frittata is set, flip it onto a plan and return it to the pan to cook the other side. Set the finished frittata aside.

Set the turkey breast on a cutting board and make a horizontal cut almost all the way through it, about a 3/4 inch from the base. Open the breast like a book, make another cut, and open it again to obtain a rectangle of meat; gently pound it with the flat of your knife or a smooth meat pounder to thin it, keeping it as rectangular as you can.

Lay the frittata, or the stuffing ingredients, over the slice, beginning with what will not melt, and season them to taste with salt, pepper, and whatever other herbs you like; I might go with some thyme and a tablespoon of minced parsley. Roll the breast up into a log, lay the bacon strip and rosemary sprig across the top, and tie the roll with butcher’s twine so it resembles a salami; if you are including cheese in the filling be especially careful to make a good seal because it will melt and leak out if you don’t.


Roast the turkey roll in a moderately warm oven (400F-500F, or 4 Mississippi’s) for about 45 minutes.

Serve it sliced, with the pan drippings spooned over it. Or, whisk 2 TBS of butter and 1/2 cup Madeira to the pan drippings to make a nice sauce.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)

Brick Oven Chicken Madeira

A brick oven version of a traditional dish.

1 whole chicken cut into pieces 
1 onion chopped
1 garlic clove chopped and smashed
1lb mushrooms chopped
1/2 cup of peas 
2Tbl olive oil 
2 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup Madeira (we used Vin Santo)
5Tbl butter 
Salt and pepper

Use a terra cotta baking pan with a lid large enough to hold the chicken without overlapping. If you don’t have a lid, you can use foil.

Add the oil, followed by the onions, garlic, mushrooms and chicken, placed in layers. This is a dish that uses top and bottom heat to cook the casserole without turning or moving the food.

Oven Firing 
Fire your oven until it reaches 700F, and the carbon burns off the oven dome, then allow the temperature to fall to about 500F, as the fire burns down ( about a three Mississippi oven).

Push the coals to the side and let the fire die. You can remove the coals if you want to get going.

Set the pan in the hot oven, allowing the chicken to reach a nice dark brown on top. It should take 15-20 minutes.

Add the stock, the Madeira and the peas, cover and bake for another 30-40 minutes.

Remove the sauce from the pan, remove the fat, and reduce in a sauce pan, while the chicken rests covered. Swirl in the 5Tbls of butter right before you serve. Assemble the chicken on a platter and top with the sauce.

We served this with roast potatoes, zucchini and braised cabbage.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 5.0/5 (1 vote cast)

Brick Oven Mushroom Stuffed Pork Chops with Pears

brick oven pork chopFrom the Musa’s in Sacramento


With thanks from Robert in Sacramento, CA

The chops must have been two and a half inches thick and marbled with just the right amount of fat (it’s sad that it’s so difficult to get pork with fat in it these days).  The chops had some sort of special name which escapes me right now.  (You might have to reduce the cooking time of this recipe if your chops are not as thick as the ones I found.  If so, I think I would reduce the time the dish is covered because you still want to leave enough time uncovered to get a nice brown crust on the chops.)

I threw this together and it turned out surprisingly well for such an easy meal.  Probably the best pork based meal we’ve had out of the oven so far.  When chopping the mushrooms keep in mind that they will reduce in size by half.  You want to err on the side of chopping them too large otherwise they will be too small to have any texture by the time they are finished cooking.  Basically chop them as large as you can, (mine were larger than the size of dice) as long as you can still stuff them into the ’pork chop pocket’ after they reduce.  Remember, if later on you find that they are too large, it will be easier to chop them smaller (on the other hand, if they are too small, then you’re going to have one hell of time trying to chop them larger.)

It is not necessary to use the jam and relish which I used.  You can experiment with any sweet fruit or tomato based jam and relish but I found the ones described below to be exceptionally good.  They are also available at Taylor’s or on line from Earth and Vine.


3 of the thickest pork chops you can find
3 green onions chopped (just the white portion)
2 pears peeled and quartered (I used red Anjou but they say that Bosc is best for cooking)
6 medium size (about half the size of a dollar bill) roughly chopped Portobello mushrooms
Olive oil
Red Wine
1 jar of Earth and Vine Roma Tomato and Chili Mélange jam
1 jar of Earth and Vine Cranberry Shallot Relish


Put a couple tablespoons of the oil in a sauté pan and sweat the onions over high heat for about three minutes.

Add more oil to the pan if needed and add the chopped mushrooms and continue cooking until the mushrooms begin to reduce.

Add  about half the jar of the Roma Tomato and Chili Melange Jam and continue cooking until mushrooms reduce in size by one half.  You want to end up with a nice thick glazed mushroom mixture but don’t overcook the mushrooms; they’ll cook some more while in the chop. Salt and pepper to taste.

Cut a pocket into each of the pork chops.  Try to keep the entry hole no larger than two inches and swivel the knife about to make the interior hole larger than the entry hole.  Stuff the chops with the mushroom mixture.  Just pack it in there as best you can.

Place the chops in a earthenware dish coated with olive oil and add enough red wine to cover the bottom of the dish with about one eighth of an inch of wine.  Salt and pepper the chops.  (I went pretty heavy on the salt and pepper but that’s just my preference with pork.)

Cover tightly with foil and place in a hot (walls 625 to 725 F) wood burning oven.

While the chops are cooking, place the pear quarters in a pan and coat with about one third of the jar of Cranberry Shallot Relish.

After the chops have been in the oven for 1 hour, remove the foil and add the pear / relish mixture. Place the chops back in the oven, this time without the foil.  After about one half hour they should look like the picture at the top of the recipe.  Serve with the pears and the liquid from the dish poured over the chops.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)