Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday. A holiday built around a feast and being thankful for what and who you have. It’s not about who got who what. Just a day of hanging out with family and friends and a lot of eating.
It’s everything I loved growing up. In fact, the feast is part of what led me to the kitchen.
Turkey gets a bad knock for being dry, but this isn’t true. Turkey is a lean, flavorful meat that isn’t dry unless cooked improperly. You do have to take care when cooking turkey, which is why in this recipe I brine the bird. This will give you more room for error.
I have made hundreds of stuffings, bread puddings, and canaderli (Italian bread dumplings). I love the inclusion of sausage and always use the bread I have laying around. Whatever you do, don’t put catnip in it like Tilly and Prue.
My cranberry sauce is a great combo of tart and sweet that ads an acidic note to a long feast and fights off palate fatigue. An added bonus is that it isn’t in the shape of an aluminum can, ridges and all.
And for the gravy… it’s delicious, but let’s just say it’s a process so start early!
And most important of all, have a very HAPPY THANKSGIVING!
- 8 to 10 lb turkey
- 7 L water
- 85 g sugar
- 200 g rock salt
- 1 head garlic
- 2 bunches rosemary
- 2 bunches thyme
- 500 g stale bread
- 100 g white onion
- 150 g sausage
- 100 g king trumpet mushroom
- 50 g celery
- 50 g carrots
- 25 g garlic
- 15 g chopped sage
- 15 g chopped rosemary
- 100 g butter
- 3 lb turkey neck and wings
- 1 white onion
- 1 carrot
- the innards from the turkey
- 300 g cranberry
- 200 g verjus
- 100 g water
- 100 g sugar
To make brine, bring water sugar and salt slowly up to a boil. While whisking add garlic and herbs, cool and submerge turkey.
Brine turkey for 20 hours and then let it dry for two days.
Brush melted (but not broken) butter seasoned with salt, pepper and chopped rosemary onto the turkey.
Roast the turkey at 300° F for about 1 hour 20 mins until the breast temperature is 140° F. Then turn the oven up to 450° F and roast turkey for another 25 mins to crisp the skin.
Break and brown sausage.
Sweat onions, carrots, celery and mushroom in butter. Once translucent, add sausage, bread and herbs.
Coat the bread in the butter and vegetables.
Add chicken boullion and simmer 25 mins until thickens.
Season the stuffing with salt and pepper and cool.
Stuff into the cavity of the bird.
Roast turkey neck and wings at 350° F and when bones start to brown add peeled but whole onion and carrot.
Put turkey and veg in a heavy-bottom pot and add water just to cover.
Bring to boil and skim, add 1 head garlic cut in half, 1 bay leaf and 5 sprigs thyme.
Slowly simmer for 3 hours, remove onion and carrot and strain gravy.
Sear the innards of the turkey and blend them into the gravy along with the onion and half the carrot.
Add 50 grams of butter and season with salt and pepper.
Strain and serve.
Simmer 2 hours and blend until smooth.