Thanksgiving Day Recipes

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Thanksgiving Day is never complete without a delicious feast. So I’d like to share with you a couple of Thanksgiving recipes from my dear father, a James Beard Award-winning chef. These recipes include roast turkey, the signature food of Thanksgiving, and the gravy and stuffing to go with it.

ROAST THANKSGIVING TURKEY

Serves 12-14

Ingredients:

1 cup canola or other vegetable oil

2 tablespoons kosher salt

1 tablespoon sweet Hungarian paprika

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

2 teaspoons garlic powder

2 teaspoons ground black pepper

1 turkey, 14-16 pounds

To cook the turkey…

Start the day before Thanksgiving.

Mix all ingredients in a bowl and mix well using a whisk.

Rub the oil mixture all over the turkey to coat before refrigerating it, uncovered, overnight.

Remove the turkey from the refrigerator at least 1 hour before roasting, and preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Place the turkey on a rack in a roasting pan, breast up, and put it in the oven.

Roast for 30 minutes, then baste with any juices that have accumulated in the pan. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and continue roasting for another hour.

Baste the turkey again and roast for another 45 minutes. The skin should be crisp and brown. Check for doneness by making a small incision in the thigh. Juices should run clear with just a hint of pink. If you use an instant read thermometer it should read 160 degrees. If it is not done, continue roasting for another 15 minutes, but be careful not to overcook. The turkey will continue cooking while it rests.

Remove the turkey from the oven and let it rest for 20 minutes while making the gravy before carving it.

TURKEY GRAVY

Ingredients:

Drippings and fat from roasting pan

About ¼ cup all purpose flour

4 cups chicken or turkey stock, homemade or bought

To make the gravy…

Remove the turkey from the roasting pan.

Discard most of the fat, leaving about ¼ cup.

Add the flour to the pan, place on a burner, and cook over low heat and stir for about 5 minutes, until the flour is lightly browned and the browned bits in the pan are dislodged.

Gradually add the stock, whisking constantly, until it is incorporated. Bring to a boil, then transfer to a sauce pot and simmer for a total of 10-15 minutes.

Check consistency. If sauce is thin, cook down until it reaches a good consistency. If thick, add more stock.

Taste and adjust seasoning with salt, pepper, lemon, and possibly Worcestershire sauce.

TURKEY STUFFING

Ingredients:

3 large loaves white bread or brioche

5 tablespoons unsalted butter

3 tablespoons rendered chicken fat (or additional butter)

4 large onions, peeled and diced

3 tablespoons olive oil

3 cups fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and discarded, caps wiped clean with a damp paper towel, sliced

3 precooked chicken apple sausage (or your preferred sausage) cut into ½ inch dice

2 cups chicken stock, homemade or low sodium broth

5 large eggs, lightly beaten

2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage leaves

1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves

Salt and pepper

To make the stuffing…

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Slice the bread into 1 inch cubes and spread on as many baking sheets as necessary. Toast in the oven until it is golden brown, or about 15 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and set aside.

Place 3 tablespoons of the butter and all of the chicken fat in a large sauté pan and melt over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté until softened for about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and add to the bowl.

Wipe out the pan and add the olive oil. Heat over medium high heat, then add the shiitakes. Afterwards, sauté until mushrooms are browned, for about 10 minutes before adding to the bowl.

Add the diced sausage to the bowl and toss it.

Add the chicken stock, ½ cup at a time, until the bread is lightly moistened. Then, add the eggs, sage, thyme, salt and pepper to taste.

Oil a large casserole dish. Then, transfer the stuffing mixture to the casserole dish and dot the top with the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, cut into bits.

Bake, covered, for 25 minutes. Remove the cover and continue baking until the stuffing is nicely browned for about 10 minutes.

Enjoy, and Happy Thanksgiving!
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