Thanksgiving is one of my family’s favorite holidays, mainly because it’s a time to see family that we don’t normally see and my husband has some extended time off work! But, more importantly, it is a time to step back and express gratitude for all that we have and there is nothing better than that.
Below is the menu I have planned in case it inspires any ideas for your own Thanksgiving spread!
For the brine:
- 1 (14 to 16 pound) frozen young turkey
For the aromatics:
- 1 cup kosher salt
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 1 gallon vegetable stock
- 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
- 1 1/2 teaspoons allspice berries
- 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped candied ginger
- 1 gallon heavily iced water
- 1 red apple, sliced
- 1/2 onion, sliced
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 cup water
- 4 sprigs rosemary
- 6 leaves sage
- Canola oil
2 to 3 days before roasting:
Begin thawing the turkey in the refrigerator or in a cooler kept at 38 degrees F.
- Combine the vegetable stock, salt, brown sugar, peppercorns, allspice berries, and candied ginger in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Stir occasionally to dissolve solids and bring to a boil. Then remove the brine from the heat, cool to room temperature, and refrigerate.
Early on the day or the night before you'd like to eat:
Combine the brine, water and ice in the 5-gallon bucket. Place the thawed turkey (with innards removed) breast side down in brine. If necessary, weigh down the bird to ensure it is fully immersed, cover, and refrigerate or set in cool area for 8 to 16 hours, turning the bird once half way through brining.
- Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F. Remove the bird from brine and rinse inside and out with cold water. Discard the brine.
- Place the bird on roasting rack inside a half sheet pan and pat dry with paper towels.
- Combine the apple, onion, cinnamon stick, and 1 cup of water in a microwave safe dish and microwave on high for 5 minutes. Add steeped aromatics to the turkey's cavity along with the rosemary and sage. Tuck the wings underneath the bird and coat the skin liberally with canola oil.
- Roast the turkey on lowest level of the oven at 500 degrees F for 30 minutes. Insert a probe thermometer into thickest part of the breast and reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Set the thermometer alarm (if available) to 161 degrees F. A 14 to 16 pound bird should require a total of 2 to 2 1/2 hours of roasting. Let the turkey rest, loosely covered with foil or a large mixing bowl for 15 minutes before carving.
Recipe from Alton Brown
- 1 cup water
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 3 strips orange zest
- 1 cup fresh orange juice
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 (3-inch) cinnamon stick
- 1 cup coarsely chopped pitted dates (6 ounces), divided
- 2 (12-ounce) bags cranberries (thawed if frozen), divided
Simmer water, sugar, zest, juice, vinegar, and cinnamon stick in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring, 3 minutes. Add half of dates and half of cranberries and simmer, stirring occasionally, until cranberries begin to burst, about 7 minutes. Stir in remaining dates and cranberries and simmer until remaining cranberries begin to burst, about 7 minutes more. Serve at room temperature.
Sauce can be made 3 days ahead and chilled.
Recipe from epicurious.com
- 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
- extra virgin olive oil
- sea salt
- fresh ground black pepper
- ½ lemon, zest and juice
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F
- Cut the broccoli florets from the stalk. I don’t like to waste the stalk, so I cut the thick skin off the stalk and then cut the stalk crosswise into rounds, until you get to the woody part of the stalk. Discard the woody part.
- Place the broccoli on a sheet pan or casserole large enough to hold them in a single layer. Toss the garlic on the broccoli and drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
- Roast for 20 to 25 minutes, until crisp-tender and the tips of some of the florets are browned.
- Remove the broccoli from the oven and immediately toss with the lemon zest and lemon juice. Adjust seasoning if necessary.
You can also use pre-cut broccoli. If you’re really short on time, cook the broccoli in the microwave for two minutes and then finish in the oven for about 10 minutes. This dish also tastes great with grated Parmesan or Pecorino cheese on top, just before serving.Ingredients:
- Cooking spray
- 3 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes (about 5 medium), peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
- Kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon packed dark brown sugar
- 1/3 cup finely chopped pecans
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Mist an 8-inch square baking dish with cooking spray.
- Bring a few inches of water to a boil in a pot with a large steamer basket in place. Put the sweet potatoes in the basket, cover and steam until tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer the potatoes to a bowl and let cool slightly. Add the honey, egg, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, the nutmeg, ginger and 1/2 teaspoon salt; whip with an electric mixer until smooth. Spread the sweet potato mixture in the prepared baking dish.
- Mix the brown sugar, pecans and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon in a bowl; sprinkle over the potatoes. Bake until hot and beginning to brown around the edges, 40 to 45 minutes.
Recipe from Ellie Krieger
- 1 cup oat flour*
- ½ cup chopped walnuts
- ½ cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
- 6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, diced
- 1 egg yolk
- 2 large eggs
- 1 15-ounce can pure pumpkin puree
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
- Combine the flour, walnuts, and sugar in an electric mixer. Pulse until walnuts are finely chopped.
- Add the butter and the egg yolk. Pulse until crumbly.
- In the bottom of a 9½-inch springform or tart pan, press crumb mixture in an even layer and up the sides.
- Place a piece of parchment paper on top of the crust, then pour in a single layer of pie weights or uncooked beans. Refrigerate for 20 minutes.
- While the crust chills, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- Place the tart pan on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Bake until the butter in the crust has begun to steam and bubble a bit around the edges, about 12 minutes. Remove from the oven, remove pie weights and parchment, and allow the crust to cool to room temperature.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Place cooled tart crust on a foil or parchment lined baking sheet.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, pumpkin, cream, maple syrup, cinnamon, ginger, salt, and cloves.
- Pour the pumpkin mixture into the crust and bake until the center is set, 60 to 70 minutes. Let cool to room temperature before serving.
You can buy oat flour at most supermarkets, alternatively, you can make you own. Just place the oats in a coffee grinder or food processor and pulse until a powder forms. If you don’t want to make your own crust, just skip to step 7 and start your ingredients with the 2 large eggs. Recipe inspired by Ina Garten and Real Simple magazine.