Making turkey the star
I'm a well-known turkey skeptic, but this reader's Thanksgiving menu is enough to convert me:
For the last three years, turkey has gone from the least interesting part of our meal to the star.
We get a heritage bird from a local farm – red bourbon, I think. About 10 pounds. We use a Weber Grill recipe, of all things – we brine the turkey overnight in apple juice, salt, thyme and sage. Then we roast it on the grill over applewood, breast down in seasoned chicken broth for an hour so that the breast essentially braises, then right side up for an hour. It keeps the white meat amazingly juicy and the broth makes the best gravy I have ever had in my life – rich and appley (I add some cider and mushrooms), with a slight hint of smokiness. It’s sensational.
Along with it we have the usual – stuffing (this year we are catering to a newly gluten-intolerant person – me -- with cornbread stuffing, but still rich with butter, herbs, onion, and mushrooms) mashed potatoes, loaded with butter and whole milk and the right amount of salt and pepper (why are mashed potatoes chronically underseasoned??), braised endives in broth with prosciutto, and finished it with cream; cranberry confit (pearl onions, sugar, balsamic vinegar, red wine, garlic, thyme and cranberries cooked til they pop), and candied sweets – simple and old fashioned (farmers market sweet potatoes boiled, peeled and bathed in caramelized brown sugar and butter.)
No dessert – it would be redundant (and hardly fair to the dessert.)
Can I come?
November 25, 2009; 5:31 PM ET
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