Well, now that I’m awake after my turkey-induced coma…
The turkey finally came out of the oven. And can I say, we did good! The turkey was so unbelievably moist. Taylor had to get a quick lesson in turkey carving from the New York Times while I started to clean the massive mess we had made. 5 minutes later, he was back and hacked up that turkey like a pro. While I know carving is an art, we both decided we prefer the ‘hunk’ method – thick slices of juicy meat, and legs eaten right off the bone. Yum.
We originally picked this recipe planning on using a turkey breast or turkey pieces, but ended up coming home with a whole bird. So we adapted it. Doubled the brine so it’d cover the whole thing. The sauce made more than enough for glazing and leftovers, so no need to double that there (plus, 1/4 cup grand marnier is just perfectly the amount in one of those mini bottles… which if you’ve seen the prices for grand marnier, is all we wanted to buy.)
Cranberry Glazed Whole Turkey
Makes: way too much for two. Recipe from Emeril.
3/4 gallon water
2 cups white wine
1 1/2 cups orange juice
1 cup kosher salt
1 cup light brown sugar
1/3 cup chopped ginger
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
4 bay leaves
4 sprigs fresh thyme
(double the brine if using a whole turkey vs. a turkey breast)
1 (6-pound) whole turkey breast or 1 (11.5-pound) whole turkey.
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon Essence, recipe follows
1 (12-ounce) bag fresh cranberries
1/3 cup chopped ginger
2 teaspoons orange zest
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup orange juice
1 1/4 cups water
1/4 cup orange-flavored liqueur (recommended: Grand Marnier)
Combine all of the brining liquid ingredients in a large non-reactive container (a giant ziplock works perfectly!) and stir to dissolve the salt and sugar. Rinse the turkey well under cold running water. Place the turkey in the brine, cover, and refrigerate, turning occasionally, for at least 12 hours and up to 24 hours.
While the bird is brining, make the cranberry glaze by combining the cranberries, ginger, orange zest, sugar, orange juice, and water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring occasionally, and reduce to a simmer. Cook for 5 to 10 minutes, or until cranberries burst and sauce is very thick. Strain through a fine mesh sieve into a mixing bowl to cool. When cooled, add the liqueur and stir to combine. Cover and refrigerate until you are ready to glaze the bird. (Make sure to return the glaze to room temperature before serving. If the glaze gets too thick, thin it with a bit of water.)
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Remove the turkey from the brine and discard the brine. Place the turkey, breast side up, in an aluminum foil lined roasting pan. Pat dry with paper towels. Rub the turkey with the vegetable oil and sprinkle on all sides with Essence.
Roast the turkey until it is golden brown and almost done, which always takes longer than you think it will, so start early. Remove the turkey from the oven and brush all over with about 1/3 cup of the cranberry glaze. Return the turkey to the oven and continue cooking until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the breast registers 160 to 165 degrees F, about 10 minutes longer. (If the turkey begins to get too dark before it is cooked through, cover loosely with aluminum foil until it reaches the desired temperature. Transfer to a platter and let rest at least 30 minutes before carving.
Carve into *thick* slices. Serve with the remaining glaze passed at the table.
These potatoes are SO good. People often make garlic mashed potatoes, but what’s the point when you can’t even taste the garlic? I mean, 1 pound of garlic is just the beginning! We also made a variation on these potatoes last year, but added about 1/2 cup fresh basil to the puree. Gives them an extra kick and a nice green hue. Also, sneak some soy creamer in there instead of the whipping cream… no one will ever know the difference!
The original recipe is a bit liquidy… we actually used double the potatoes (4lbs) but the same amount of butter/creamer.
The Definitive Mashed Potato with Roasted Garlic
Makes: Lots. Recipe from Michael Chiarello.
For the Garlic Paste:
1 pound whole garlic heads
1/2 cup pure olive oil
Gray sea salt and freshly ground pepper
2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes
3 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tablespoon garlic paste
1 1/2 cups heavy cream, or more to taste
Sea salt, preferably gray sea salt, and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 to 2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Start with the roasted garlic: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Peel the outermost layers of skin off the heads of garlic. Cut off the top 1/3 of the heads to open the cloves. Drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Wrap in aluminum foil and cook for 30-45 minutes, or until soft (almost mushy) and golden. Remove from heat and let cool. Pop garlic cloves from their skins and place cloves in a food processor, along with 1/4 cup olive oil. Puree until smooth; you should have a paste-like consistency.
For the potatoes: Cube the potatoes. Then put the potatoes in a large saucepan with salted cold water and place in the refrigerator overnight (or 30 minutes. whatever you have time for!). Add some more salt and then bring to a boil over high heat. Cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain well, place potato cubes in a food mill, and grind to remove skins. Alternatively, smash the potatoes with a large fork or potato masher.
Heat 1 tablespoon of the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat until the butter stops foaming and turns a light brown. Add the garlic paste and cook quickly. Add the cream, season, to taste, with salt and pepper, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and fold in potatoes with a wooded spoon or large whisk. Add the remaining butter by tablespoons, stirring after each addition. Stir in the extra-virgin olive oil. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and serve.
A nice twist on typical cranberry sauce. Though we might have added a bit too much cardamom… the sauce had a very strong flavor. If anything, add less than you think you need. But the vanilla, oh the vanilla! Why I’ve never had cranberry sauce with vanilla before, I do not know! We probably didn’t *need* to make this as the leftover glaze from the turkey was more than enough… but I’m very glad we did!
Cranberry Sauce with Vanilla Bean and Cardamom
Makes 2 1/2 cups. Recipe from Epicurious.
1 (12-ounce) bag fresh cranberries
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
2 1/4 teaspoons finely grated orange peel
1/2 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon cardamom seeds, lightly crushed, from green cardamom pods
1 vanilla bean
Combine first 5 ingredients in heavy medium saucepan. Add cardamom. Split vanilla bean lengthwise in half; scrape seeds into cranberry mixture and add bean. Bring to boil, stirring often. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until most of cranberries burst, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Transfer sauce to medium bowl. Cool, cover, and refrigerate cranberry sauce. DO AHEAD Basic Cranberry Sauce can be prepared 1 week ahead. Keep refrigerated.
I’m sure these would have been out of this world with marcona almonds. But we couldn’t find, nor afford marcona almonds. Nevertheless, they were delicious and a unique way to cook green beans. We actually used some pearl onions instead of regular onions, because we had some left and they seemed like they’d work nicely, which they did!
Lemon-roasted Green Beans with Almonds
Makes 8 servings. Recipe from Epicurious.
Nonstick vegetable oil spray
2 pounds green beans, trimmed
1 onion, peeled, cut into 8 wedges
6 large fresh marjoram sprigs
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Coarse kosher salt
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon (packed) finely grated lemon peel
1/2 cup coarsely chopped Marcona almonds or roasted regular almonds
Position 1 rack in top third and 1 rack in bottom third of oven and preheat to 450Â°F. Spray 2 large rimmed baking sheets with nonstick spray. Combine green beans, onion wedges, and marjoram in large bowl. Drizzle with oil, then sprinkle with coarse kosher salt and pepper. Toss; divide between prepared sheets.
Roast vegetables 15 minutes. Reverse sheets. Continue to roast until beans are tender and beginning to brown in spots, about 10 minutes longer.
Transfer vegetables to bowl. Add lemon juice, grated lemon peel, and half of chopped almonds. Toss to coat; season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with remaining almonds.
These were good, but we both felt we only tasted the bacon and not the sweet potato. Out of our over the top unbelievably good meal, these were the one thing we could have left out and not missed. If you’re interested, the recipe is over here… but maybe try cooking the potatoes in some olive oil instead of bacon fat, and then just sprinkling the bacon on top at the end. Oh, and be sure you don’t forget to buy the scallions. That could have helped a bit.
But what about the pie? Oh yes, the pie. You saw what it looked like fresh out of the oven. I was attempting to do this recipe from Epicurious, Pumpkin Pie Brulee. I added an additional egg and another vanilla bean (split and scraped) to the filling, and used the aforementioned Vodka Pie crust with amaretto. So far, so good. Then I went to do the sugar topping in the broiler… whoever decided that broiling something would carmelize the sugar quicker than it would burn the crust was deranged. Maybe 2 grains had melted when the edges of the crust started smoking. So we ended up eating a slightly singed pumpkin pie with granulated sugar sprinkled on top. A good pie nonetheless, less sweet than our Pumpkin Praline Pie. Plus it makes a darned good breakfast the day after. :)
Does the ginger for the brine need to be peeled? I spent quite a bit of time peeling and then chopping 2/3 cup, for a double recipe for a 20# turkey. I was wondering if I could just slice it unpeeled in the food processor, and then chop it for the brine, since the brine won’t be eaten.
You know, I don’t recall, but I don’t think that’s needed. For the glaze, yes, definitely peel, but for the brine just rinse well then cut into large chunks and I think you’ll be fine. :)
Lindsay and Taylor,
Thanksgiving dinner looks terrific! Sunny and I did the apple-scented turkey from Saveur magazine, and it was a disaster. You cook it at 450 for 2 hours… it was burned and dry. But there was so much good cranberry sauce, dressing, gravy and wine that it didn’t matter! It’s fun to experiment, and it was fine, because it was only for the 4 of us! We also used the NYTimes carving guide, and liked it better. I liked tearing chunks of breast off with my hands. We miss you.