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Any Recipes You'd Like to Share from Your Thanksgiving Dinner? Or New Title: Got Any Holiday Recipes You'd Like to Share?

No exaggeration - this was the best Thanksgiving meal I've ever eaten. It was delicious.
d'man did this marvelous turkey that had a tasty, crisp skin & was so moist & tasty on the inside. And the stuffing was the best stuffing I ever made. Maybe we can collect a selection of recipes here for future holiday cooking.

Tags: Christmas, Holiday.Meals, Recipes, Thanksgiving

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We chose our turkey recipe from Shauna James Ahern's glutenfreegirl.blogspot.com.

I've copied her blog for the recipe here:

Brine for Turkey

It seems that many of us avoid turkey during the rest of the year because it's so darned dry. Well, I've learned that turkey has a bad reputation for no reason. All it takes to make the best turkey you have ever eaten is a little brining.

We'll be making this brine on Wednesday evening and submerging our 12-pound turkey in it overnight. If you are making a bigger turkey, make more brine.

2 gallons water
1 head garlic, peels and all
2 tablespoons black peppercorns, toasted and crushed
2 tablespoons white peppercorns, toasted and crushed
2 lemons, juice and hull
10 sprigs rosemary
20 sprigs thyme
10 sprigs sage
2 cups kosher salt
1 cup sugar
2 bay leaves

Combine all the ingredients and stir well.

You have brine.

Our Spice Rub for Turkey

Last week, Danny and I had the privilege of spending three days in northern California, at Kingsford U. (You can read all about it here, and we hope you do.) We had the privilege of learning from Chris Lilly, pitmaster and champion of barbeque competitions, whose book, Big Bob Gibson’s BBQ Book, is now our barbequing bible.

His class on putting together spice rubs changed the way I will be making them from now on. Each meal needs its own special blend. Chris taught us to think in terms of balancing sugar and salt in different ways, depending on the protein we are cooking, of how much heat we need, of transitional spices to fill in the spaces, and signature flavors that announce themselves strongly. (We'll be writing a full post about this soon, over on the other blog.)

In that class, I smelled and tasted and thought and played, until I came up with a spice rub I loved. Chris liked it a lot. Danny thought it was better than his. And we like it so well that this will be the spice rub for our Thanksgiving turkey. We think you might like it too.

1/4 cup kosher salt
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons turbinado (or demerara) sugar
1 tablespoon garlic powder (or granulated garlic)
1 teaspoon fennel pollen (or ground fennel seeds)
pinch cayenne
1 teaspoon ground white pepper
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon paprika

Combine everything together. Blend well.

To make the final turkey, brine it overnight.

The next day, pat it dry, as dry as you can.

Preheat the oven to 450°.

Coat the turkey in some sort of fat (Danny suggests canola oil. Butter or duck fat would be great too.)

Spread the spice rub, liberally.

Put the turkey in a roasting pan. Put it in the oven.

Roast at the high heat for 20 minutes.

Turn the heat down to 375° and roast the bird until it is golden and juicy, about 1 1/2 hours.

You need to take its internal temperature. Most official guides say take it to 180°. We're seeing a lot of chefs cooking poultry to 175° these days. You should do more reading and see what feels right to you. But please, don't overcook the bird.

Take the turkey out of the oven and let it rest, for about 15 minutes, before carving. This would be the time to make the gravy.

Cut into that juicy golden turkey and enjoy.

Update: The wonderful Karen Robertson made this suggestion about what to do after brining the turkey.

The folks over at Cooks Illustrated (Nov/Dec 2000)suggest letting the bird air dry for a day and here is why...when the bird sits overnight uncovered in the refrigerator (after brining) "the residual moisture left in the skin from brining evaporates during the overnight rest in the refrigerator.The skin crisps in the oven rather than steaming from the excess moisture."
If you have time it might be worth a try. We follow this method each year with fantastic results."

We're going to try this too.
I don't have an actual recipe for my stuffing, but I'll write it out here...


Half pan of cornbread, crumbled
1 Loaf Udi's White Bread
1 Loaf of Food for Life's Brown Rice Bread
(any 2 loaves of bread of your choosing would be fine, I'm sure)
1 package of Mild Italian Chicken Sausage
1 carton of Free Range Organic Chicken Broth
1 large Sweet Yellow Onion, sauteed in butter
a handful each of fresh Sage, Rosemary & Thyme, chopped
McCormick's Montreal Chicken Seasoning
Garlic Powder
Black Pepper

We dried the bread the previous weekend by spreading it on cookie sheets/foil in single layers & baking it in the oven very low - between "Warm" & 200 degrees, turning occasionally, until it was dry, but not toasted.
Then we broke it all up into small pieces, smaller than bite-size, & froze it in freezer bags. We transferred the bags from the freezer to the fridge the day before Thanksgiving.

Bring Chicken Broth to a simmer while sauteeing the onions in butter.
Put all the crumbled bread & into the biggest container you have.
Mix in the fresh herbs & seasonings.
If the sausage is not loose, remove it from its casing & work it by hand into the crumbled bread until it is evenly distributed throughout.
Mix in the crumbled cornbread.
Turn off the heat from the onions & broth & combine.
Pour broth & onions into the bread & sausage mixture. Toss.
Transfer to casserole dish/es & bake, covered, at 375 for about half an hour.

If it seems dry, drizzle with heated chicken broth or gravy before serving.
Sounds yummy d's..

I made the BEST dressing ever this year. Just the usual suspects but all I had was 9 grain bread and some stale Hawaiian loaf. I was very generous with everything and it was wonderful!!! Should have left it out of the bird though.

Next year I think I will let some one else do the work...
I didn't stuff our bird, I baked them in casserole dishes. Which leads me to a theory of mine...
What's the difference b/t stuffing & dressing?
I say stuffing is when you stuff the bird & dressing is when you bake it separately. '-)
That's what I've heard, too, d's girl.
I know I'm a little late, but I'll share what I did for my little Thanksgiving dinner. Over here, whole turkeys are not common until closer to Christmas, and they rarely come larger than ten pounds. The rest of the year you usually only see them in the form of spare parts, so for this recipe I bought a breast, about a pound and a half. I sliced it butterfly style, spread it with pepper Boursin, then rolled and tied it, rubbed it with butter and roasted it. It was great! I have done the same kind of thing with chicken breasts and with veal or turkey scallops, and with the different varieties of Boursin; it is quite festive.
*note to self: Christmas dinner....Chez recipe for un-boring a Turkey breast.*
omg, Chez, that sounds wonderful!
I'm glad you like it! I used to do that with chicken breasts in the summertime, and served it cold with salad greens and a wild rice/veg salad with lemon/basil dressing. It makes a nice pinwheel effect when it's sliced.

The last bits of my turkey went into a festive risotto with peas and chopped red peppers - got me into the holiday mood. I hope everyone makes risotto - it is soooo good!
This is my sweet potato recipe. It's ever so yummy! I got it a few years ago on one of the morning shows:

Scalloped Yams with Praline Topping

½ cup flour
¼ cup packed brown sugar
½ stick butter at room temperature
1/3 cup finely chopped pecans
6 medium yams, peeled and cut into ½ inch thick rounds
1 ½ cups heavy cream, heated

1. In a small bowl, work the flour, brown sugar, and butter together until well combined, then work in the pecans. Set aside. (Can be prepared up to 8 hours ahead and stored at room temperature.)

2. Bring large pot of lightly slated water to a boil over high heat. Add the yams and cook for 5 minutes. Do not overcook. They should be able to hold their shape when drained. Drain and rinse under cold running water.

3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly butter a 9 x 13 inch baking pan.

4. Overlapping in vertical rows, place the yams in the prepared dish. (This can be done up to 8 hours before baking, covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated.)

5. Pour the cream over the yams. Bake for 20 minutes. Crumble the pecan mixture over the yams and continue baking until the yams are tender and the topping is browned, 20 to 30 more minutes. Serve hot.
That sounds wonderful, D.D. I'm definitely going to try it! I think I'll have it as our dessert for Christmas dinner. I usually roast sweet potatoes. I've been thinking about Christmas dinner & I wanted to have roasted rosemary garlic potatoes, but I wanted sweet potatoes, too. And the way I roast sweet potatoes would be too close to the roasted rosemary garlic potatoes to serve them together. Your recipe solves that dilemma & let's me have my cake & eat it too! '-)
Yum, DD, yam crumble! You know, savory crumbles are becoming more and more popular. I did a gratin with carrots and a walnut crumble - no sugar - and it was super. You can really dress up almost any veg that way.

BAF, I use the basic package instructions to make my risotto, basically, but I taste often to be sure of the saltiness of the stock and the texture of the rice; depending on the season, it will absorb more or less before it's al dente. It usually takes 15-18 minutes. Then at the end, I am pretty generous with the parmesan and the cream/sour cream/crème fraîche that I stir in. It should stay fairly creamy, not dry and stodgy. If I add fresh meat, veg or mushrooms, I sauté them in advance and set them aside to put in at the end; only the onion is cooked with the rice. Peas or edamame beans can be stirred in a few minutes from the end. Sometimes I'll add a spoonful of pesto sauce for a change of flavors.

It's such a nice comforting dish, and a good change from pasta.




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