Myra's Kitchen Blog  

Day Before Thanksgiving Feast
Saturday, November 24, 2012

This time of year I get a hankering to cook a Thanksgiving meal, even if I’m not the one having the guests over. My local traditional foods club has farmers that bring in stunning pasture-raised Turkeys, so I couldn’t resist buying a couple. I invited a friend over to cook a no-stress pre-Thanksgiving meal with me and split the bounty. (We cooked the 13-pound Turkey. I still have a wee 7-pound turkey in the freezer.)

This is what we made, based on what looked good at the greenmarket when I went shopping that morning:

Cranberry glazed turkey: I planned this one. I made a glaze by simmering cranberries, maple syrup, thyme, orange zest, garlic, and brown rice vinegar in a small pot. When the cranberries had burst, I pushed everything through a strainer. I served this same glaze for a recent lunch party on duck breasts.

Cranberry Glaze in the Pot

I received the turkey Tuesday night and did a little prep. I dry-brined it with salt (basically just rubbed it all over) and slipped some thyme-rosemary-sage butter under the skin to keep the breast moist. I laid the turkey on a rack in the roasting pan and refrigerated it overnight. Wednesday I baked it breast-side down at 325˚F. for an hour, then flipped it, and cooked the turkey about another 2 hours. I glazed the bird the last 40 minutes.  Next time I won’t be lazy, and I’ll tie the turkey legs together.

Cranberry-Glazed Turkey

Gravy was the pan drippings with a roux made from chickpea flour and butter (the whole meal was gluten free), with some gelatinous chicken stock. (I had simmered a whole chicken with a bunch of extra feet overnight to make a gelatinous chicken stock.)

Stuffing: I made a gluten-free cornmeal with cornmeal and sorghum flour (soaked the flours in buttermilk overnight, then proceeded with the recipe), then sautéed onions with cranberries, dates, and prunes. I added some wine, apple cider, and a smidge of maple sugar to deglaze, and cooked this until the cranberries burst. I added the mix to a bowl with some sage, chopped pecans, toasted cornbread cubes, a pound of turkey sausage (I cooked it first), and a splash of sherry vinegar (and salt and pepper of course) and a couple eggs. I baked this separately in an 8×11 roasting pan at 350 for about 20 minutes. Next time I’ll have the stuffing ready in advance and I’ll fill the bird with it.


Stuffing in Progress

Celery root-apple-sage pancakes: recipe from The Healthy Hedonist Holidays. I used chickpea flour instead of unbleached white flour to make these gluten-free.

Chard with cipolline onions: We cooked cipolline onions in olive oil and balsamic vinegar and added a couple bunches of wilted chard.

Buttered Green Beans with anchovies, garlic, and sage: We crushed the anchovies with salt so that they disappeared, and finished the green beans off with a splash of lemon juice.

Brussels Sprouts with leeks and shiitake mushrooms: We sweated the leeks and mushrooms with olive oil and a splash of tamari, until shrunken and tender. We removed them from the pan. We then added the Brussels Sprouts with butter, water, thyme, and salt, and cooked them until tender. We uncovered the lid and added balsamic vinegar and mustard, stirred the mushroom mix back in, and finished with a sprinkle of fresh tarragon.

Squash-Chestnut soup: We cooked hubbard squash soup with chestnuts, and added a splash of scotch. Served it with a swirl of yogurt, although crème fraiche would have been even more luscious.

Hubbard Squash and Chestnut Soup

Russet apples: Roasted in ginger-cinnamon mulled cider.

Then we feasted, and divided the spoils. No room for dessert, but it wasn’t necessary. Had leftovers of this one (espresso pudding with pumpkin whipped cream).


Chocolate-Espresso Pudding with Pumpkin Cream and Whipped Cream

I’ll admit that on Thanksgiving I had salmon, since I didn’t want to exhaust my enthusiasm for Turkey. The next night I was into Turkey again. This is my second night of leftovers, and it’s so good.

The whole plate: Turkey, Stuffing, Chard with Cipollines, Brussels Sprouts, Russet Apples, and Celery Root Pancakes

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Photo: Tess Steinkolk

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