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Thanksgiving 2008

Turkey Brine and Roasting Instructions
From Angela Goodman

  • 1 turkey
  • 4 c kosher salt
  • 2 c brown sugar
  • 2 T whole black peppercorns
  • 5 whole cloves, optional
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 1/2 T thyme
  • 2 t sage
  • 1 gallon boiling water
  • 8 pounds ice cubes

Remove giblets. Make brine: Stir the salt, brown sugar, peppercorns, cloves, garlic, thyme, and bay leaves into the boiling water, remove from heat and let the mixture steep for 25 sage, minutes. Stir in enough ice to bring the level of the liquid up to 2 gallons. Pour the ice brine over the turkey in a washed-out cooler and close lid. Allow the turkey to soak in the cold brine for 12-24 hours. Use gel packs if necessary to keep the brine below 40 degrees. (Adding more ice would dilute the brine.) (I used one of those gigantic ziplock bags to contain the turkey and brine in the cooler.) (don’t worry if the turkey is not fully submerged: Just place the turkey breast down as the breast is what you are worried about, not the back.) Transfer turkey to roasting pan and discard brine.

Place a quartered onion inside the turkey cavity and a few stalks of celery in the roasting pan. Pour several cups of chicken broth in the bottom of the roasting pan.

Use a V-rack in your roaster. Adjust oven rack to lowest position and preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place turkey, breast side down, on V-rack. Brush back and sides with melted butter. Roast for 45 minutes.

Remove pan from oven and close door. Baste the turkey’s back with the drippings. With a wad of paper towels in each hand, turn the turkey on its side so one leg and wing are up. Brush exposed area of turkey with pan drippings. If broth has evaporated, add 1/2 c more. Return to oven and roast for 20 minutes.

Remove turkey and turn to other leg/wing side. Baste with the pan drippings. Add more broth if necessary. Roast for 20 minutes.

Remove turkey and turn breast-side up. Baste. Roast 35-55 minutes longer, until meat thermometer inserted in breast registers 160-165 degrees and the leg/thigh registers about 170. Check to make sure broth has not totally evaporated, otherwise the drippings will burn and you cannot make gravy out of them.

Transfer turkey to platter and allow to rest 20-30 minutes to redistribute juices. Use the time to prepare the gravy, etc.

*Additionally, I rub the turkey underneath the skin with a mixture of softened butter, fresh chopped herbs (sage, thyme, rosemary), pepper, and fresh, chopped garlic.

Sausage, Corn Bread and Apple Dressing
{goodLife} eats creation

  • 8 cups cubed day-old corn bread (1-inch cubes)
  • 2 cups cubed day-old country-style white bread, crusts removed (1-inch cubes)
  • 1 lb. mild ground pork sausage, such as Jimmy Dean brand
  • 1 to 2 Tbs. olive oil, if needed
  • 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, finely chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1-2 granny smith apple, chopped
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp sage
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 bay leaf, chopped
  • 3 cups chicken stock

Preheat an oven to 375°F. Butter a shallow gratin pan.

Spread the corn bread and white bread out on a baking sheet. Toast in the oven until light golden brown and dry to the touch, about 20 minutes. Set aside.

In a sauté pan over medium heat, brown the sausage, stirring and crumbling with a fork, until cooked through, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl.

Return the pan to medium heat. Add the olive oil to the accumulated fat in the pan, if needed. Add the onion, garlic, and celery and sauté, stirring occasionally, until soft and translucent, 5 to 7 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to the bowl with the sausage. Add the corn bread and white bread, the apple, herbs and stock. Season with salt and pepper and stir gently to combine.

Transfer the dressing to the prepared gratin pan, cover with aluminum foil and bake for 35 to 40 minutes. Remove the foil and continue baking until browned and crispy, 35 to 40 minutes more. Serves 10 to 12.

Green Beans With Caramelized Shallots and Mushrooms
From Williams-Sonoma

  • Kosher salt, to taste, plus 1 tsp.
  • 2 lb. green beans, trimmed
  • 8 Tbs. (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 8 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 8 oz. wild mushrooms, brushed clean, stemmed and roughly chopped
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup toasted walnuts, chopped, optional

Bring a large (8-quart) pot of water to a boil over high heat. Generously salt the water, add the green beans and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the beans to a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Drain and set aside.

In a large (5- to 7-quart) sauté pan over medium heat, melt the butter and cook until the milk solids start to turn golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add the shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring often, until tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in the 1 tsp. salt and season with pepper. Stir in the green beans cook until the beans are warmed through. Taste and adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper. Transfer to a warmed serving bowl and serve immediately.

Baked Sweet Potatoes
From Angela Goodman

  • 3 lbs. Sweet potatoes
  • 6 T dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 6 T butter
  • 2 t cornstarch
  • 1/4 c orange juice
  • 1/2 c coarsely chopped pecans

Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat to 400 degrees. Prick each potato all over and place in a foil lined shallow baking pan. Bake until tender, about 30 min. for small or 45-1 hour min. for large. Let cool and then peel sweet potatoes on a bias (diagonally).

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 9 inch square pan with cooking spray. Arrange sliced potatoes in slightly overlapping rows, using stubby end pieces to prop up the first slice in each row and to fill
in gaps between potatoes.

Meanwhile, bring brown sugar, salt, 3/4 c water, and butter to a boil in a saucepan, stirring. Dissolve cornstarch in orange juice in a small bowl and gradually whisk it into boiling syrup. Cook, whisking constantly, until syrup thickens to consistency of heavy cream. Pour syrup over potatoes, sprinkle with nuts, and bake, spooning glaze over potatoes once after about 30 minutes, until glaze thickens enough to coat potatoes, about 45 minutes total. Let cool for 5 minutes before serving.

cranberry orange scones
Cranberry Orange Scones
Best Ever Homemade Waffles
Best Ever Homemade Waffles


Thursday 4th of December 2008

Ooh, yum! My dad brined his turkey this year too, and it was THE best turkey any of us had ever moist. I love the look of your berry pie, it is beautiful! I got your package today and couldn't wait for Christmas to open it...thank you soo much! Everything is just darling. I love the little sweater outfit! I'm excited to test out that cool blanket too. Thanks so much for everything, and Jordan says thank you too. You're the best!