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 THANKSGIVING DAY MENU

Champagne or Prosecco
Assorted Olives

Almond Brie & Figs with crackers
Fresh Mushroom Soup
Herb Roasted D'Artagnan Organic Turkey*
D'Artagnan Chorizo Sausage** Fig & Apple Stuffing
 Maple Cranberry Sauce
Haricots Verts with Caramelized Shallots
Sweet Potato Orange Cups
Guests Bring Dessert

Serves 8

Assorted Olives

Buy about 6 cups of assorted olives and place in a serving bowl with a serving spoon -  drain off any brine.  Drizzle some good extra virgin olive oil over the olives, thin strips of the zest of one lemon; sprinkle the olives with dried oregano and some hot red pepper flakes and toss to combine.  Slice a baguette and place in a basket along side the bowl of olives along with small appetizer plates and a small bowl for people to deposit the pits from the olives. 

Almond Brie

2 wedges ripe Brie, room temperature, white rind removed
1 stick unsalted butter, slightly softened
½ cup slivered almonds, lightly toasted
2 Tbls Dry sherry
1 tsp
10
dried thyme
dried Mission figs, finely chopped

In the bowl of a food processor, fitted with the steel blade, whip brie and butter until smooth. Add almonds, sherry and thyme and pulse machine 3 times. Spoon mixture into a serving bowl and spread chopped figs on top. Chill mixture for at least 2 hours. Serve with assorted crackers.

Mushroom Soup

½ stick unsalted butter
1 medium onion, finely chopped
6 cups fresh assorted mushrooms, cleaned, cut in thick slices (crimini, porcini, shiitake etc )

 
1 teaspoon caraway seeds, lightly toasted in a dry non-stick pan
2 Tablespoons flour, dissolved in 2 tablespoons cold water
6 cups  Vegetable Stock OR Wine & Herb Stock

 
1-1/2 cups Sour Cream, at room temperature
1-1/2 Tablespoons fresh dill, chopped

 
Salt and white pepper to taste
Garnish each serving with a small sprig of fresh dill

Serve with Grisini bread sticks*

In a stock pot (6 or 8 quart) melt butter over low-medium heat and sauté onion until lightly golden in color but do not let the butter burn. Sauté mushrooms with caraway seeds for 5 minutes.  Add the flour slurry and cook for 2 minutes. Gradually add the vegetable or other stock, stirring with a wooden spoon. Cover the pot and simmer 30 minutes. 

In a small bowl, whisk together the sour cream and dill. Mix in 1/2 cup of the hot soup broth and then add the tempered sour cream mixture back into the soup pot. Stir and continue cooking over low heat for 2 minutes.  Taste for seasoning and adjust with kosher or sea salt and black pepper.

Garnish:  Add a small sprig of fresh dill to each serving.

*Grisini bread sticks can be found in specialty food shops and upscale supermarkets.   They are long and thinner than regular breadsticks and are delicious with soups and salads.

Herb Roasted Turkey

1

14-16 lb. fresh USDA Certified Organic Free Range Turkey from D'Artagnan
¾ cup Extra Virgin olive oil
¼ cup

 

EACH chopped rosemary, thyme, parsley (for under the skin of the turkey)




 
1 Bouquet Garni - several sprigs each rosemary, thyme, celery stalk, small carrot, tied with string; 1 lemon cut in half - (for inside the cavity of the turkey)

 
2 large onions, peeled and halved
5 or more whole organic carrots, peeled
5 or more ribs organic celery

Homemade Stock: Remove and rinse the neck and gizzard parts from the bag (usually found in the neck end of the turkey). Discard the liver if it's in the bag.

This homemade stock can be cooking on the stovetop while the turkey is roasting. In a 4 qt. saucepan, with 4 cups of water, add the neck and gizzard. Add a medium carrot, cut in pieces, 2 ribs of celery cut in half, a handful of parsley, the white part of a cleaned leek and a quart container of chicken stock. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to low and simmer stock for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Use this hot stock to add to the roasting pan as needed while the turkey is roasting. 

Roasting the Turkey

Heat oven to 400° F.

Remove the turkey from the refrigerator at least 1 or 2 hours before roasting. Dry turkey inside and out with paper towel. Rub turkey with some of the olive oil; mix chopped herbs with remaining oil and with your fingers insert herbs under the skin which can be loosened with your fingers.  Insert Bouquet Garni and squeeze the lemon halves into the cavity of the turkey.

Place turkey in an open roasting pan and make a bed of the onion, whole carrots and celery ribs for the bird to sit on - this will act as a natural "rack" and also flavor the drippings as well as support the bird

Begin roasting the bird in the pre-heated oven at 400° F. for the first half-hour; add about 1 cup of stock to the roasting pan, then reduce the heat to 325°F for an additional 4 to 4-1/2 hours. If the bird is browning too quickly tent the bird with a sheet of aluminum foil  Remove foil tent from turkey for the last hour and a half of roasting time.

Total Roasting Time:  As there are differences in electric vs. gas ovens and all ovens are calibrated differently, use an "instant read" thermometer to check the internal temperature of the turkey to ensure that it is cooked properly. The thickest part of the thigh should read 165° which should indicate that the turkey is done.  Here is the exact wording from the USDA website on the internal temperature of a cooked turkey:

"TIMETABLE FOR TURKEY ROASTING (USDA)
(325 °F oven temperature)

These times are approximate and should always be used in conjunction with a properly placed food thermometer. A whole turkey is safe cooked to a minimum internal temperature of 165 °F throughout the bird. Always use a food thermometer to check the internal temperature of your turkey and stuffing. For reasons of personal preference, consumers may choose to cook turkey to higher temperatures.

For optimum safety, do not stuff whole poultry. It is recommended to cook stuffing outside the bird. If stuffing whole poultry, the center of the stuffing must reach a minimum internal temperature of 165 °F. Let the bird stand 20 minutes before removing stuffing and carving."

Remove roasting pan from oven and transfer turkey to a carving board or other cutting surface. Remove and discard the vegetables and bouquet garni from the turkey cavity and discard. Tent the bird with a sheet of foil.  Let sit for at least 30 minutes to allow juices to settle inside the bird before carving/serving.

Making Gravy

Pour the drippings from the roasting pan into a large "fat separating" cup in which the fat rises to the top leaving the de-fatted juices at the bottom.  Pour off the de-fatted juices into an 8-cup measuring cup and add enough of the remaining turkey stock to measure at least 5 cups of liquid.  Reserve a few tablespoons of the fat.  Place roasting pan directly onto the stove top over high heat.

When the roasting pan is hot, add 4 tablespoons of the fat and a 1/2 cup of chopped shallot.  Let shallot cook/sizzle for a few minutes and then add some of the stock to the roasting pan and de-glaze the pan by scraping up the browned bits in the roasting pan (a wooden spoon works best).

Then add the rest of the stock and bring it to a rapid boil and let cook for a few minutes. Reduce heat to medium and add a slurry (3 tablespoons cornstarch dissolved in a ¼ cup of cold water). Stir slurry into the pan and let cook until it thickens. Taste gravy and add salt and pepper if needed. Strain gravy into a saucepan through a sieve to remove any bits. 

Alternative #1 to the corn starch as a thickening agent, use 2 packages of Knorr Turkey Gravy Mix - sprinkle the dry gravy mix into the juices and whisk until combined.  If gravy becomes too thick, add some turkey stock.

Alternative #2 - A wet rub on a fresh or thawed turkey and refrigerated for 2 days before roasting will give your Thanksgiving turkey a delicious taste and aroma: 

Wet Rub

20 cloves garlic

3 tablespoons kosher salt
2 tablespoon black peppercorns
4 tablespoons dried oregano
6 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons white wine vinegar (or red)

Pound garlic and salt to a paste in a mortar & pestle. Add peppercorns and oregano, pounding well to crush the peppercorns and incorporate them into the paste. Stir in olive oil and vinegar.  Rub all over turkey, under the skin and inside the cavity. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Yield: about 1 cup

 

Sausage/Cranberry/Fig/Apple Stuffing

This recipe can be doubled if you like a lot of leftover stuffing or if you just like to have a lot to serve eight guests!

Heat Oven to 350° F. If baking at the same time as the turkey in a

1 Large bag Pepperidge Farm stuffing mix (herb flavor)

 
2 eggs slightly beaten
1½ cups finely chopped onion, lightly sautéed and cooled
1½ cups finely chopped celery, lightly sautéed and cooled
2 links D'Artagnan Chorizo Sausage, chopped

 
1 cup dried sweetened cranberries
1 cup
1 cup
1 medium
dried apple, finely chopped
dried figs, finely chopped
fresh Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored and chopped
Apple juice or turkey stock to moisten mixture

Blend all ingredients except the apple juice in a large mixing bowl until combined. Add 1/2 cup of apple juice at a time until mixture is dampened but not mushy. When mixture is room temperature, bake in a buttered oven-proof 13 X 9-inch casserole. A larger baking dish will be needed if you are doubling the recipe.  Cover with a piece of foil and bake for approximately one hour along with the turkey on another shelf. Remove foil and let dressing brown slightly on top for the last 15 minutes. If you have a second oven, even better.

Fresh Cranberry Sauce

Can be made 2 days before Thanksgiving, covered and refrigerated.

1 bag fresh cranberries
10 paper thin slices of fresh orange, cut in halves
1 cup 100% Pomegranate juice

 
1 cup real maple syrup
2 Tablespoons Triple Sec liqueur, (optional)
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
1 cup pecan or walnut halves, lightly toasted

In a 3 or 4 quart saucepan, combine first six ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a low simmer and cook for approximately 15 minutes or until cranberries pop open. Skim off any residue foam. Remove pan from heat and stir in the toasted nuts. Allow mixture to cool before refrigerating. Sauce can be made 2 days in advance, refrigerated and covered with plastic wrap. Yield: approximately 3 cups.

To toast nuts: Place pecan or walnut halves in a dry skillet over medium heat. Toast nuts until fragrant and lightly toasted being careful not to let them burn. Remove from heat and let cool before adding to finished cranberry sauce.

Orange Sweet Potato Cups

4 large navel oranges
3 lbs. sweet potatoes (orange flesh)
 
6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
¼ cup bourbon
2 Tablespoons 100% honey
1 teaspoon Chinese Five Spice Powder
1/4 cup chopped parsley
6 teaspoons unsalted butter
6 small sprigs of parsley for garnish

Heat oven to 400° F

Cut each orange in half and scoop out the pulp being careful not to tear the skins.  Reserve the orange bits to snack on. Cut a very thin slice from the bottom of each orange half so it can sit flat in the pan. Place halves in a lightly greased baking dish in one layer.

Cook sweet potatoes in boiling salted water for approximately 30 minutes or until tender. Drain and peel potatoes when they are cool enough to handle. In a large bowl, mash potatoes until smooth, add butter, liquor, honey, Five Spice and chopped parsley.  Beat until smooth and fluffy. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper if desired, or adjust other seasonings. Spoon into prepared orange shells. Top each with a teaspoon of butter.  Add about a cup of apple juice or water to the pan. Bake in a 400° F oven for 15 - 20 minutes or until potatoes are heated through. Garnish the top of each orange cup with a sprig of fresh parsley or if you want to please the inner child in all of us...add a few mini marshmallows on top and place briefly under the broiler!

NOTE: This dish can be prepared several hours ahead of serving (without the garnish) covered and refrigerated until ready to re-heat. Remove from the refrigerator an hour before re-heating and then garnish with the parsley sprig just before serving.

Haricots Verts with Shallots

2 lbs. Haricots verts (or regular green string beans)
4 Tablespoons butter
6 shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
2 teaspoons sugar
5 sprigs fresh thyme (leaves only)
salt & pepper

If using haricots verts, cook beans in an 8 qt. stock pot of boiling salted water for approximately 3 to 4 minutes only. Taste one to be sure it's cooked but still slightly crunchy. Regular green string beans will need to cook about 6 - 8 minutes. Taste a bean half way through the cooking time to test it. Drain beans and put them in a large bowl of ice water to stop the cooking; drain again and dry well with paper towel.

Meanwhile, melt butter in a 10-inch non stick skillet and add the sliced shallots.  Sprinkle with sugar and let shallots cook over a low-medium heat until they begin to release their own sugars and caramelize or brown.  Be careful not to let them burn. Add thyme leaves at the end when shallots are nicely browned.  This can be made ahead of time and refrigerated until needed.

When ready to serve, re-heat shallots in a fry pan and add green beans. Toss lightly with beans and cook until both beans and shallots are heated through. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper as needed.

Guests Bring Dessert

The hostess/cook has done enough cooking.  Since everyone always offers to bring something to the Thanksgiving table, ask your guests, friends and relatives alike to bring desserts of their choice - homemade or store-bought! 

*D'Artagnan Organic Turkey Facts

• Certified organic, not just “natural.”
• Sustainably raised in a free-range environment.
• No antibiotics or hormones ever used.
• Exceptionally flavorful and succulent.
• 25% less fat than commercially-raised birds.

 

**D'Artagnan Chorizo Sausage Facts

D’Artagnan’s all-natural pork chorizo is spicy and garlicky, with bold smoky flavor from paprika. The all-natural sausage is handmade in small batches and works in a variety of recipes. Grill the chorizo whole over hot coals seasoned with applewood chips for a delicious alternative to hot dogs. Or, slice the chorizo and serve it on a charcuterie plate, add it to paellas or throw a few slices into soups and stews to add a deep, smoky flavor.
 

  • 100% natural
  • Spicy, coarsely-ground smoked sausage from lean pork
  • Comes fully cooked; no extra prep necessary

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
           
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