An Extraordinary Thanksgiving

There are traditions around the holidays. Each family has their own traditional brand while still conforming to the “norms” set long ago. Cooking a turkey for Thanksgiving is the norm. How we cook our turkey, that’s another subject all together. Roasting, deep frying, cooking it on a rotisserie. All these are great.

One of the last Thanksgivings we spent in Nevada, was a grown-up Thanksgiving. Kiddo was the only child at the table. But then throughout his life, he was the only child at a number of social events. Kiddo has been adult-like his entire life. He did not speak until he was two, and then he used words like “apparently” and phrases like “in all actuality”. The first time he dressed himself, he put on sandals, black knee-high socks, Bermuda Shorts, a Hawaiian print shirt and a fishing hat. He was in all actuality a three-foot tall old man.

That year, I made the usual dishes such as stuffing and pumpkin pie. But we also had more sophisticated dishes. It was a nice blend of simple and exceptional.

Extraordinary Thanksgiving Menu
Curried Roast Turkey with Marmalade-Mustard Glaze
Baby Rainbow Carrots with Bourbon-Maple Glaze
Sage Browned Butter Mashed Potatoes

Curried Roast Turkey With Marmalade-Mustard Glaze
The Bird
18 lb whole Turkey
Kosher Salt to taste
White Pepper to taste
1 Herb Bundle (Rosemary, Thyme and Sage)
1 Onion
2 Celery Ribs
2 Carrots
6 tablespoons Sweet Curry Powder
2 tablespoons Hungarian Paprika
2 Lemons, juiced
2 Limes, juiced
2 teaspoons Ground Ginger
2 teaspoons Ground Cumin
1/2 cup Butter, soft

Heat oven to 500 degrees.

Remove gizzards and neck, then wash the turkey and pat dry. Liberally sprinkle inside and out with salt and pepper.

With kitchen twine, create an herb bundle with fresh herbs. Set aside.

Peel onion, cut into quarters and set aside. Rinse celery, cut into chunks and set aside. Peel carrots, cut into chunks and set aside.

Place the herb bundle deep into the cavity of the turkey. Stuff the onions, celery and carrots around the herb bundle.

Place the turkey on a rack in a foil-lined roasting pan. You want to prevent the bottom from getting soggy.

Cut a piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil and fold in a triangle shape. Lay the foil triangle on top of the turkey’s breast. Mold the triangle to form shield for the breast meat with the tip facing down towards the cavity, the wide end facing up to drape over the breast meat. Once formed, carefully remove the shield while maintaining its shape and set aside.

Combine the curry powder, paprika, citrus juices, ginger, cumin, and butter. Press together with a fork to create a spreadable paste. Rub the mixture all over the turkey as well as under the skin.

Place the turkey in the hot oven for 30 minutes to brown and crisp the skin. Check the turkey. If not beautifully browned, continue to roast another 10 minutes or so while keeping an eye on the bird.

When the breast is browned, take the pan out of the oven. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees.

Place the foil shield over the breast to protect it while the turkey continues to cook. Insert a thermometer directly through the foil and into the thickest part of the breast. Take care not to touch any bone.

Place the turkey back in the oven and continue to roast the bird until the thermometer registers 155 degrees. This should take about 2 hours for an 18 lbs bird.

The Glaze
1/3 cup Orange Marmalade
1/3 cup Grainy Mustard or Brown Mustard

In a small bowl, whisk together the marmalade and mustard. Set aside until ready to use.

After about 1 hour 45 minutes of roasting, remove the foil shield from the beast and generously brush the marmalade glaze over the bird.

Continue roasting until internal temperature reaches 161 degrees, about 15 minutes longer.

Remove from oven, tent to keep warm and let rest for about 10 minutes. Carve as desired.

Baby Rainbow Carrots with Bourbon-Maple Glaze
1 lb Rainbow Baby Carrots
Kosher Salt to taste
1 tablespoon Butter
3 tablespoons Bourbon Whiskey
1/4 cup Maple Syrup
Pinch Fresh Ground Pepper

Bring a medium-size pot of water to a boil over medium-heat. Add carrots and a pinch of salt. Cook until carrots are tender, about 5 minutes. Drain and set aside.

In a sauté pan over medium-heat, melt butter. Add Bourbon Whiskey and maple syrup. Lower heat to a strong simmer, and cook until mixture is reduced to a thick, syrupy consistency, about 8 minutes. Add carrots and toss to glaze, then cook until carrots begin to caramelize, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a serving dish, season with salt and a pinch of pepper. Serve immediately.

Sage Browned Butter Mashed Potatoes
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) Butter, divided
10 to 12 fresh Sage Leaves
Kosher Salt to taste
Freshly Black Pepper to taste
3 lb. small Yukon Gold Potatoes (see note)
3/4 cup Whole Milk

Note: To produce fluffier mashed potatoes, boil the potatoes whole in their skins so they will absorb less water. Then use a potato ricer to “mash” the potatoes. Place the cooked potatoes in the perforated chamber, set the tool over a bowl and squeeze the handles. The potatoes emerge as fluffy, rice-like grains that blend readily with other ingredients, such as the brown butter used here. If you do not have a ricer, peel the potatoes and cook as you normally would.

In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, melt 8 tablespoons (1 stick) of the butter. When the foam subsides, add the sage leaves and fry until crisp, about 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the sage leaves to paper towels to drain and season with salt. Reduce the heat to medium and continue cooking the butter until it is brown but not smoking, 2 to 3 minutes more. Pour into a heatproof bowl and set aside.

Place the potatoes and 1 tablespoon salt in a large saucepan.  Add enough cold water to cover the potatoes by 1 inch. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a knife, about 15 minutes. Drain well in a colander.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan over low heat, combine the remaining 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter with the milk and heat until the butter melts and the mixture is hot, about 8 minutes.

If using a Potato Ricer: Set a potato ricer over a large bowl and pass the potatoes through in batches, removing the skins from the ricer as needed.

To Mash Cubed Potatoes: Place potatoes into the bowl of a standing mixer. Mash just until fluffy. Transfer to a large mixing bowl.

Using a soft spatula, fold in the milk mixture and 4 to 5 tablespoons of the brown butter until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

Transfer the mashed potatoes to a serving dish. Garnish with the sage leaves and drizzle with the remaining brown butter. Serve immediately

Author: Rosemarie's Kitchen

I'm a wife, mother, grandmother and avid home cook.I believe in eating healthy whenever possible, while still managing to indulge in life's pleasures.

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