Braise-roasted-Turkey

Last year my cousin Ryan, feeling overwhelmed by the task of hosting his first Thanksgiving dinner, wrote to me for advice. I’m reposting the advice I gave him here, along with the roast/braise method. The bottom line is this and it’s the mantra I want all anxious cooks out there to repeat continually: Everything will be fine. Really. Everything will be fine. Really. (Thank you @SamSifton.)  Below is a collection of posts that cover all the fundamental dishes. Nothing new here; the good stuff always stays the same. Remember, no one step is particularly hard, so it’s simply a matter of being organized. For last minute questions, I’ll be taking them online at the @Food52 hotline, Thanksgiving day from 2-3. Homemade Turkey Stock The Original Roasted/Braised Turkey Post with Illustrative Photos and Slide Show. If you want Read On »

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Braise-roasted-Turkey

I received the following email today from my beloved cousin Ryan, husband to the smarter-than-he-is Tesse, father of a toddler with another on the way, and they’ve just moved into their first house: Michael, I am undertaking my first thanksgiving and have responsibility for all the cooking.  I am starting to think I am a bit over my head and was hoping you could help me get things under control.  I’m not even sure where to start?  Other than turkey. Ryan Dear Ryan, First, make a list of everything you’d like to serve, write it all down on a piece of paper, then make a plan for cooking it. (The last thing you want to be doing is entering a grocery store the day before Thanksgiving. You’re smarter than that.) Have plenty of onions and carrots Read On »

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Lamb-Shank18

    First, the following five people (and their favorite braise) will receive a signed copy of my new book How to Braise. Congrats! —Steve W.: Braised oxtail and pumpkin with chickpeas over couscous! —Cindy M: Braised pork shanks…. yum! —JAvera: Oven-Braised Corned Beef. Yum. Sliced thin and served on Kings Hawaiian Bread. (I know, I know. Just try it sometime!) —Fran: I’ll pretty much take anything braised, but currently I’m loving chicken braised with carrots, leeks and sherry. —Tom Abella: My favorite braise is Cheating Pulled Pork Shoulder, which is what I call it when I combine an hour of heavy smoking over a grill at night with putting the shoulder in a covered Dutch oven at 225 overnight. What emerges in the morning is a glorious fall-apart piece of meat complete with drippings Read On »

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Braise-Cover-@72-for-blog

    My book Ruhlman’s How to Braise: Foolproof Techniques and Recipes for the Home Cook is published today, February 10. To celebrate its arrival I am giving away five signed copies. How to Braise is the second in a series of technique-based books (the first was How to Roast). Like its predecessor, this book is short on recipes (25 or so, including the Orange-Braised Duck Leg, pictured below) and long on nuance. It includes finished shots by my wife, Donna, of every dish and many process shots of how dishes, such as a Lamb Tagine, come together, how the Braised Pork Belly Lettuce Wraps should look, or just a beautiful image of braised fennel and baby radishes. When you know technique, you need to rely less on recipes. When you know technique, cooking is easier and more efficient and more fun. (What exactly Read On »

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Coq-au-vin-11-finished-2

      It was the simplest of observations. I’d never heard it made, but it crystalized for me yet another facet of America’s dysfunctional relationship to food. I was listening to a podcast of “This American Life,” maybe the greatest show on radio, one from the archives called “Americans In Paris,” and featuring still another American treasure, David Sedaris. One of the Americans interviewed by the show’s host, Ira Glass, noted the joy with which the French eat and said, “Americans treat their food like medicine.” Exactly! We eat what’s “good” for us. We avoid what’s “bad” for us without really knowing what is good or bad for us. We eat probiotic food, such as yogurt with active cultures because it may be good for our gut flora. We avoid gluten because that’s what’s trending Read On »

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