Roast-Turkey-done10

It’s the annual nationwide freak-out. That damned turkey! So many questions, so much uncertainty! I hope this goes a little ways toward easing your mind if you are among the turkey afflicted. Of course, a detailed recipe and process shots are in my latest book, Ruhlman’s How to Roast. For the last couple of years I’ve recommended a roast-braise hybrid. This year a straightforward roast, from the book. Publishers Weekly published a full-on version (see below). Here I just want to go through the basics. You must have good turkey stock on hand, which is easy to do, but you can also buy low-sodium organic broth as well. Stuff the cavity full of onions and lemon and carrots and celery to keep hot air from circulating in the bird’s cavity and overcooking the breast. Truss Read On »

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Stock-Mise-en-place

I’ve posted this before and I’m posting it again earlier this year. Thanksgiving is two weeks from this Thursday so if you have time, make some fresh turkey stock now and freeze it, or make it up to five or six days before Thanksgiving. It may be the most critical element of the Thanksgiving meal—the basis for a great gravy, of course, but it can also moisten the dressing and be used to keep the quick-to-cool sliced breast hot and moist. To make the stock I roast drumsticks, wings, and necks. (I read in the Times that the venerable Jacques Pépin picks the meat off the neck of the turkey and adds it to the gravy. I might try that this year.) Roasting them will give your stock a nice flavor. All that golden-brown roasted skin Read On »

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This is a repost from November 21, 2012 featuring Michael’s Cranberry Sauce and Gravy from scratch. My dad made this cranberry sauce when my daughter was very young. He was mystified, as I recall, having never cooked cranberries before, always used the kind with can-ribs, sliceable. That his granddaughter loved it made it very special to him. He continued to make it. His granddaughter is no longer four but rather seventeen and she will be making it this year (and so did I, because I wanted to share it in this post and think of my dad while it cooked). It’s really simple, can be done today or the day of (or several days ahead, next year). Just throw everything in the pot, bring it to a simmer, and set a timer for 90 minutes. Read On »

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Decisions to make when purchasing your holiday turkeys by choosing local, organic, and antibiotic free, via Civil Eats.

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I’m starting to get Thanksgiving meal questions in my email, so I guess it’s time to review for our great shared secular holiday, Thanksgiving, our only holiday anchored by food. Time to start planning! I’ll have other posts later in the week, dressing, and stock-making for this weekend (have to have plenty of stock for dressing and gravy). Today, it’s the big one. How to handle the big bird. I find it amusing how every year the major food media come up with some new way to do the same old thing. Last year The New York Times told you to steam your turkey! Not that there’s anything wrong with the story or the technique (by the Jacques Pépin, after all). My view is why mess with what works? For important occasions, the rule is: Read On »

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