Thanksgiving Day Menu

Brined And Roasted Turkey (Recipe Follows)

Gravy (Recipe Follows)

Roasted Broccoli With Breadcrumbs (Already Published On 4/5/10)

Mashed Roasted Butternut Squash (Already Published On 10/11/10)

Creamed Corn And Cornbread Dressing (Recipe Follows)

Oven Roasted Yukon Gold Potatoes (Already Published On 3/29/10)

Oven Roasted Yams (Recipe Follows)

Brined And Roasted Turkey

A Fresh Turkey (11-12 Pounds) With The Neck And Giblets Removed

18 Cups Of Cold Water

1 1/2 Cups Of Sea Salt

1 1/2 Cups Of Brown Sugar

12 Ounces Of Orange Concentrate

A Spanish Onion Cut In Half

15 Black Peppercorns

15 Mustard Seeds

8 Sprigs Of Fresh Thyme

A Bay Leaf

Into a pot (large enough to hold the turkey and 19 cups of liquid), add the water, the sea salt, the brown sugar, the orange concentrate, the onion, the black peppercorns, the mustard seeds, the thyme sprigs, and the bay leaf. Bring to a simmer on medium high heat stirring frequently. After the mixture reaches a slight boil, remove the pot from the heat and let the brine sit until it reaches room temperature.

After the brine reaches room temperature, completely submerge the turkey in the brine and weigh the top of the turkey down with a plate. Wrap the top of the pot tightly with plastic wrap. Put the lid on the pot. Refrigerate the turkey and the brine for at least 24 hours.

When you are ready to roast the turkey, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Remove the turkey from the brine and pat it down thoroughly with paper towels. Place the turkey in a roasting pan. Cook the turkey in the preheated oven for 4 hours. Note: the brine will cause the turkey to darken in spots. When this begins to happen, cover the turkey with aluminum foil. Let the turkey rest for 20-30 minutes before carving. Retain the pan drippings for the gravy.


The Roasted Turkey Pan Drippings

A Cup Of Chicken Stock

Two Tablespoons Of Corn Starch

Salt And Pepper (To Taste)

Add one cup of chicken stock to the roasting pan that the turkey was roasted in. Put the pan on medium high heat. While cooking the liquid, scrape the bottom of the roasting pan to lift up the browned bits that have accumulated. After the browned bits have dissolved into the chicken broth, strain the liquid into a sauce pot. Put the sauce pot on medium heat. Add two tablespoons of corn starch. Whisk to dissolve the corn starch into the broth. Continue to whisk until the mixture begins to boil. The gravy will be at its full thickness when it comes to a boil. If you want thicker gravy, add more corn starch a little at a time. Taste the gravy and add salt and/or pepper, if desired. Keep the gravy warm on low heat until you are ready to serve it.

Creamed Corn And Cornbread Dressing

A Pound Of Homemade Cornbread or Store Bought Cornbread Or Corn Muffins

2 1/2 Cups Of Homemade Chicken Stock Or Packaged Low Sodium Chicken Broth

1/3 Cup Of Shredded Cheddar Cheese

15 Ounces Of Canned Cream Corn

1/3 Cup Of Finely Diced Celery

1/3 Cup Of Finely Diced Red Bell Pepper

1/3 Cup Od Finely Diced Red Onion

A Garlic Clove Minced

1/2 Teaspoon Of Red Cayenne Pepper

Two Teaspoons Of Sea Salt, Divided

A Tablespoon Of Canola Oil

A Beaten Egg A Pinch Of Ground Black Pepper

Into a saute pan, add the canola oil, a teaspoon of sea salt, the celery, the red bell pepper, the red onion, the garlic, and the red cayenne pepper. Cook on medium heat for 5 minutes stirring occasionally. Turn off the heat and let the vegetables cool.

With your hands, crumble the cornbread. Place the cornbread in a mixing bowl. Add the cooked vegetables, a teaspoon of sea salt, the creamed corn, the chicken broth, a pinch of ground black pepper, and the beaten egg. Mix the ingredients well. Note: the mixture should be loose. If it appears too thick, add some additional chicken broth or water.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Spray a round, deep baking dish with cooking spray. Add the cornbread mixture to the baking dish and spread it out evenly.

Bake in the preheated oven for 40 minutes until the dressing is golden brown on top.

Oven Roasted Yams

1 1/2 Pounds Of Fresh Yams With Skins Removed And Cut Into About Two Inch Cubes

Two Tablespoons Of Olive Oil

Two Teaspoons Of Sea Salt

A Teaspoon Of Fresh Ground Black Pepper

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Into a mixing bowl (large enough to accomodate 1 1/2 pounds of yams), add the yams and the olive oil. Mix well until all of the yam cubes are coated with the olive oil. Note: add more olive oil if necessary. Add the sea salt and ground black pepper. Mix well.

Arrange the yams in a single layer on a sheet pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Roast the yams for 50-60 minutes until the potatoes are lightly browned.