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Five Star Thanksgiving Recipes

How about sharing the recipe for that Thanksgiving dish that your family insists on having every year AND tastes wonderful? (In other words, no marshmallow topped sweet potatoes or green bean casseroles, no matter how fraught with emotional baggage.) Love to hear about some regional favorites here.

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  1. Roast Turkey with Hazelnut Proscuitto Butter Crust

    4 Replies
      1. re: foodrocks

        Here is a link. It would be way to long to type out. It is a lot of work--time wise, not difficulty. But it is SO worth it. DH has asked for it the last two years. This will be my 4th year making it.
        http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/rec...

        1. re: nissenpa

          Did you cook the turkey exactly as written? I usually start mine at a higher temp, then reduce. I also usually flip my bird for even browning. I imagine that would interfere w/ the crust.

          Thanks for sharing!

      2. re: nissenpa

        This is the new centerpiece for our Thanksgiving. The turkey was absolutely the best I've ever had. The gravy was also very yummy.
        Thanks for the post!

      3. I was able to replicate the Chestnut Stuffing that was made at the French Market in Georgetown, DC (not sure if it's still in business.) My family loves this and I double the recipe:

        1 pound mild bulk sausage (I use turkey sausage)
        1 1/2cups fresh bread crumbs
        1/2 c red wine
        1t salt
        1/4t pepper
        1/2 poultry seasoning
        2-3 dozen shelled and cooked chestnuts (I've used frozen and canned in the past)
        3T butter
        1/4 c chopped onion

        Saute the onion in the butter and cool slightly. Add to the remaining ingredients in a bowl. Bake in a greased casserole for 1 to 1 1/2 hours at 350.

        2 Replies
        1. this is the single most requested recipe i make; adapted from one in Chocolatier magazine 20 years ago.

          BUTTERNUT SQUASH GRATIN

          X1 serves 6-8 peo.

          2 lbs Butternut Squash,Peeled

          1 1⁄2 C Heavy Cream

          1⁄2 C Half & Half

          2 Bay Leaves

          3 sprigs Fresh Thyme
          Or
          1/8 tsp Ground Thyme

          1/8 tsp Ground Mace

          1 3/4 tsp Kosher Salt

          1⁄2 tsp Pepper

          3 T Butter

          1 med Yellow Onion

          1 tsp Minced Garlic

          1/4 C Finely ground or grated Parmesan Cheese

          Slice squash in 1/4" slices. In large heavy bottomed sauce pan combine the squash, cream, half and half, bay leaves, thyme, mace and 1 tsp of salt and 1/4 tsp of the pepper. Simmer over moderate heat, stirring lightly to distribute the liquid, until squash is tender and has absorbed most of the liquid, approximately 30 minutes. Meanwhile slice the onions 3/8" thick. Melt half the butter in large skillet and saute onions until they turn deep golden brown. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. season with the remaining salt and pepper. In an oiled medium gratin dish or other shallow oven proof dish, layer the squash mixture and onions. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and dot with the remaining butter. Preheat oven to 425 degrees and bake for 15 minutes or until browned lightly and bubbling.

          NOTE: doing X4 and more, use less liquid or will get too soupy.
          X5 uses 1-2 cups less liquid

          this can be made in advance and reheated OR kept uncooked in the frig and brought to room temp if possible before baking until hot and bubbly. also freezes very well, after being baked.

          2 Replies
          1. re: opinionatedchef

            hi opinionatedchef. just wanted to let you know that i made your butternut squash gratin for thankgiving and it was a huge hit. thanks for posting!!

            1. re: hopalong

              hop- you made my day! so glad youall enjoyed it.

          2. I've posted this one before, but here it is again, since it is definitely a family favorite...

            Cranberry/Pear Relish

            4 ripe Bosc pears
            6 cups very strong coffee
            3 cups sugar
            1 teaspoon vanilla
            lemon
            1 (8-oz.) bag of cranberries

            1. Peel and slice the pears lengthwise, rubbing with lemon to keep them from turning brown. Core the halves and remove the stem & bud ends with a paring knife.

            2. Pour the coffee into a large sauce pan. Stir in 1-1⁄2 cups of sugar and bring to a boil. Add the halved pears. When it comes back to the boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for about 15 minutes. Remove the pears and set aside to cool a bit. Discard the coffee.

            3. While the pears are cooling, prepare the cranberries according to the directions on the bag, (i.e., cover with water, add about 1-1⁄2 cups of sugar, bring to a boil, then simmer until they’ve all ‘exploded’ and the mixture is thick). It doesn’t take very long... Remove from heat and put into a large bowl.

            4. When the pears are cool enough to handle, cut them into small chunks and put them into the bowl with the cranberries. Toss to mix well, transfer to a serving dish, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve (or at least a couple of hours).

            1 Reply
            1. re: Deenso

              DISCARD the coffee??!!!! horrors!! serve it over vanilla ice cream w/ some poached pears!

              p.s. i don't get it- don't the pears take on a brown color from the coffee? so wouldn't that make the lemon step a moot point?
              besides this tiny point, sounds like a really neat and unusual recipe. i'm agonna try it- thanks for sharing it.

            2. The turkey. Specifically, the one I made for friends last year at Christmas. People have been asking me since September, "So, you're going to make that turkey again this year, right?" It is the infamous Morton Thompson Black Turkey. The stuffing has close to thirty ingredients: meats, fruit, spices, herbs, you name it. The bird itself gets coated with a paste of egg yolk, flour, and spices as it cooks. The longer it goes, the darker the coating gets, eventually turning a hideous black. It looks like you've done something horribly wrong. You take the bird out of the oven. Guests who wander into the kitchen to see the moment the bird comes out instinctively reach for their cell phones to try and make other plans. You peel off the coating with tweezers, and underneath is this gorgeous mahogany bird. The breast meat is so juicy, when you prick it with the carving fork it leaks. Every bite is so amazingly flavorful and meltingly tender... I'm getting hungry just thinking about it. To give you an idea of how well it went over, I had an eighteen pound bird, and eight of us picked it clean.

              I would give the recipe to you right here, but as I said it's pretty lengthy. That, and I can't come close to the version that Robert E. Benchley wrote:

              http://www.wordsmitten.com/2003_seaso...

              6 Replies
              1. re: JK Grence the Cosmic Jester

                Wow, this sounds amazing and I am intrigued. Some questions -

                The stuffing. Did all the stuffing fit in the bird? Have you ever baked the stuffing on the side. The stuffing sounds huge, just the 1.25 lbs of ground meat combined with the bread cubes sounds like it would overflow out of the bird's cavity.

                The crust. Did it peel off fairly neatly in strips? OR was it crumbly. If it was crumbly, did it fall all over your liquid in the pan (although, you probably poured that off first.) Prior to peeling, did you let the bird rest first? Or did peeling take enough time to be the resting time.

                How accurate was the cooking time of 12 minutes per lb? I get unbelievably stressed when all the guests are here and the turkey temp isn't where it's supposed to be.

                Was it as high maintenance as the recipe made it sound? Was this the only thing you made for dinner or did you make everything else too? I make a complete dinner so my guests just bring the booze. My concern is that basting every 15 minutes would get in the way of me finishing everything else.

                Thanks.

                1. re: beetlebug

                  It makes a very large batch of stuffing. The final mix of stuffing is usually done in the biggest soup pot I can find.

                  Let the bird rest before peeling it. It comes off in pieces, it isn't very crumbly. The first time I made the bird, I lost most of the skin, so don't feel bad if the skin goes with it.

                  Cooking time was close, but I do remember people hovering for the last hour of cooking. One time I overcooked the breast and it was still very juicy, so the recipe is pretty forgiving.

                  It does require about as much attention as a small baby. I think near the end of cooking you could likely reduce the baste to every half hour if need be.

                  Hopalong, you should be fine doing a thermometer in the turkey. Stick it in before you start applying the coating and it should still seal nicely.

                  1. re: JK Grence the Cosmic Jester

                    Thanks. I am so intrigued by this recipe. If I get more than 10 people coming for Thanksgiving, this will be the recipe. If there are less, I'll do something else.

                2. re: JK Grence the Cosmic Jester

                  i am totally intrigued by this as well. i am ashamed to admit that i like the idea of scaring my relatives with a seemingly burnt turkey.

                  anyhow, i am curious to hear the answers to beetlebug's questions but i also have one of my own. is it okay to put a thermometer in this turkey or will that somehow ruin the seal of the all-important crust? my oven runs a little hot so i dont like to rely on cooking times alone...

                  1. re: JK Grence the Cosmic Jester

                    jk,
                    maybe because i've been a professional chef for 25 yrs, but i am
                    rarely wowed by a recipe. i like the unusual ones, and you certainly have given us one!! i am going to HAVE to try this over the winter, maybe for xmas.thank you so much for posting this. i will definitely report on my results when i do make it.

                    oh, one question- have you ever done this recipe w a smaller bird? i will have to do smaller, as we are 2.

                    1. re: JK Grence the Cosmic Jester

                      I'm very interested in this recipe as well, it's almost enought to make me go back to stuffing the bird.

                      I too would like to know if that stuffing can be made on the side, or if a smaller bird could be used. I'd like to try this myself before springing it on the family.