I made the cranberry sauce with 12 oz of fresh cranberries, 1 cup of orange juice, 1 cup of sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of orange zest.
For the center table arrangement, I place a rosemary plant with salvia leaves and berries in an ice bucket. I like to use things in as many ways as possible.
I love casseroles you can take it from the oven to the table, specially if you have to warm up so many dishes at the same time.
The sweet potato with a dash of ginger is a totally comfort food.
That night I downloaded all the pictures that were from the night before when I started cooking, I was on the phone and doing three things at the time while I was erasing stuff in the computer and voilà.... without realizing all my 50.000 pictures I had in stock were gone. I panicked got help and manage to rescue the whole packet , thank God, a few weeks ago I updated the computer and most of my pictures were safe. I lost most of the Thanksgiving pictures especially all the making of each dish...
Anyway, I did all the dishes I wrote on my menu except the pumpkin flan and the dill scones.
I got two delicious desserts from my friends a carrot cake and a tower of profiteroles au caramel.
If you are vegetarian do NOT READ THIS!!!
I had my concerns about the turkey, at first I thought about not making it but this time It was the first Thanksgiving I didn't have any left over turkey, It was crunchy outside and juicy inside, I was basting almost every 20 minutes until done for four hours and half.
For the meat lover this is the recipe, for the vegetarian I will write soon the veggies plates.
Roast turkey with chestnut stuffing
The night before: I cleaned the turkey, (organic & kosher) seasoned it, and did the stock.
For the seasoning paste:
butter - about 8 oz in this case being kosher I used vegetable margarine
garlic - whole head
rosemary, sage and thyme - about a table spoon of each
Salt and pepper
blend all the ingredients and make a paste, season with salt and pepper and rub the paste under the skin and all over outside. This with help to keep moist inside.
For the stock:
neck and giblets
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
4 cup of water
2 cup chicken broth
1 tablespoon olive oil
Heat the oil and brown the neck and giblets, add remaining ingredients and simmer until reduced to about 4 cups. About 45 minutes. Strain. Cool completely. Cover and refrigerated.
For the stuffing:
12 ounces chestnuts (I used two packed roasted whole chestnut)
1 apple - chopped
3 celery ribs - chopped
1 large onion - chopped
1 country bread (I used a Tuscany country style bread) cut in small cubes
small bunch of fresh sage, rosemary and thyme - minced
Toast the bread already cut into small cubes with olive oil and minced rosemary, until become gold and crusty like croutons.
In olive oil cook onions, celery, apple, chestnuts and herbs until soft. Stir together with the toasted bread.
64 oz (2 QT) chicken broth
1 cup white wine
Fill main cavity and neck- end cavity loosely with stuffing. Sew cavities closed and tie legs together, secure wings to body with a small skewers.
Place turkey in roasting pan and add 1 cup of chicken broth.
I usually cover the the breast loosely with aluminum foil for the first hour of the cooking time, to get an uniform roasting.
The secret for me to have crisp and juice is to keep basting every 20 minutes and keep adding more broth or wine when is needed. And when a part of the turkey starts to get brown too quickly, I cover that part loosely with small piece of aluminum foil. Even If I know for the weight and stuffing, mine will be done in approximately 41/2 hours, I used a thermometer to make sure It is properly done. Breast should register 165 (74C) and thighs 175F (80C).
Leave it rest for about 25 minutes before carving.
For the gravy:
4 cups reserved from the turkey stock
pan and juices reserved from turkey
1/2 cup fat from pan and juices
6 tablespoon all purpose flour
Scrape bottom of roasting pant to loosen any browned bits, adding 1cup of the turkey stock pour into a large measuring cup. Let stand until fat rises to surface. Spoon fat off and reserve 1/2 cup. In a saucepan boil mixtures of juices with the rest of the turkey stock until reduced to 3 cups.
Meanwhile pour reserve 1/2 fat in a saucepan add flour cook until golden brown, stirring constantly. Add stock mixture and continue stirring. Cook until sauce thickens, check season to taste with salt and pepper .