Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thanksgiving Dinner

Here is everything I cooked for our Thanksgiving day.  One thing you will notice a lack of is stuffing.  I decided I wanted to stay away from the really filling and calorie loaded bread.

I got this recipe for our turkey from Chef Todd Schneider at the Virginia Executive Mansion.  He has many recipes posted on this site.

Our turkey has come from Auburnlea Farms in Gladys, Virginia.  The turkey is pastured raised and all natural.  The turkey is 17-1/2 pounds.

Here is the recipe.
1 bottle of dry Virginia Wine (I used Chardonnay from King Family Vineyards in Crozet, Virginia)
4 cups water
Fresh rosemary, sage and thyme
1 stick butter
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
4 cloves fresh garlic
1 red onion, quartered
4 celery stalks, cut in 2 inch pieces
4 whole carrots, 2 inch cuts
1 teaspoon paprika

Make sure the giblets, neck and liver are out of the bird.  Do not throw them away.  Wash the turkey with cold water inside and out, pat dry with paper towels (inside also).

Take some of the herbs and garlic cloves and put them in the end of the cavity.  Add a little salt and pepper to cavity.  Put onions, carrots, celery and fresh herbs in the turkey.  Pour olive oil all over turkey and rub it in.  Sprinkle, salt, pepper and paprika on the turkey.  Take butter cubes and tuck in crevices on the turkey and sprinkle in pan.  Take the giblets, liver and neck and put them in the pan with fresh herbs (whole), garlic cloves and vegetables.  Add about 2 cups of water and white wine.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.  Put foil over turkey.  Place in oven for 1 hour (this is key, it's called blasting the bird) then after 1 hour turn the oven down to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Baste turkey and leave foil on.  Continue to baste turkey every half hour.  When basting the turkey check the skin, you may need to add more water and wine to the pan.  Take the foil off the last hour of cooking.  Let turkey get to 165 degrees Fahrenheit, let sit for 15 minutes before carving.

Take the juices from the pan add a pat of butter and bring to a boil.  Add some homemade chicken broth to make enough gravy.  To thicken it I use Arrowroot.

Cosmopolitan Cranberries
1 - 12 ounce bag fresh cranberries, rinsed, drained, and picked through
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup vodka
3 tablespoons orange flavored liqueur

In medium saucepan over moderate heat, combine cranberries, sugar and 1/2 cup water.   Bring to boil, stirring often to dissolve sugar, then reduce heat to moderately low and simmer, stirring often, until thickened and reduced to about 3 cups, about 15 minutes.
Transfer to medium bowl and cool, stirring often, until tepid, about 30 minutes.  Stir in vodka and liqueur.  Transfer to serving bowl, cover, and refrigerator until chilled and set, at least 2 hours.  (Sauce can be made up to 2 weeks ahead and refrigerated).  Serve chilled or at room temperature.

Corn Pudding
1/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
6 large eggs
2 cups whipping cream
1/2 cup butter
6 cups frozen corn (I am using the corn that we froze during the summer)

Combine sugar, flour, baking powder and salt.  Whisk together eggs, cream and butter.  Gradually add sugar mixture, whisking until smooth; stir in corn.  Pour into a lightly greased oblong baking dish.  Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 45 to 60 minutes or until golden brown and set.  Stick a knife blade into the middle and it will be done when it comes out pretty clean.  Let stand for 5 minutes.

Steamed Green Beans with Walnuts
Steam green beans until done but still crisp.  In a skillet add some butter and chopped walnuts cook until walnuts are coated and have released their oil and are fragrant.  Add cooked green beans.  Saute beans just enough to coat.

Steamed Carrots
Peel carrots and cut into slices.  Add carrots to steamer and steam until done.  Place in dish and toss with a little bit of butter.

Roasted Sweet Potatoes
Peel sweet potatoes, cut into bite size chunks.  Place sweet potatoes in a ziploc bag along with a little bit of fresh sage.  Add a little bit of extra virgin olive oil, just enough enough to coat.  Shake bag to coat sweet potatoes.   Dump sweet potatoes out of the bag and onto a cookie sheet.  Bake in a 375 degree Fahrenheit oven for about 45 minutes until sweet potatoes are tender.

Also included for dinner was fruit salad and dinner rolls provided by family members.

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