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A Foodie's Thanksgiving Feast

Roasted Turkey, Sausage Stuffing, Brussels Sprout and Kale Gratin, Cornbread

Ingredients

TURKEY

1 15-lb turkey
1 cup salt
1 1/2 brown sugar
2 large onions, peeled, quartered
10 sprigs thyme
5 sprigs rosemary
8 lemons, halved
3 stalks celery, rough chopped
3 carrots, peeled, rough chopped.

SAUSAGE STUFFING

1 lb pork sausage
5 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, small diced
2 stalks celery, small diced
2 Granny Smith apples, medium diced
2 springs thyme, stems removedy
1 loaf French bread, cubed
1 cup turkey stock
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup parsley, minced

BRUSSELS SPROUT AND KALE GRATIN

1 lb brussels sprouts, halved
1 bunch kale, julienne
3 slices thick-cut bacon
1 shallot, minced
Hot sauce, as desired
1/8 teaspoon allspice
1 cup heavy cream
2 cups breadcrumbs
4 tablespoons butter, melted

CORNBREAD

4 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups yellow cornmeal
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons baking powder
4 large eggs
3 cups whole milk
2 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Kernels of corn, cut from 2 whole ears
8 tablespoons butter, melted

Directions

  • Make a brine for the turkey a few days in advance. Bring 3 gallons of water to a boil along with the salt, brown sugar, 1 onion and 5 sprigs of thyme. Once the salt and sugar are dissolved, let cool. Fully submerge the turkey for up to 48 hours.
  • When ready to cook the turkey, preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Remove the turkey from the brine, pat dry, and cover with olive oil. Season liberally with salt and pepper. Stuff with rosemary and remaining thyme, lemons, onions, celery and carrots. (For an Asian twist, substitute these ingredients for sesame oil, soy sauce, scallions, crushed garlic cloves and ginger).
  • Place the turkey on a roasting rack in the oven for 45 minutes. Reduce the oven’s temperature to 350 degrees and cook until the internal temperature of the thigh meat reaches 155 degrees. The turkey may need to be covered with aluminum foil if the skin starts getting too dark. Let the turkey rest for at least 30 minutes before carving.
  • Meanwhile, for the stuffing, sauté the ground sausage in a large skillet. Remove the browned sausage and return the pan to heat. Melt the butter, then sauté the onion until translucent. Add the apples and celery, sage leaves and thyme. Cook until tender. In a large bowl, combine sausage, apple mixture, and bread. Add only enough to stock to moisten the bread without making it too wet. Add egg and half the parsley. Season well. Bake in a greased casserole dish for 30 minutes. Garnish with remaining parsley.
  • For the gratin, add the bacon to a hot pan to render the fat. Remove the bacon from the pan and chop. In the same pan (adding a little olive oil if necessary), sauté the brussels sprouts until browned. Add the shallots and sauté until translucent. Add the kale and cook until slightly wilted. Season with salt and pepper. Add the hot sauce, allspice and cream. Bring to a simmer. Transfer to a baking dish, and top with the breadcrumbs that have been combined with the melted butter. Bake until brown and crispy.
  • The cornbread can be made in advance. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease your skillet or baking dish, then heat in the oven. Combine all dry ingredients and wet ingredients separately. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients, and stir until just combined. Add the corn and butter, and again, stir until just combined. Pour in the hot baking dish. Bake approximately 1 hour, or until a knife inserted comes out clean.
Notes: To make gravy, use the fat from the roasted turkey. In a medium pan, heat the fat and add a few tablespoons of flour. Whisk until incorporated. Add some turkey stock and whisk until smooth. Simmer. Add some red wine for additional flavor.
Reserve the giblets from the turkey. Use the neck to fortify the stock. The giblets can be chopped, sautéed, and added back to the gravy.

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