Friday, November 27, 2009

Thanksgiving: The All Stars

Check out that turkey - 11 pounds of succulent perfection! I like to cook, and I do alright in the kitchen, but I'm always the first to critique my work, and there's almost always something to critique. But not with this turkey. It was perfectly cooked, perfectly brown, and perfectly juicy. My only complaint: it was almost too juicy when it came time to take the meat off.

The players:
1 11 pound turkey (with pop-up timer)
Sage Butter (1 stick of softened butter mixed with 3 tablespoons of chopped fresh sage)
1 yellow onion
Several cloves of garlic
Olive oil
Salt and Pepper
Chicken Stock

The technique:
Rinse and pat dry your bird, inside and out. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Loosen the skin around the breast (be careful not to break the skin) and stuff with sage butter. Season the cavity with salt and pepper. Cut onion into quarters and stuff the turkey with those and the garlic cloves. Rub the turkey with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place chicken stock in the bottom of your roasting pan, and roast for 2 1/2 hours or until the pop-up timer pops and a meat thermometer reads 165 degrees in the thigh.

The turkey was awesome and will make for even better Turkey Manhattans, turkey sandwiches, and turkey soup. But, my favorite part of the Thanksgiving meal? The green beans. My Grandmother used to make these beans for every holiday and I've tried to carry on the tradition. I don't have her recipe, but I've gotten pretty close. They're my favorite and I love them even better the next day so I always make plenty.

The players:
3 pounds of fresh green beans, snapped
3-4 slices of bacon, chopped
1 cup of chopped sweet onion
Salt and Pepper
Beef broth

The technique:
Cook bacon in a large pot. When it starts to curl, add in the onions. Season liberally with salt and pepper, and cook over low until the onion is translucent. Add the green beans and toss with the bacon and onions. Pour beef broth into the pot until about a fourth of the beans are covered. Cover and cook on low for 2+ hours. Stir and season periodically. I don't know how to tell you when they're done, you'll just know. But, I can tell you to always err on the side of overcooked.

As of tomorrow, I will have made these green beans for three Thanksgiving meals. They never get old and all the snapping is definitely worth it! By the end of this Thanksgiving holiday, I will have hosted two dinners, cooked the entirety of one, and eaten at three. The good news? In a few weeks, we get to do it all over again! I can't wait for Christmas!

1 comment:

leigh anne said...

mmmm...that turkey does look perfect! and I'm going to try the green bean sounds wonderful.