An Easy Thanksgiving Recipe
To your list of things to be grateful for this year, add Jennifer Rubell's unbelievably easy Turkey Day feast for eight (it spares you the bother of a zillion dirty pots!). Sit back, relax and help yourself to seconds.
Eight easy steps with gourmet results: Crystallized ginger gives cranberries a spicy-sweet kick, while the nutty stuffing is studded with bits of prosciutto.
thyme-roasted turkey and gravy
butternut squash with maple butter
green salad almondine
1 12-lb. turkey 10 slices prosciutto 24 oz. fresh cranberries
1 medium apple 3 heads butter lettuce 2 butternut squashes
2 tbsp. lemon juice 4 tbsp. unsalted butter extra-virgin olive oil
salt and pepper 2 cups sugar 1 tsp. dried parsley
1 tsp. dried sage 1 tsp. dried rosemary 1 tsp. plus 1 tbsp. dried thyme
1 oz. crystallized ginger 3 tbsp. flour 3 tbsp. maple syrup
3 cups chicken stock 7 oz cooked, peeled chestnuts 1/4 cup toasted, sliced almonds
1/2 baguette aluminum foil
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Finely chop ginger and combine with cranberries. Place mixture on 2 layers of aluminum foil. Fold foil inward and crimp edges up to make a sealed packet. Wrap packet with 2 additional pieces of foil, then place directly on oven rack and cook for 30 minutes.
Roughly chop chestnuts and prosciutto, then combine in a large bowl with parsley, sage, rosemary and 1 teaspoon thyme. Peel and dice half an apple and add it to the mix. Pour in 1 cup boiling water, stir, and let sit for 5 minutes. Cut baguette half into 1" cubes, then add them to bowl and stir mixture until liquid is absorbed.
Start by making your own roasting "rack" that will allow for plenty of space in the pan: Roll 3 feet of aluminum foil lengthwise into a tube, then coil it to make an oval and place in pan. Remove turkey from refrigerator. Rub on all sides with 2 teaspoons salt and 1 tablespoon thyme, then place on foil rack. Fill cavity with stuffing and top with remaining apple half.
Halve squashes lengthwise and remove seeds, then rub with 1 tablespoon olive oil and stand up in the corners of the pan with the turkey, cut side facing in. Remove cranberries from oven and set aside. Put roasting pan in oven, reduce temperature to 400 degrees F and cook for 2 hours (about 10 1/2 minutes per pound), or until a thermometer inserted in stuffing reads 155 degrees F.
While turkey is cooking, scrape cranberry-ginger mixture into a serving bowl, add sugar and stir to combine.
finish turkey and squash
When meat is cooked, remove pan from oven and place it on a carving board to rest. After slicing off stems, cut each squash into 6 wedges and transfer to a serving bowl. Dot squash with 2 tablespoons butter cut into small pieces, drizzle with maple syrup and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt.
Toss lettuce with lemon juice and 2 tablespoons olive oil, then sprinkle with sliced almonds and 2 pinches salt.
make gravy, carve turkey and serve
For gravy, skim fat off roasting-pan drippings and add flour. Place roasting pan over a burner on medium heat and whisk until smooth. Add chicken stock and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, raise heat to high, and cook until thick. Whisk in 2 tablespoons butter, then set out with turkey, stuffing, cranberries, salad and squash. Serve with an Oregon or Washington State pinot noir.