Favorite Thanksgiving & Fall Recipes

Thanksgiving is less than a week away! Adam and I thought we would share some of our favorite fall recipes, including a very simple roast turkey recipe. What are your favorite fall recipes? Any Thanksgiving dishes that you can’t live without?

Edible Michiana recently featured Adam’s turkey recipe in their November Newsletter and Events Calendar. If you haven’t signed up yet for Edible’s newsletter, you can visit their facebook page and send them a message with your email address. Once a month you’ll receive an email with excellent recipes and news about food and drink in the Michiana area.

So–scroll down for Adam’s turkey recipe, but you might enjoy these as well:

Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Apple Salad
Just tried this a couple of weeks ago and loved it!

Apple, Sausage, and Parsnip Stuffing with Fresh Sage
We’ve made this many, many times for Thanksgiving and it’s always a hit.

Whipped Sweet Potatoes with Bourbon and Roasted Pecans
Okay–we don’t have a recipe for this one, but it’s as easy as it sounds. Just make your potatoes as you normally would, then stir in a splash of bourbon and sprinkle with pecans. Yum.

Roast Chicken with Pomegranate Glaze
We haven’t had the chance to try this one yet, but our CSA customer Carolyn D’Andrea says it was great with Blue Heron Farm chicken!

And finally, from Adam:
The Lazy Person’s Brine: A Thanksgiving Turkey Recipe
There are three things I like about this recipe, which is becoming standard for us around Thanksgiving. One, all quantities and times are a bit flexible. Two, there’s enough process to make it look like you’re doing something special and clever without being too fussy. And three, it tastes amazing.

A recipe like this is important for us since we only raise turkeys for Thanksgiving, and not a huge number, so we usually only eat turkey once a year (other than the occasional bird too small to sell or with a broken wing or leg that wouldn’t look right on someone’s table).

A fair amount of work has gone into keeping the fragile poults alive when they’re young, then keeping the growing turkeys inside the netting and the weasels and skunks out through September and October, so we’re invested in some payoff at the plate. But by the same token, our enthusiasm for elaborate meat projects has been tempered by a long growing season and holiday logistics.

The only ingredients here are kosher salt, pepper, butter and a really good turkey. Usually around Thanksgiving there are enough flavors on the table that the meat doesn’t need much embellishment; if it’s juicy and the skin is crispy, everyone will be happy.

Sometime, preferably early, the day before Thanksgiving, coat the inside and outside of the thawed turkey with a thick layer of kosher salt. The more salt you can get to adhere to the meat and skin, the better. The salt contact works much as a brine, but without the inconvenient tub of salty water.

Leave the bird uncovered in the fridge overnight—the dry air helps remove moisture from the skin so it can crisp up in the oven. It will turn translucent and almost waxy. An hour or so before you roast it, rinse off the excess salt, then pat it dry. Cover the outside, especially the breasts, with soft butter and pepper. Then roast it at 425°F. for half an hour, turn down the oven to 325°F and continue until the thigh joint registers 165° (not 180°, like the USDA used to say.) A 12-pound turkey will take about two hours and 45 minutes total.

At this point most recipes say to give the meat a chance to rest for 15 minutes, but if your family holidays are like ours, there’s always enough chaos to prevent anyone rushing things too much. One year my grandfather, who spent his first few years after high school in the 1940s working in a butcher shop and is particular about meat, declared one of these turkeys “as good as he’d ever had,” which was high praise, indeed, especially for a lazy person.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

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