Remember that the roasted birds continue cooking—albeit slowly—during the rest time. Cooking is like salting. You can always add more, but you can never take it back, so err on the undercooked side if you’re not sure.
2 1-pound loaves crusty, country white or wheat bread
1 12- to 14-pound fresh, free-range turkey
1 tablespoon sea salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 cup butter, unsalted
2 large onions, diced
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 bunch celery ribs
1/2 pound button mushrooms
1 pound, celery root, peeled and diced
1 bunch Italian parsley leaves, roughly chopped
1 cup fresh sage leaves, roughly chopped
1 to 2 cups turkey or chicken stock
Tear the unsliced bread into 1/2-inch chunks and let dry on sheet pans or in large bowls overnight.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Rinse the turkey inside and out and pat dry. Make a paste of salt, pepper, and olive oil. Rub turkey all over, inside and out, with paste and set aside on rack in roasting pan.
In a large heavy pot, melt the butter over moderate heat. Sauté the onions with salt and pepper until transparent. Add all the vegetables, turn up the heat, and cook, stirring occasionally until vegetables are limp, about 15 minutes. Add parsley and sage and 1 cup of turkey or chicken stock and bring to a boil. Taste and adjust seasoning.
Place dried bread pieces in large bowl, reserving 2 cups. Pour 3/4 of the vegetable mixture over the bread, mixing well with your hands. Adjust with more bread or vegetables until the stuffing is an even combination of bread and vegetables. To test for consistency, try to squeeze stuffing mixture in your hand to form a ball. If too dry to hold together, adjust with additional stock.
Stuff turkey, loosely filling cavity. Truss with metal skewers or sew with needle and thread. Place remaining stuffing in a casserole and dot with butter.
For extra crisp skin, cover the breast with 4 layers of cheesecloth. Baste with melted butter and place in the oven. Roast turkey for 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 degrees F, basting occasionally with pan drippings. Turkey is done when drumstick wiggles loosely. Let sit 10 minutes before carving.
1 pound cranberries, fresh or frozen (thawed)
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons grated orange zest
3 Granny Smith apples, peeled and diced
3 oranges, peeled, seeded, and diced
2 to 4 serrano chiles, stemmed and diced (with seeds)
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
1 bunch green onions, chopped
Finely chop the cranberries in a food processor or by hand. Combine in a bowl with the remaining ingredients and mix together. Set aside at room temperature 1 hour and then chill until ready to serve. Store in the refrigerator as long as 3 days.
Featuring South American aji amarillo chiles, freshly grated ginger, and lime, this ceviche is an ambassador to the exotic flavors of Peru. But you don’t have to travel around the world to get it. We serve it up on a bed of crispy plantain chips at our Border Grill restaurants in Downtown Los Angeles and Las Vegas at Mandalay Bay and The Forum Shops.
1 pound skinless, boneless sustainable fish*, cut in 1/4-inch dice
1 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
1/2 red onion, diced
1 jalapeño chile, stem and seeds removed, diced
1 aji amarillo chile (jarred), stem and seeds removed, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons aji amarillo paste
1/2 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced or grated
1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Salt, to taste
Plantain chips or tortilla chips, for serving
Pickled Red Onions (see recipe below), for serving
Sliced California avocado, for serving
process photos by susie fiebich
In a large bowl, combine fish and enough lime juice to cover. Allow to marinate for 20
minutes. Drain fish, reserving 1/4 cup of lime juice. Combine fish with remaining
ingredients and reserved lime juice to taste and stir gently to combine.Chill thoroughly.
Serve in a chilled martini glass or plate, garnished with plantain chips or tortilla chips,
Pickled Red Onions, and slices of avocado.
Pickled Red Onions
Makes 5 1/2 cups
1 pound red onions, thinly sliced
1 cup white vinegar
1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1 teaspoon roughly chopped cumin seeds
1 teaspoon dried oregano
4 cloves garlic, sliced
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 beet, trimmed, peeled, and cut into 8 wedges
Place the onions in a medium saucepan and pour in enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, and remove from the heat. Strain and set the onions aside. Combine all the remaining ingredients in the saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook 10 minutes. Add the blanched onions and simmer an additional 10 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a container, cover, and refrigerate at least a day before serving. Pickled onions will keep in the refrigerator up to a month.
* Wild Alaska halibut is a delicious and sustainable choice for ceviche. For more info on sustainable seafood, go to the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch website at www.seafoodwatch.com.
Not into turkey? Here’s an alternative main dish for your Thanksgiving feast. Mary Sue first concocted this Braised Pheasant dish in France with freshly killed pheasants and local bacon and olives. Try experimenting by adding other treats to the braise, like mushrooms or turnips.
Order pheasant from Joyce Farms, a family-owned company providing poultry raised on small farms using humane, all-natural methods.
2 2-pound pheasants, quartered into 2 breasts and 2 legs per bird
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 pound slab bacon, cut into ¼-inch-long pieces
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, plus more for dredging
Olive oil, if needed
1 1/4 pounds (about 12 large) shallots, halved
2 cups dry white vermouth
1 bunch (1/2 ounce) thyme, tied with string
3 cups chicken stock, plus more if needed
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup (4 ounces) mild green olives, such as Lucques or Picholines, pitted
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons butter
Season pheasant with salt and pepper and let sit at room temperature 1 hour.
Heat oven to 300 degrees. Cook bacon in a large Dutch oven over medium heat until crisp and fat is rendered, about 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to a plate.
Dredge pheasant in flour, shaking off excess. Working in batches, sear pheasant in bacon fat, adding oil if pan gets too dry, about 6 minutes per side. Transfer to plate with bacon.
Add shallots to pan and cook until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes; transfer to a separate plate. Add vermouth and thyme to pan, increase heat to high, and reduce vermouth by half, about 6 minutes.
Add bacon, pheasant legs, collected juices, and enough stock to cover the meat by two-thirds. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook, uncovered, 15 minutes. Add pheasant breasts and shallots, cover, and transfer to oven. Cook until meat is cooked through and tender, about 30 minutes.
In a small bowl, combine 2 tablespoons flour and the butter to form a paste. Using a ladle or turkey baster, transfer cooking liquid from pot to a small saucepan; bring to a boil. Whisk paste into cooking liquid to thicken, and season with salt and pepper. Pour gravy over pheasant and stir gently; add olives and serve immediately.