Considering your options for your Thanksgiving turkey this year? You’re not alone. Last year, we asked some of our favorite chefs and closest friends how they roast their bird, and the answers were as intriguing as they were varied. Edward Lee warned against trussing, Von Diaz used mofongo—a mixture of plantains, chicharron (pork rinds) and garlic—to stuff her turkey and Nik Sharma suggested adding wine to the brine. Read here for this collection of great tips.
Friend of Milk Street and Milk Street Radio host Sara Moulton recognizes that this year will be different for many people, which, of course, calls the 20 pound turkey into question. Moulton has a suggestion: Skip the turkey altogether this year. But that’s not all...
Skip the Turkey
“Sad to say, but the number of revelers at the big meals is going to be much smaller this year. On the positive side, at least you won't have to cook up that typically huge centerpiece turkey. Instead, I recommend swapping in Cornish Games Hens. (Each hen serves 1-2 feasters.) Added bonus: the little guys take much less time to roast.” — Sara Moulton
See here for Sara Moulton's recipe for Thanksgiving Hens.
Photo: Sara Moulton
Look to Grandma for a Better Gravy Thickener
“Recently, I rediscovered Wondra Flour – the instant flour in the round blue container that my grandmother used – for its original purpose: to thicken a sauce. (Instead, I'd been using it for years to coat lean pieces of protein before sauteing them. It supplies a nice light crunch). What makes Wondra a wonder is that, unlike conventional flour, it doesn't lump up when you whisk it into a liquid. It is the perfect turkey gravy thickener.” — Sara Moulton
Make Extra Mashed Potatoes, Because You’re Going to Want Leftovers...
“Here’s a suggestion about how to glorify those leftover holiday mashed potatoes: Remake them into mashed potato cakes by shaping them into patties, coating them in flour (preferably Wondra, see above), and cooking them slowly in butter or olive oil. Then again, some other leftovers recently allowed me to coat the cakes not with Wondra, but with a cupful of coarse crumbs that had been flavored with garlic, rosemary, scallions and hot pepper flakes. So, if you have leftover mashed potatoes and a surplus of stuffing after one of your holiday meals, re-use those crumbs as a coating for some really tasty crunchy mashed potato cakes.” — Sara Moulton
Find more Thanksgiving tips, recipes and stories here.
See here for more from our Friends of Milk Street.