Thanksgiving doesn’t quite look the same this year. To finish up this tough year, the United States appears to be climbing its worst wave of COVID infections of the pandemic, just in time for the holidays. For Thanksgiving this year, we’re staying at home and eating just with ourselves. We’ve embraced our new reality this year and were really excited about our personal Thanksgiving feast! We thought we’d share what we did. On our menu this year… a roast chicken, Garlic-Truffle Mashed Potatoes, Indian-American Stuffing, gravy, green beans, and Maple Walnut Pie. Don’t worry, we still made way too much food, in keeping with every Thanksgiving dinner I’ve ever attended.
The Chicken: We got a six pound chicken. Selim adapted his brine slightly from Thomas Keller’s Ad Hoc at Home, one of our go-to cookbooks. The brine is made of 2 gallons of water with 5 lemons (halved), 4 bay leaves, a bunch of parsley, a bunch of thyme, 2 sprigs of rosemary, 1/2 cup of honey, 1/4 cup of whole black peppercorns, and 10oz of kosher salt. The bird sat in there for about 42 hours. It then got patted dry, sat out for about 2 hours, and then was roasted at 425 for the first 15 minutes on its back, followed by another hour and half on its breast at 375, and an additional couple minutes on its back to finish. It was super juicy, with crispy skin and delicious flavor, with just a hint of lemon!
Garlic-Truffle Mashed Potatoes: See here for the recipe – Garlic-Truffle Mashed Potatoes
Indian-American Stuffing: See here for more explanation of our unique stuffing – Indian-American Thanksgiving Stuffing
The Gravy: We bought some massive turkey legs ahead of time (you know the huge ‘dinosaur’ ones that you can get deep-fried at a fair? Those! We roasted them for the drippings. We then caramelized an onion, deglazed with some white wine, and used a food processor to blend the onion and drippings together. We combined that with a classic roux and turkey stock, cooking with a large sprig of sage, to turn out our new favorite gravy!
The Green Beans: Just quick steamed green beans. Nothing fancy here.
The Dessert: Maple Walnut Pie! Adapted from Pie Love, by Warren Brown. The filling, as you might guess, is a combination of maple and walnut. An excellent alternative to a classic pecan pie.
The Wine: Robert Biale Vineyards – Petite Sirah – Oak Knoll District – Napa Valley 2008 Deep purple in color, completely softened tannins, nice warmth from the relatively high alcohol content (15.5% abv), finishes satiny smooth with notes of ripe dates. We’ve been saving this one for awhile!