Looks like Thanksgiving is upon us again. How do I make a turkey dinner that can rival the master works of the last five yearsor so? All of them were epic endeavors. All end-all-be-all turkey dinners. Every year I try to out do myself. We’ve had the La Cucina Italiana bird with butternut squash risotto, a dinner pulled from the NY Times by a French chef that hates turkey, a brined bird pulled from the pages of Cook’s Illustrated, and even a tragically smoked bird that my friend Brian won’t let me live down. Remember folks, the gas smoker cook times are significantly shorter than the charcoal smoker. I burned the shit out of that poor turkey.
Great thing about giving it your all every year is that you start to develop a sense of what works and what doesn’t. You find those dishes you can’t live without, like the sweet potatoes made with NO marshmallows that are to die for. Or that perfect bread stuffing that never sees the inside of a turkey. Or that pine nut pie that you got from a magazine that ends up being a transcendent foodie experience. How about never making a pumpkin pie from a can ever again? This year I’m making a cider glazed turkey with lager gravy from Food & Wine Magazine. It’ll be my first free range bird ever. Who’d a thought a Whole Foods branded turkey would be cheaper than a Save Mart turkey. Go figure.
The inevitable prep photos will be posted ASAP.