Thanksgiving is in less than week and if you’re like me, you’ve thought about how great the dinner will be but haven’t actually put any thought into building your menu. And who can blame you (us)? From deadlines to due dates to the mental preparation one needs in order to host Thanksgiving dinner, it’s no wonder you (we) haven’t had a moment to plan the menu.
Good news procrastinators: I put in a call to a few of my favorite chefs at hotels from coast and coast and asked for their best Thanksgiving Day recipes. The results are, simply, delicious. Even better, each one of these recipes is easy to make!
Slow Roasted Free Range Turkey, Victor R. Casanova II, Culina, Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills
1/3 cup coarse kosher salt
3 tablespoons, grated orange zest 4 oranges, quartered
12 fresh rosemary sprigs
20-to 22-pound free-range turkey, rinsed cleaned and dried
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6 cups water
4 ounces pancetta, cut into 1/4-inch dice
6 tablespoons all purpose flour
2 cups orange juice
½ c pomegranate molasses
1. Rub salt and zest together in small bowl.
2. Season turkey.
3. Place turkey in large roasting pan.
4. Reserve 2 teaspoons orange salt for roasting.
5. Cover pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate turkey overnight.
6. Rinse turkey thoroughly inside and out; pat dry.
7. Rinse large roasting pan.
8. Leave turkey at room temperature 1 hour.
9. Set rack at lowest position in oven and preheat to 350°F. T
10. Truss turkey.
11. Cut 4 oranges into quarters.
12. Stuff quartered oranges, rosemary and onions into cavity.
13. Spread butter all over turkey.
14. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon pepper and reserved 2 teaspoons orange salt.
15. Pour 3 cups water into pan.
16. Roast turkey 45 minutes; baste with pan juices.
17. Reduce oven temperature to 325F.
18. Roast turkey until instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh registers 165°F, basting occasionally with pan juices, adding more water and covering loosely with foil if browning too quickly, about 4 hours.
19. Transfer turkey to platter; tent with foil and let rest 30 to 45 minutes.
1. Pour juices from turkey and skim fat.
2. Render pancetta in clean roasting pan.
3. Deglaze with orange juice.
4. Reduce by half then add pomegranate molasses.
5. Add turkey jus.
6. Adjust to desired consistency then season to taste.
Rib Roast, Chef Kevin Thiele, Hotel Viking
6-Bone Rib Eye Roast
1 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 cup Course Sea Salt
1. Ask local butcher to truss (tie) the roast for you. This will ensure an even roasting process for best results.
2. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
3. Rub the Roast with olive oil and liberally sprinkle all sides with sea salt.
4. Place on a roasting rack and insert into the oven.
5. Meanwhile, pick and chop the herbs, mix and set aside.
6. The high temperature will sear the meat quickly and trap juices inside. After 30 minutes, reduce heat down to 350 degrees and continue cooking until internal temperature reaches 120 degrees about 1 hour and 20 min.
7. Rest the meat for 20 minutes more and the internal temp will rise to about 128- 130 degrees, which is a perfect medium rare.
8. Coat the rib roast with the herb mix, cut in between each bone and serve.
Squash Brulee, Executive Chef David Hutton, Mooo, XV Beacon Hotel
1lb Georgia roaster candy squash
1lb butternut squash
4 Tablespoon softened butter
Salt, pepper to taste
4 Tablespoon brown sugar
Pinch ground cinnamon
1 Teaspoon brulee sugar
1. Halve squash lengthwise and remove seeds and strings.
2. Rub the inside with 2 tablespoon softened butter; season with salt and pepper.
3. Place on a roasting pan, skin side up.
4. Bake in a preheat 350 degree oven for 30 0r 40 minutes or until fork tender.
5. Remove from the oven, scoop out the flesh and place it in food processor, add the brown sugar and the remaining butter, puree until smooth, add pinch of salt and the cinnamon, pulse a few times to incorporate.
6. Put the squash puree on a serving dish spring the sugar on top use a torch to caramelize the sugar.
Roasted Pumpkin Soup, Henrietta’s Table, Charles Hotel
Chef Peter Davis’ cookbook “Fresh & Honest – Food From the Farms of New England and the Kitchen of Henrietta’s Table”, which was released in November 2009
1lb Fresh Pumpkin or Heirloom Pumpkin, cooked
4 ounces white onion, julienne
1/2 ounce butter
1 quart water
2 teaspoons salt
3/4 ounce brown sugar
2 teaspoons maple syrup
1 dash cinnamon
1 dash cayenne
1 cup heavy cream
1. Split the pumpkins in half and de-seed
2. Place the pumpkins on a rack on a sheet pan and roast skin side up for 45-60 min. at 350 degrees or until pumpkin is soft
3. Remove the skins and discard.
4. Roughly chop the pumpkin.
5. Sauté the onion in the butter until transparent
6. Add the remaining ingredients and the pumpkin and cook for 1 hour on a low simmer.
7. Remove from the heat and puree until smooth.
Pear Walnut Pie, Chef Michael Finizia, The Ritz-Carlton Coconut Grove, Miami
5 poached pears in a syrup
8 oz almond flour
2 oz pastry flour
8 oz sugar
8 oz butter
4 oz walnut pieces
1. Cream the butter and the sugar
2. Add the eggs, then dry ingredients
3. Add the Amaretto liquor
4. Spread the bottom of the pie with above
5. Add the pear, thinly sliced on the top then finish with another layer of walnut cream
6. Bake in the oven at 350′ for 25 minutes