THANKSGIVING

A Complete Thanksgiving Dinner

2012-11-16T01:00:00Z 2013-12-24T10:49:47Z A Complete Thanksgiving DinnerThe Associated Press The Associated Press
November 16, 2012 1:00 am  • 

If you are going to go to the (admittedly little) trouble of brining your Thanksgiving turkey, be sure to set the bar higher than simply adding moisture.

Cider-Brined Turkey with Sage Gravy

Start to finish: 2½ to 3 hours (plus brining)

Makes a 12- to 14-pound turkey with gravy

For the turkey:

12- to 14-pound turkey

½ gallon apple cider

½ cup kosher salt

½ cup packed brown sugar

½ cup minced fresh sage

1 tablespoon crushed black peppercorns

For the gravy:

¼ cup white wine

2 cups low-sodium chicken or turkey broth

3 tablespoons instant flour, such as Wondra

3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh sage

Salt and ground black pepper

Place a 2½ -gallon zip-close plastic bag upright in a large bowl. Place the turkey in the bowl, then pour in the cider, salt, brown sugar, sage and peppercorns. Seal the bag, squeezing out as much as possible as you do so. Massage the bag to mix the ingredients. Refrigerate and let brine for a minimum of 8 hours, turning the turkey now and again.

Heat the oven to 350 F. Fit a roasting pan with a rack.

Remove the turkey from the brine and discard the brine. Pat the turkey dry with paper towels, then set it onto the roasting rack. Roast for 2 to 2½ hours, or until the temperature of the breast reaches 160 F and the thighs reach 170 F. If the turkey begins to darken too much, cover loosely with foil.

Transfer the turkey to a platter, wrap with foil, then set bath towels over it to keep it warm.

Remove the rack from the roasting pan. Place the roasting pan over medium heat on the stovetop and bring the juices to a simmer. Add the wine and scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Pour the broth into the pan, whisking continuously. Then add the flour and whisk to combine. Simmer for 5 minutes, while continuing to stir. Season with sage, salt and black pepper.

Nutrition information per serving: 420 calories; 170 calories from fat (40 percent of total calories); 19 g fat (5 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 185 mg cholesterol; 4 g carbohydrate; 0 g fiber; 2 g sugar; 56 g protein; 480 mg sodium.


 

A simple, but robust salad

To stand out in a Thanksgiving spread, a salad must be bold and flavorful. Yet it should not compete with the other flavors on the table. To strike this delicate balance, we created this easy arugula salad.

Arugula Pear Salad

Start to finish: 15 minutes

Servings: 10

1 tablespoon butter

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

3 large pears, cored and sliced

½ cup dried cranberries

½ cup sliced dried apricots

½ cup pomegranate juice

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

2 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon ground black pepper

Pinch of ground allspice

¼ cup olive oil

10-ounce container baby arugula

4 ounces soft goat cheese, crumbled

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, combine the butter and cinnamon. When the butter has melted, add the pears and saute until they are softened, about 5 minutes. Add the cranberries and apricots, then cook for another minute. Set aside off the heat.

In a blender, combine the pomegranate juice, red wine vinegar, sugar, Dijon mustard, salt, pepper, allspice and olive oil. Blend until well combined.

In a bowl, arrange the arugula. Top with the sauteed pear mixture, then the crumbled goat cheese. Serve the vinaigrette on the side.

Nutrition information per serving: 190 calories; 90 calories from fat (47 percent of total calories); 10 g fat (3 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 10 mg cholesterol; 25 g carbohydrate; 4 g fiber; 18 g sugar; 3 g protein; 180 mg sodium.


 

Great turkeys need equally great classic side dishes

The turkey may be the centerpiece, but a classic Thanksgiving dinner simply isn’t complete without a bevy of traditional sides.

Sour Cream and Chive Mashed Potatoes

Start to finish: 45 minutes

Servings: 8

4 pounds red potatoes

½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter,

room temperature

1 cup sour cream

Salt and ground black pepper

⅓ cup chopped fresh chives

Peel half of the potatoes. Place of the potatoes in a large pot, then add enough water to cover them by 1 inch. Cover the pan and set over medium-high. Bring the water to a simmer and cook until tender, about 20 to 25 minutes. Thoroughly drain the potatoes, then return them to the pot.

Set the pot over low heat and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, shaking or stirring the potatoes to dry them. Using a masher, roughly mash the potatoes, then stir in the butter and sour cream. Season with salt and pepper, then stir in the chives.

Nutrition information per serving: 310 calories; 150 calories from fat (48 percent of total calories); 17 g fat (10 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 45 mg cholesterol; 37 g carbohydrate; 4 g fiber; 2 g sugar; 5 g protein; 290 mg sodium.


 

Peach Cranberry Sauce

Start to finish: 15 minutes

Servings: 6

12-ounce bag fresh

cranberries

10-ounce bag frozen

peaches, chopped

Zest and juice of 2 oranges

¾ cup sugar

Pinch salt

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine all ingredients. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the cranberries pop and the mixture has reduced to a thick sauce, about 10 minutes. Allow to cool.

Nutrition information per serving: 130 calories; 0 calories from fat (0 percent of total calories); 0 g fat (0 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 0 mg cholesterol; 33 g carbohydrate; 3 g fiber; 30 g sugar; 1 g protein; 25 mg sodium.


 

Herb Crusted Sweet Potatoes

Start to finish: 45 minutes

Servings: 8

4 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into

½-inch-thick slices

Salt, ground black pepper

1 cup panko breadcrumbs

1 tablespoon chopped thyme

1 tablespoon chopped

rosemary

1 tablespoon chopped sage

¼ cup (½ stick) butter, melted

Heat the oven to 350 F. Coat a large casserole dish or baking pan with cooking spray.

Place the potatoes in a large saucepan and add enough water to cover by 1 inch. Add 2 teaspoons of salt and bring to a boil. Cook until firm-tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Drain the potatoes, then spread them in an even layer in the prepared casserole dish or baking pan.

In a small bowl, combine ½ teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon black pepper, the panko, thyme, rosemary and sage. Sprinkle over the sweet potatoes. Drizzle the melted butter over the crumbs and bake for 30 minutes, or until golden brown and tender.

Nutrition information per serving: 260 calories; 50 calories from fat (19 percent of total calories); 6 g fat (3.5 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 15 mg cholesterol; 47 g carbohydrate; 7 g fiber; 12 g sugar; 4 g protein; 380 mg sodium.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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