Categories
World News

18 Five-Ingredient Thanksgiving Recipes

You don’t have to plan and cook for days to have a memorable Thanksgiving meal. These simple recipes call for just five ingredients or fewer (not including salt and pepper), so you can get dinner on the table and get to the best part: eating.

1. Brussels Sprouts With Walnuts and Pomegranate

A scattering of pomegranate seeds makes this brussels sprouts dish from Colu Henry look fancy. But it’s really just a matter of roasting the sprouts with a little olive oil, salt and pepper, then tossing with chopped walnuts and the ruby seeds.

Recipe: Brussels Sprouts With Walnuts and Pomegranate

2. Buttermilk-Brined Turkey Breast

Samin Nosrat’s buttermilk-brined roast chicken has long been one of NYT Cooking’s most popular recipes. It stands to reason then that the same technique applied to a whole turkey and turkey breast would yield extraordinary results.

Recipes: Buttermilk-Brined Roast Turkey Breast and Buttermilk-Brined Roast Turkey

3. Potatoes Au Gratin

The key to Mark Bittman’s potatoes au gratin is to season as you go so that each slice of potato has flavor. (Potatoes suck up a lot of salt.) If you’re looking to up your game, add fresh thyme or chopped rosemary to the half-and-half before pouring it over the potatoes.

Recipe: Potatoes au Gratin

4. Slow Cooker Cranberry Sauce With Port and Orange

Instead of taking up valuable stovetop real estate, let your slow cooker do the work. This complex cranberry sauce from Sarah DiGregorio uses a combination of cooked cranberries and crisp, fresh cranberries. Leave out the port if it’s not your thing, and don’t worry if you don’t have a slow cooker; there’s a stovetop method, too.

Recipe: Slow Cooker Cranberry Sauce With Port and Orange

5. Candied Sweet Potatoes

This glossy four-ingredient dish, which Melissa Clark adapted from “The Harvey House Cookbook,” calls for just sweet potatoes, butter, confectioners’ sugar and salt. It’s best served warm, not blazing hot, so it’s ideal for Thanksgiving, when sides have to wait around patiently for the turkey to finish.

Recipe: Candied Sweet Potatoes

6. Key Lime Pie

OK, so it’s not traditional pumpkin pie, but this cold and tangy dessert by Joyce LaFray Young will cheer up your taste buds after all of that rich Thanksgiving fare.

Recipe: Key Lime Pie

7. Roasted Green Beans With Pancetta and Lemon Zest

Lidey Heuck adds lemon zest and crisped pancetta to roasted green beans for a simple, yet special side dish. This recipe serves 8 to 10, but it easily halves for a smaller group.

Recipe: Roasted Green Beans With Pancetta and Lemon Zest

8. Make-Ahead Gravy

Save yourself the stress of making gravy under the watchful eyes of hungry diners by making it in advance. Mark Bittman’s version is one of our most popular Thanksgiving recipes because you can make it up to five days early. When you’re ready to eat, reheat and stir in some turkey drippings.

Recipe: Make-Ahead Gravy

9. Creamed Corn

This sunshine-y side from Amanda Hesser can be made with fresh or frozen corn. If using frozen, add a little water when cooking before you add the milk. If you want it creamier, whiz some of the cooked corn in a blender and stir it back into the pot.

Recipe: Creamed Corn

10. Vanilla Crème Brûlée

End the meal with something special and luxurious like this crème brûlée from Mark Bittman. You don’t need a blowtorch; your oven’s broiler will do. One important note: Chill the custard for several hours before browning the top, otherwise you’ll end up with custard soup.

Recipe: Vanilla Crème Brûlée

11. Roasted Butternut Squash With Brown Butter Vinaigrette

Don’t bother peeling the butternut squash. Ali Slagle cuts it in half-inch slices before roasting, then finishes it with a tangy, spicy brown-butter vinaigrette and fresh mint.

Recipe: Roasted Butternut Squash With Brown Butter Vinaigrette

12. Bittersweet Chocolate Mousse With Fleur de Sel

Here’s a fun magic trick of a dessert that Melissa Clark adapted from the molecular gastronomist Hervé This: Melt good bittersweet chocolate, place it in an ice bath, then whip it by hand for 3 to 5 minutes (you’ll want help) until thick and fluffy. Sprinkle with flaky sea salt.

Thanksgiving ›

Turkey F.A.Q.

We have a full guide on buying and cooking Thanksgiving turkey, but here are answers to some of your most common questions:

    • What’s the easiest way to roast a turkey? You don’t need to brine, stuff, truss or baste a turkey to get delicious results. Try this simple recipe for starters.
    • How big of a turkey should I buy? Buy one pound per person, or a pound and a half per person if you’d like to make sure you have leftovers. If you’re ordering your turkey from a butcher or farmer, you’ll need to do so a few weeks in advance.
    • How do I thaw a frozen turkey? Allow one day for every four pounds of turkey. A 12-pound turkey, for example, will need three days to defrost. Thaw your turkey in the fridge and make sure to put it in a bowl or on a platter as it may drip.
    • How will I know when the turkey is cooked? Take its temperature. A digital thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh should read 165 degrees.
    • How do I carve the turkey? Watch this video for instructions.

    Source: 5-Ingredient Recipes

Highlights

Categories
World News

16 Thanksgiving Sides to Make You Forget About the Turkey

Let’s be honest: Turkey’s great, but Thanksgiving is about the sides. Some of us wait all year for stuffing, potatoes (sweet and regular), green beans and sprouts, mac and cheese — and even the cranberry sauce. To say nothing of rolls!

We’ve assembled some of our finest recipes, new and old, to round out your meal. These supporting players are so good, you’d be forgiven if you forgot about the turkey.

1. Creamy Double-Garlic Mashed Potatoes

For many families, a potato dish on the Thanksgiving table is nonnegotiable. You may have a beloved recipe, but if you don’t, may we recommend this one from Alexa Weibel? Roasted garlic gives it deep flavor, while crisp garlic chips provide a little bite.

View our collections of Mashed Potatoes Recipes and Roasted Potatoes Recipes, and our How to Make Potatoes guide, as well our Best Thanksgiving Side Dish recipes.

2. Green Beans With Ginger and Garlic

This recipe from Julia Moskin is a welcome spot of green amid the Thanksgiving starches. It comes together quickly, and its bright flavors and bold crunch are just the thing to counter all those potatoes and stuffings.

View our collections of Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes and Vegetarian Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes.

3. Thanksgiving Dressing

For some, the hallmark of Thanksgiving is stuffing — or dressing, as it may be. (The difference? Stuffing is, well, stuffed inside the bird. Dressing sits alongside.) This version, from Sam Sifton, is the Norman Rockwell ideal: bread, celery, apples, onions, chestnuts, thyme and sage.

View our collections of Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes and Vegetarian Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes.

4. Extra-Crispy Parmesan-Crusted Roasted Potatoes

J. Kenji López-Alt got his inspiration for these potatoes from Detroit-style pizza. They’re a little more involved than most roasted potatoes: There’s an initial boil, then a roast. But the end result is perfectly crispy.

View our collections of Mashed Potatoes Recipes and Roasted Potatoes Recipes, and our How to Make Potatoes guide, as well our Best Thanksgiving Side Dish recipes.

5. Cranberry-Pomegranate Relish

This is an especially pretty take on cranberry sauce: The pistachios add a lovely contrast to the bright red of the cranberry and pomegranate. And it’s also simple, ready in just 10 minutes. (Still, if you wait all year for the canned stuff, have at! It’s your Thanksgiving. Eat what you like.)

View our collections of Cranberry Sauce Recipes, Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes and Vegetarian Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes.

6. Roasted Brussels Sprouts With Garlic

Brussels sprouts have a bad reputation, so often because they’re boiled past recognition. When roasted, they are something else entirely, crisp on the outside, tender on the inside with just enough char. With thousands of five-star ratings, Mark Bittman’s brussels sprouts with garlic couldn’t be any better — or easier.

View our collections of Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes and Vegetarian Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes.

7. Sweet Potatoes With Miso-Ginger Sauce

This recipe, which Christine Muhlke adapted from the cookbook author Deborah Madison, pairs sweet potatoes with a versatile miso-ginger dressing. Take it from the comments section: “This sauce will taste great on ANYTHING!” Double it and use it on all kinds of things — soba noodles and rice, tofu and salads.

View our collections of Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes and Vegetarian Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes.

8. Green Bean Casserole

A classic rendition here — creamy and cheesy, tender and crisp — is a must on many Thanksgiving tables. Millie Peartree’s recipe skips the canned soup but still satisfies, and lets you use just about any mushroom.

View our collections of Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes and Vegetarian Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes.

9. Lemon-Garlic Kale Salad

Some — ahem, Sam Sifton — say salad has no place on the Thanksgiving table. For those who disagree, there’s this recipe from Julia Moskin, with its super-easy dressing of lemon juice, olive oil, garlic and salt. Sliced almonds add a nice crunch at the end.

View our collections of Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes and Vegetarian Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes.

10. Southern Macaroni and Cheese

Passed down through her family for generations, Millie Peartree’s can’t-miss, extra-cheesy mac and cheese skips the roux and starts with a milk and egg base for extra silkiness. As one commenter put it, “You won’t find a richer, crispier, creamier, cheesier mac & cheese recipe.”

Thanksgiving ›

Pie Baking Tips

There are few kitchen projects as rewarding as making this iconic American dessert. See our full guide on How to Make Pie Crust and a list of our best Thanksgiving pie recipes.

    • Always bake a pie on a rimmed baking sheet to contain any overflow. A baking sheet also makes removing the pie from the oven easier.
    • You can freeze a whole, unbaked fruit pie. Then bake it while still frozen, adding about 15 minutes onto the baking time. Do not thaw it first or you could lose flakiness in the crust.
    • For the best-looking crimped crust, or to avoid having your crust shrink in the oven, freeze the unbaked pie dough before filling and baking (or blind baking). The colder your dough when you get it into the oven, the better it holds its shape.
    • You can store your baked pie at room temperature, covered, for up to one day. After that, the crust will become irretrievably soggy.

    Source: Our Best Sides

Highlights

Categories
World News

16 Thanksgiving Sides to Make You Forget About the Turkey

Let’s be honest: Turkey’s great, but Thanksgiving is about the sides. Some of us wait all year for stuffing, potatoes (sweet and regular), green beans and sprouts, mac and cheese — and even the cranberry sauce. To say nothing of rolls!

We’ve assembled some of our finest recipes, new and old, to round out your meal. These supporting players are so good, you’d be forgiven if you forgot about the turkey.

1. Creamy Double-Garlic Mashed Potatoes

For many families, a potato dish on the Thanksgiving table is nonnegotiable. You may have a beloved recipe, but if you don’t, may we recommend this one from Alexa Weibel? Roasted garlic gives it deep flavor, while crisp garlic chips provide a little bite.

View our collections of Mashed Potatoes Recipes and Roasted Potatoes Recipes, and our How to Make Potatoes guide, as well our Best Thanksgiving Side Dish recipes.

2. Green Beans With Ginger and Garlic

This recipe from Julia Moskin is a welcome spot of green amid the Thanksgiving starches. It comes together quickly, and its bright flavors and bold crunch are just the thing to counter all those potatoes and stuffings.

View our collections of Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes and Vegetarian Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes.

3. Thanksgiving Dressing

For some, the hallmark of Thanksgiving is stuffing — or dressing, as it may be. (The difference? Stuffing is, well, stuffed inside the bird. Dressing sits alongside.) This version, from Sam Sifton, is the Norman Rockwell ideal: bread, celery, apples, onions, chestnuts, thyme and sage.

View our collections of Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes and Vegetarian Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes.

4. Extra-Crispy Parmesan-Crusted Roasted Potatoes

J. Kenji López-Alt got his inspiration for these potatoes from Detroit-style pizza. They’re a little more involved than most roasted potatoes: There’s an initial boil, then a roast. But the end result is perfectly crispy.

View our collections of Mashed Potatoes Recipes and Roasted Potatoes Recipes, and our How to Make Potatoes guide, as well our Best Thanksgiving Side Dish recipes.

5. Cranberry-Pomegranate Relish

This is an especially pretty take on cranberry sauce: The pistachios add a lovely contrast to the bright red of the cranberry and pomegranate. And it’s also simple, ready in just 10 minutes. (Still, if you wait all year for the canned stuff, have at! It’s your Thanksgiving. Eat what you like.)

View our collections of Cranberry Sauce Recipes, Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes and Vegetarian Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes.

6. Roasted Brussels Sprouts With Garlic

Brussels sprouts have a bad reputation, so often because they’re boiled past recognition. When roasted, they are something else entirely, crisp on the outside, tender on the inside with just enough char. With thousands of five-star ratings, Mark Bittman’s brussels sprouts with garlic couldn’t be any better — or easier.

View our collections of Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes and Vegetarian Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes.

7. Sweet Potatoes With Miso-Ginger Sauce

This recipe, which Christine Muhlke adapted from the cookbook author Deborah Madison, pairs sweet potatoes with a versatile miso-ginger dressing. Take it from the comments section: “This sauce will taste great on ANYTHING!” Double it and use it on all kinds of things — soba noodles and rice, tofu and salads.

View our collections of Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes and Vegetarian Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes.

8. Green Bean Casserole

A classic rendition here — creamy and cheesy, tender and crisp — is a must on many Thanksgiving tables. Millie Peartree’s recipe skips the canned soup but still satisfies, and lets you use just about any mushroom.

View our collections of Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes and Vegetarian Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes.

9. Lemon-Garlic Kale Salad

Some — ahem, Sam Sifton — say salad has no place on the Thanksgiving table. For those who disagree, there’s this recipe from Julia Moskin, with its super-easy dressing of lemon juice, olive oil, garlic and salt. Sliced almonds add a nice crunch at the end.

View our collections of Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes and Vegetarian Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes.

10. Southern Macaroni and Cheese

Passed down through her family for generations, Millie Peartree’s can’t-miss, extra-cheesy mac and cheese skips the roux and starts with a milk and egg base for extra silkiness. As one commenter put it, “You won’t find a richer, crispier, creamier, cheesier mac & cheese recipe.”

Thanksgiving ›

Pie Baking Tips

There are few kitchen projects as rewarding as making this iconic American dessert. See our full guide on How to Make Pie Crust and a list of our best Thanksgiving pie recipes.

    • Always bake a pie on a rimmed baking sheet to contain any overflow. A baking sheet also makes removing the pie from the oven easier.
    • You can freeze a whole, unbaked fruit pie. Then bake it while still frozen, adding about 15 minutes onto the baking time. Do not thaw it first or you could lose flakiness in the crust.
    • For the best-looking crimped crust, or to avoid having your crust shrink in the oven, freeze the unbaked pie dough before filling and baking (or blind baking). The colder your dough when you get it into the oven, the better it holds its shape.
    • You can store your baked pie at room temperature, covered, for up to one day. After that, the crust will become irretrievably soggy.

    Source: Our Best Sides

Highlights

Categories
World News

16 Thanksgiving Sides to Make You Forget About the Turkey

Let’s be honest: Turkey’s great, but Thanksgiving is about the sides. Some of us wait all year for stuffing, potatoes (sweet and regular), green beans and sprouts, mac and cheese — and even the cranberry sauce. To say nothing of rolls!

We’ve assembled some of our finest recipes, new and old, to round out your meal. These supporting players are so good, you’d be forgiven if you forgot about the turkey.

1. Creamy Double-Garlic Mashed Potatoes

For many families, a potato dish on the Thanksgiving table is nonnegotiable. You may have a beloved recipe, but if you don’t, may we recommend this one from Alexa Weibel? Roasted garlic gives it deep flavor, while crisp garlic chips provide a little bite.

View our collections of Mashed Potatoes Recipes and Roasted Potatoes Recipes, and our How to Make Potatoes guide, as well our Best Thanksgiving Side Dish recipes.

2. Green Beans With Ginger and Garlic

This recipe from Julia Moskin is a welcome spot of green amid the Thanksgiving starches. It comes together quickly, and its bright flavors and bold crunch are just the thing to counter all those potatoes and stuffings.

View our collections of Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes and Vegetarian Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes.

3. Thanksgiving Dressing

For some, the hallmark of Thanksgiving is stuffing — or dressing, as it may be. (The difference? Stuffing is, well, stuffed inside the bird. Dressing sits alongside.) This version, from Sam Sifton, is the Norman Rockwell ideal: bread, celery, apples, onions, chestnuts, thyme and sage.

View our collections of Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes and Vegetarian Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes.

4. Extra-Crispy Parmesan-Crusted Roasted Potatoes

J. Kenji López-Alt got his inspiration for these potatoes from Detroit-style pizza. They’re a little more involved than most roasted potatoes: There’s an initial boil, then a roast. But the end result is perfectly crispy.

View our collections of Mashed Potatoes Recipes and Roasted Potatoes Recipes, and our How to Make Potatoes guide, as well our Best Thanksgiving Side Dish recipes.

5. Cranberry-Pomegranate Relish

This is an especially pretty take on cranberry sauce: The pistachios add a lovely contrast to the bright red of the cranberry and pomegranate. And it’s also simple, ready in just 10 minutes. (Still, if you wait all year for the canned stuff, have at! It’s your Thanksgiving. Eat what you like.)

View our collections of Cranberry Sauce Recipes, Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes and Vegetarian Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes.

6. Roasted Brussels Sprouts With Garlic

Brussels sprouts have a bad reputation, so often because they’re boiled past recognition. When roasted, they are something else entirely, crisp on the outside, tender on the inside with just enough char. With thousands of five-star ratings, Mark Bittman’s brussels sprouts with garlic couldn’t be any better — or easier.

View our collections of Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes and Vegetarian Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes.

7. Sweet Potatoes With Miso-Ginger Sauce

This recipe, which Christine Muhlke adapted from the cookbook author Deborah Madison, pairs sweet potatoes with a versatile miso-ginger dressing. Take it from the comments section: “This sauce will taste great on ANYTHING!” Double it and use it on all kinds of things — soba noodles and rice, tofu and salads.

View our collections of Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes and Vegetarian Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes.

8. Green Bean Casserole

A classic rendition here — creamy and cheesy, tender and crisp — is a must on many Thanksgiving tables. Millie Peartree’s recipe skips the canned soup but still satisfies, and lets you use just about any mushroom.

View our collections of Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes and Vegetarian Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes.

9. Lemon-Garlic Kale Salad

Some — ahem, Sam Sifton — say salad has no place on the Thanksgiving table. For those who disagree, there’s this recipe from Julia Moskin, with its super-easy dressing of lemon juice, olive oil, garlic and salt. Sliced almonds add a nice crunch at the end.

View our collections of Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes and Vegetarian Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes.

10. Southern Macaroni and Cheese

Passed down through her family for generations, Millie Peartree’s can’t-miss, extra-cheesy mac and cheese skips the roux and starts with a milk and egg base for extra silkiness. As one commenter put it, “You won’t find a richer, crispier, creamier, cheesier mac & cheese recipe.”

Thanksgiving ›

Pie Baking Tips

There are few kitchen projects as rewarding as making this iconic American dessert. See our full guide on How to Make Pie Crust and a list of our best Thanksgiving pie recipes.

    • Always bake a pie on a rimmed baking sheet to contain any overflow. A baking sheet also makes removing the pie from the oven easier.
    • You can freeze a whole, unbaked fruit pie. Then bake it while still frozen, adding about 15 minutes onto the baking time. Do not thaw it first or you could lose flakiness in the crust.
    • For the best-looking crimped crust, or to avoid having your crust shrink in the oven, freeze the unbaked pie dough before filling and baking (or blind baking). The colder your dough when you get it into the oven, the better it holds its shape.
    • You can store your baked pie at room temperature, covered, for up to one day. After that, the crust will become irretrievably soggy.

    Source: Our Best Sides

Highlights

Categories
World News

16 Thanksgiving Sides to Make You Forget About the Turkey

Let’s be honest: Turkey’s great, but Thanksgiving is about the sides. Some of us wait all year for stuffing, potatoes (sweet and regular), green beans and sprouts, mac and cheese — and even the cranberry sauce. To say nothing of rolls!

We’ve assembled some of our finest recipes, new and old, to round out your meal. These supporting players are so good, you’d be forgiven if you forgot about the turkey.

1. Creamy Double-Garlic Mashed Potatoes

For many families, a potato dish on the Thanksgiving table is nonnegotiable. You may have a beloved recipe, but if you don’t, may we recommend this one from Alexa Weibel? Roasted garlic gives it deep flavor, while crisp garlic chips provide a little bite.

View our collections of Mashed Potatoes Recipes and Roasted Potatoes Recipes, and our How to Make Potatoes guide, as well our Best Thanksgiving Side Dish recipes.

2. Green Beans With Ginger and Garlic

This recipe from Julia Moskin is a welcome spot of green amid the Thanksgiving starches. It comes together quickly, and its bright flavors and bold crunch are just the thing to counter all those potatoes and stuffings.

View our collections of Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes and Vegetarian Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes.

3. Thanksgiving Dressing

For some, the hallmark of Thanksgiving is stuffing — or dressing, as it may be. (The difference? Stuffing is, well, stuffed inside the bird. Dressing sits alongside.) This version, from Sam Sifton, is the Norman Rockwell ideal: bread, celery, apples, onions, chestnuts, thyme and sage.

View our collections of Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes and Vegetarian Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes.

4. Extra-Crispy Parmesan-Crusted Roasted Potatoes

J. Kenji López-Alt got his inspiration for these potatoes from Detroit-style pizza. They’re a little more involved than most roasted potatoes: There’s an initial boil, then a roast. But the end result is perfectly crispy.

View our collections of Mashed Potatoes Recipes and Roasted Potatoes Recipes, and our How to Make Potatoes guide, as well our Best Thanksgiving Side Dish recipes.

5. Cranberry-Pomegranate Relish

This is an especially pretty take on cranberry sauce: The pistachios add a lovely contrast to the bright red of the cranberry and pomegranate. And it’s also simple, ready in just 10 minutes. (Still, if you wait all year for the canned stuff, have at! It’s your Thanksgiving. Eat what you like.)

View our collections of Cranberry Sauce Recipes, Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes and Vegetarian Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes.

6. Roasted Brussels Sprouts With Garlic

Brussels sprouts have a bad reputation, so often because they’re boiled past recognition. When roasted, they are something else entirely, crisp on the outside, tender on the inside with just enough char. With thousands of five-star ratings, Mark Bittman’s brussels sprouts with garlic couldn’t be any better — or easier.

View our collections of Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes and Vegetarian Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes.

7. Sweet Potatoes With Miso-Ginger Sauce

This recipe, which Christine Muhlke adapted from the cookbook author Deborah Madison, pairs sweet potatoes with a versatile miso-ginger dressing. Take it from the comments section: “This sauce will taste great on ANYTHING!” Double it and use it on all kinds of things — soba noodles and rice, tofu and salads.

View our collections of Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes and Vegetarian Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes.

8. Green Bean Casserole

A classic rendition here — creamy and cheesy, tender and crisp — is a must on many Thanksgiving tables. Millie Peartree’s recipe skips the canned soup but still satisfies, and lets you use just about any mushroom.

View our collections of Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes and Vegetarian Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes.

9. Lemon-Garlic Kale Salad

Some — ahem, Sam Sifton — say salad has no place on the Thanksgiving table. For those who disagree, there’s this recipe from Julia Moskin, with its super-easy dressing of lemon juice, olive oil, garlic and salt. Sliced almonds add a nice crunch at the end.

View our collections of Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes and Vegetarian Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes.

10. Southern Macaroni and Cheese

Passed down through her family for generations, Millie Peartree’s can’t-miss, extra-cheesy mac and cheese skips the roux and starts with a milk and egg base for extra silkiness. As one commenter put it, “You won’t find a richer, crispier, creamier, cheesier mac & cheese recipe.”

Thanksgiving ›

Pie Baking Tips

There are few kitchen projects as rewarding as making this iconic American dessert. See our full guide on How to Make Pie Crust and a list of our best Thanksgiving pie recipes.

    • Always bake a pie on a rimmed baking sheet to contain any overflow. A baking sheet also makes removing the pie from the oven easier.
    • You can freeze a whole, unbaked fruit pie. Then bake it while still frozen, adding about 15 minutes onto the baking time. Do not thaw it first or you could lose flakiness in the crust.
    • For the best-looking crimped crust, or to avoid having your crust shrink in the oven, freeze the unbaked pie dough before filling and baking (or blind baking). The colder your dough when you get it into the oven, the better it holds its shape.
    • You can store your baked pie at room temperature, covered, for up to one day. After that, the crust will become irretrievably soggy.

    Source: Our Best Sides

Highlights

Categories
World News

17 Recipes for a Small Thanksgiving Dinner

The safest choice this Thanksgiving is to cozy up to — and cook for — the people you live with. These lower-yield recipes don’t sacrifice on satisfaction. For even more festive options, you can cook your way through Melissa Clark’s menu for two, or explore this larger collection of Recipes for a Small Thanksgiving.

1. Brussels Sprouts With Pickled Shallots and Labneh

Nik Sharma is an expert at playing with texture and flavor. In this dish, he invigorates simply roasted brussels sprouts with creamy labneh, quick-pickled shallots and date syrup — but you could swap in honey or maple syrup for a sweetness that balances it all out.

Recipe: Brussels Sprouts With Pickled Shallots and Labneh

2. Sweet Potato and Onion Dip

Whether you mash, candy, casserole or present them in pie form, sweet potatoes are an incredibly versatile Thanksgiving staple. Nicole Taylor bakes them gently to preserve their flavor, then mashes and mixes them with maple syrup, caramelized onions, ricotta and warm spices into a dip for grazing before the big meal.

Recipe: Sweet Potato and Onion Dip

3. Torrisi Turkey

Sam Sifton calls this recipe from Rich Torrisi and Mario Carbone “about the moistest, most luxuriously flavorful turkey available on the planet: rich and buttery, deep with rich turkey taste.” Unlike many recipes, this one can be reduced by half without any tweaks to cook time; a single turkey breast will amply satisfy a family of four — and leave some leftovers.

Recipe: Torrisi Turkey

4. Twice-Baked Potatoes

Perhaps too labor-intensive for larger Thanksgiving gatherings — or occupying too much oven space — these twice-baked potatoes are crowd-pleasers that are an ideal fit for a small audience.

Recipe: Twice-Baked Potatoes

5. Green Beans With Ginger and Garlic

Blanched in boiling water until just crisp-tender, then sautéed with oil, ginger and garlic, these green beans effortlessly add brightness to any spread. They are wonderful as is, but if you crave more texture, you can top them with some homemade or store-bought fried garlic, shallots or onions, for a simpler spin on the traditional casserole.

Recipe: Green Beans With Ginger and Garlic

6. Herby Bread-and-Butter Stuffing for Two

Melissa Clark has taken the guesswork out of cooking for two with this classic herbed stuffing — which fits into an entire menu of Thanksgiving dishes suited for a tiny party.

Recipe: Herby Bread-and-Butter Stuffing for Two

7. Roast Turkey Breast

When roasting an entire bird, one complaint dominates: The white meat often cooks faster than the dark meat. Roasting a turkey breast allows you to focus on achieving perfectly succulent meat; a three-pound breast should provide plenty for a family of four.

Recipe: Roast Turkey Breast

8. Creamed Spinach

This refreshingly verdant creamed spinach dish from Pierre Franey allows spinach to shine by opting for a high ratio of greens to dairy. The blanched greens are blended, then stirred into a simple béchamel sauce, which complements their flavor without dominating.

Recipe: Creamed Spinach

9. Pecan Pie Sandwich Cookies

Fitting for a pandemic — or any other occasion — these delicate, crumbly brown sugar shortbread cookies sandwich a gooey pecan-praline filling. Inspired by pecan pie, these cute cookies are meant for sharing.

Recipe: Pecan Pie Sandwich Cookies

10. Creamy Macaroni and Cheese

Tackle this recipe as is, and you might find yourself with more than your share of creamy, baked Cheddar-and-cottage-cheese pasta. But you can easily halve it: Simply cook it in a smaller dish for the same amount of time, or spread it thinly across the same vessel, increasing the surface area to yield a higher rate of deliciously browned bits of toasted cheese on top.

Recipe: Creamy Macaroni and Cheese

11. Buttermilk-Brined Roast Chicken

Samin Nosrat’s gloriously golden roast chicken proves that there’s no need to feel tied to turkey for the holiday table. Marinate it in buttermilk overnight to guarantee juicy results.

Recipe: Buttermilk-Brined Roast Chicken

12. Spicy Red Pepper Cranberry Relish

If you like, you can easily halve this punchy relish from David Tanis, reducing the cook time by two or three minutes, but you might find good use for the full yield: It will keep refrigerated for up to two weeks and works well slathered on just about any sandwich.

Thanksgiving ›

Pie Baking Tips

There are few kitchen projects as rewarding as making this iconic American dessert. See our full guide on How to Make Pie Crust and a list of our best Thanksgiving pie recipes.

    • Always bake a pie on a rimmed baking sheet to contain any overflow. A baking sheet also makes removing the pie from the oven easier.
    • You can freeze a whole, unbaked fruit pie. Then bake it while still frozen, adding about 15 minutes onto the baking time. Do not thaw it first or you could lose flakiness in the crust.
    • For the best-looking crimped crust, or to avoid having your crust shrink in the oven, freeze the unbaked pie dough before filling and baking (or blind baking). The colder your dough when you get it into the oven, the better it holds its shape.
    • You can store your baked pie at room temperature, covered, for up to one day. After that, the crust will become irretrievably soggy.

    Source: Read Full Article

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World News

How Does Ina Do It?

EAST HAMPTON, N.Y. — Ina Garten’s house, on a side street in the stately, manicured village of East Hampton, was just the way you’d want it to be on a sunny morning in October. By which I mean the lawn was a beautiful rumpled green, and the garden was full of cherry tomatoes, and she was wearing a loose button-down shirt and smiling as she brought me coffee in a hotel-style silver carafe. All appeared just as it does on her television show, “Barefoot Contessa,” that has been shot here since 2002.

And I was there this fall because of a sneaking suspicion that, although Ms. Garten — Ina to her fans — has become a queen of quarantine cuisine, we don’t exactly cook from the same pantry.

For a person who’d been enclosed in a New York City apartment for seven months, with one end of the kitchen table functioning as my office and the other end as dining room, wandering through her “barn” — a lofty kitchen with two dishwashers and 25 feet of limestone counter space; a sunlit reading room full of cookbooks and couches; a spotless, roomy storeroom lined with fully organized staples — was like floating in a soothing dream.

The Contessa’s quarantine is not our quarantine. Her kitchen is not our kitchen. But this year, her Thanksgiving is pretty much our Thanksgiving: tiny and improvised, without the guardrails of tradition we usually rely on for a holiday dinner.

That could mean her recipe for roasted turkey breast infused with the flavors of Italian porchetta: garlic, fennel seed, sage and rosemary. The lemony mashed potatoes that she reverse-engineered from a restaurant dish that caught her fancy in Paris. In any case, she will be sticking with her perennial no-stuffing policy, making a savory bread pudding instead.

“I hope people will give themselves permission to do whatever they want this year,” she said.

Ms. Garten, 72, has published 12 cookbooks in 18 years, produced 18 seasons of her show on Food Network, and steadily built up a following that puts her among the most popular culinary figures of the last two decades.

Her official fan club’s page on Facebook is not a group that just anyone can join. First, supplicants must make it clear that they are part of the Ina personality cult by answering two key questions: What is the name of her husband, and what is the one herb that she cannot bear? If you replied “Jeffrey” and “cilantro” before even reading the questions to the end, congratulations. You, too, are an Ina superfan.

As a reporter, I have spent a lot of time over the same years wondering exactly how a wealthy white woman with no unique culinary skill or television shtick built such a diverse and devoted following. At her house, the answer was revealed in the first five minutes.

“I find cooking hard,” she said. “I’m not a trained chef. I love cooking, but it is not easy.”

It’s a simple truth, but shared by most home cooks. And that’s what she brings to the screen, combining the enthusiasm of a student and the authority of an expert.

If what you want from a cooking teacher are ways to get dinner on the table in 30 minutes while also exploring a global pantry, Ms. Garten is not your go-to television chef. If what you want is to cook food the way they do at the upscale bistro where you already spend your disposable income, she is very probably for you.

She adapted to the pandemic energetically, opening her freezer and pantry (via pictures on Instagram) and asking, “Does anyone have something they don’t know what to do with?” She has gained 1 million followers since March.

It was the first time she had invited regular contact with her fans, and she learned a lot. No one was actually using dried beans. Sourdough was over quickly. A recipe for Overnight Mac and Cheese crashed her website.

On April 1, she posted a video of herself making a Cosmopolitan cocktail that begins with a full liter of vodka and ends with her sipping out of a martini glass as tall as a garden gnome. More than three million people have watched it, embracing the larky side of her teaching persona.

“That was it for me, I was hooked,” said April Franklin, 26, a new follower who lives in Rockville, Md. “She’s like a mom, but I want to listen to her when she tells me what to do.”

“She looks like us,” said Deborah Torres, 61, a retired teacher in Tucson, Ariz., who is a longtime fan. “She knows what she’s good at, and she stays in her lane.”

There are some signatures to an Ina recipe. Her hybrids — like waffle-iron hash browns, cacio e pepe gougères and Caesar grilled fish — are successful not only because she thinks them up, but because she painstakingly makes them fit together.

She salts like a restaurant chef, and gives exact measurements instead of relying on the phrase “to taste” — usually a lot more of it than home cooks think they can, or should, use. She is lavish with fats: butter, heavy cream, pancetta, cheese, sometimes all of the above. Then she often slips in small hits of vinegar and citrus, to wake up the flavors. There is at least one recipe in each book for a piece of meat that will cost more than anything else on your table, including the silverware.

Trent Pheifer, a 35-year-old New Yorker, is five years (and 1,029 recipes) into a quest to cook all of Ms. Garten’s recipes, a project he documents on Instagram at @storeboughtisfine (a phrase that Ms. Garten uses often, especially about chicken stock). He said that like many people his age, he tried learning how to cook from randomly chosen recipes on the internet, only to realize he didn’t have the basic kitchen skills to follow them.

“What does ‘brown around the edges’ mean? How do you take something out ‘just before it’s done’?” he said. “How do I trust my gut when I have no history in the kitchen?”

Instead, he decided to trust Ina.

Having made most of them, he has learned that the recipes always work if you follow them closely, and that when they are not simple, the extra steps are worth it. He said the feeling of mastery her recipes provide is what makes Ms. Garten so popular with inexperienced cooks.

“I would not have dreamed that I — or anyone, really — could make Baked Alaska or carnitas at home,” he said.

Her first book, “The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook,” published in 1999, is a culinary time capsule, preserving the recipes from Barefoot Contessa, the food store she ran in the Hamptons from 1978 to 1996, when the neighborhood was still a place to escape urban hassles like parking tickets and dress codes. Paul McCartney or Annie Leibovitz might stop to pick up sandwiches on the way to the beach, or post-aerobics class for iced coffee and banana crunch muffins.

Thanksgiving ›

Grocery Checklist

Some items on the Thanksgiving shopping list are obvious, but there are several other ingredients that will prove invaluable to have on hand. See our full guide on How To Cook and Plan Thanksgiving and our list of staples below.

    • Butter, lots of it. Choose European-style high-fat butter for pie crusts, and regular unsalted butter for everything else.
    • Stock. If you haven’t made your own, look for homemade stock at the same butcher shop where you buy your turkey, or in the freezer section of your supermarket. The canned and boxed stuff should be a last resort.
    • Fresh herbs. Not only do they add freshness and flavor across your Thanksgiving table, but they’re also pretty, lending a touch of green to a meal heavy on earth tones.
    • Garlic, onions, leeks, fresh ginger, shallots. An assortment of aromatics keeps your cooking lively and interesting. You’ll need them for the stuffing, for stock and gravy, and for many side dishes.
    • Fresh citrus. Lemon, lime and orange juice and zest contribute brightness to countless Thanksgiving dishes, from the turkey to the gravy to the cranberry sauce to the whipped cream for pie.
    • Nuts. These go a long way to give crunch to otherwise texturally boring dishes. (Ahem, sweet potato casserole.)
    • White wine/vermouth/beer. Even if you’re not drinking any of these spirits before or during the meal, they can be splashed into gravy or vegetable dishes, or used to deglaze the turkey roasting pan. (Bourbon and brandy work well as deglazers, too.)
    • Fresh spices. If you can’t remember when you bought your spices, now is a good time to replace them.
    • Light brown sugar, molasses, maple syrup. These sweeteners are more profoundly flavored than white sugar, and they have an autumnal richness.
    • Heavy cream, sour cream, crème fraîche, ice cream. You’ll need these for topping pies and cakes.
    • Please, wear a mask. It protects both yourself and others from coronavirus, and aim to maintain several feet of distance from other shoppers in stores whenever possible. If you opt for grocery delivery, tip as generously as you can.
    • See all of our Thanksgiving recipes.

    Source: NEW: Ina Garten's Plans

Highlights

Categories
World News

The ‘Inn’ Is Out at the Beatrice, but History Still Holds Sway

The Beatrice Inn has been at 285 West 12th Street for nearly 100 years in one form or another, drawing generations of New Yorkers down the steep, narrow stairs and into a dimly lit speakeasy, an Italian restaurant, an impossible-to-get-in-the-door club and a buzzy chophouse owned by the former Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter.

This year, the chef and co-owner, Angie Mar, will close the restaurant after service on New Year’s Eve. She plans to reopen in the spring with the same team, in a new location — right next door — and with the “Inn” dropped from the restaurant’s name. The new version will draw tangibly from its history as she reinvents the longstanding institution.

“I intended to stay here,” Ms. Mar said. “But we’ve been paying above market, numbers that no business can sustain even in the best of times, let alone in a pandemic.”

The new space, which previously housed Blenheim, is a glassy, street-level corner, filled with natural light — the opposite of the Beatrice Inn in every way. As Ms. Mar designs a new dining room and kitchen, she also wants to take time to rethink the menu.

“The Beatrice Inn has been labeled as a chophouse,” she said. “Do I cook meat? Absolutely. Do I feel like we’re a chophouse? Absolutely not.”

Ms. Mar said dry-aged beef will remain on the menu, but only in small quantities. If the kitchen sells out of its five or six steaks for the night, well then, tough — no more steaks.

“Look, I’m not going to do the Arpège thing either and start cooking vegetables,” Ms. Mar said, referring to the chef Alain Passard’s cultish, vegetable-obsessed restaurant in Paris. “I promise, that will not happen.” The menu will likely include more game birds, crustaceans and lots of wood-fire cooking, with dishes rooted in French cuisine.

Ms. Mar has always found flashes of inspiration in Parisian bistros and the most luxurious of regional French foods. Her kitchen heroes come from an older generation of French chefs, like Jacques Pépin, whom she refers to affectionately as her “fairy god-chef.”

After a pre-pandemic dinner at the Beatrice Inn, where Ms. Mar went off-menu and cooked course after course for Mr. Pépin, the chef asked Ms. Mar if she was French. “You could have fooled me,” he told her.

Ms. Mar, who grew up in Seattle, considers it one of the great compliments of her career.

It was Mr. Pépin who introduced Ms. Mar to André Soltner, another old-school French luminary. Since his restaurant Lutèce closed in 2004, Mr. Soltner has stored the old glassware and serving dishes at his home in Hunter, N.Y. Charmed by Ms. Mar and her cooking, he recently offered her these artifacts.

“I was on the phone with André,” said Ms. Mar. “And he said, ‘You need the Lutèce crystal.’ And I thought, ‘I really do.’”

The new space next door will be smaller, but Ms. Mar plans to bring along as many bits and pieces of New York City restaurant history as she can.

This includes Mr. Soltner’s chandeliers, maybe, and the soft, curvy velvet banquette from table 26 of the Beatrice Inn, definitely. She also has her eye on the antique mirrors in the back room, a slab of marble counter and a small piece of stained glass.

These pieces are meaningful, not just to Ms. Mar and her regulars, but also to her new landlords, Sue and Mike Politis, who are a part of the Cardia family, who once owned the Beatrice Inn and Casa Di Pre next door.

The family bought the Beatrice Inn in 1955, and Casa Di Pre in 1986. For decades, if you walked down West 12th Street during the break between lunch and dinner, and stopped in front of the building marked 285, you could hear them — along with a mix of cooks and servers from both restaurants — playing cards in the dining room.

These poker games went on for hours, fueled by coffee, cigarettes and neighborhood gossip.

“Every day we’d have our family meal and little get-togethers, and play poker after lunch, and my father and my Aunt Elsie would get into fighting matches in Genoese — it was hysterical,” said Ms. Politis.

Ms. Politis, who grew up in Queens and started working in her family’s restaurant at 13, remembers bussing and serving, working as a host, or helping to prep daily specials like homemade cannelloni, manicotti and tray and after tray of lasagna.

Her husband, who went to culinary school, did his cooking internship in the kitchen at the Beatrice Inn. And after Ms. Politis’s father retired, in 1996, the couple ran Casa Di Pre. They felt sensitive to Ms. Mar’s desire to keep the restaurant going, and invested in its success.

“Opening a restaurant in Covid, not knowing what will happen, we want to be fair,” said Ms. Politis. “So we just worked things out.”

Ms. Mar closed the restaurant after service on March 14, and furloughed most of the staff two days later. She reopened for takeout on March 20. Though business has since picked up and 26 employees are back, on many evenings during lockdown it was a skeleton crew — Ms. Mar and four other workers — all of them cooking, washing dishes and running food to delivery people.

The focus was comfort food. Ms. Mar wrote daily emails to diners on the restaurant mailing list, telling them what was on the menu and when she’d be in cooking, and answering the phone.

“I did not leave my house,” said Randi Cardia, whose mother-in-law, Elsie Garaventa Cardia owned the Beatrice Inn for 50 years. Ms. Cardia was one of many locals who ordered regularly. “Angie definitely decided to be there for people like me, and she was our lifeline,” she said.

Before the pandemic, the kitchen was known for its hulking aged meats and chilled seafood towers, but Ms. Mar’s takeout dinners during lockdown starred warm, comforting dishes like pozole verde, homemade versions of Marie Callender’s chicken potpies, and fried chicken with macaroni and cheese.

“The amount of support and encouragement that we got during the height of quarantine, when it was really, really bad here — ” said Ms. Mar, her voice catching. “I cannot let this restaurant die.”

Follow NYT Food on Twitter and NYT Cooking on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and Pinterest. Get regular updates from NYT Cooking, with recipe suggestions, cooking tips and shopping advice.

Source: Read Full Article

Categories
World News

The Buttermilk-Brined Turkey of Your Thanksgiving Dreams

For someone who didn’t grow up celebrating Thanksgiving, I’ve got a lot of strong opinions about turkey.

It’s probably because I’ve cooked more of it than practically anyone I know, in just about more ways than I can list. I’ve roasted, braised, grilled, spit-roasted and deep-fried it. I’ve boned it out and made “turchetta.” I’ve dry-brined it, wet-brined it, injected it with brine and stuffed slabs of herbed butter under its skin. I’ve built a makeshift cinder-block oven to cook it at a friend’s farm that lacked a kitchen. I’ve even cooked 20 turkeys in a night, working the holiday in a restaurant.

And I once took an impromptu call from the famed rancher Bill Niman. He was just starting to raise heritage turkeys, and wondered if he could swing by with seven different breeds for me to cook for a blind tasting. I figured why not, and threw myself into the challenge, roasting all of the breasts and right legs, and braising all of the left legs. I remember that I took lots of notes and that some birds tasted much more turkey-ish than others.

As I look back on all of this poultry, though, one thing is clear: No matter how complicated or technical the preparation, no one turkey I’ve ever cooked has been that much more exciting to eat than any other. (Though if it was underseasoned or overcooked, it was certainly less exciting to eat.)

The truth is, deep down in my heart, I’ve always secretly hoped that if I cook it just right, a roast turkey will emerge from the oven as tender and juicy as a perfect roast chicken. And I suspect I’m not the only one who feels that way. But the fact of the matter is that it’s a different bird! And it has completely different qualities.

So let’s stop wishing our turkeys could be chickens, and let’s stop making ourselves unnecessarily miserable by complicating the cooking process. When it comes to turkey, simpler is better.

While I’ve finally, grudgingly, admitted that turkey isn’t chicken, it has occurred to me that I might be able to adapt my favorite roast chicken recipe for Thanksgiving. Three years ago, I published a recipe for three-ingredient, buttermilk-brined roast chicken in my book, “Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat.” It’s now among the most beloved of my recipes, and every November, people reach out to ask if they can apply the technique to their holiday turkey.

I’ve always answered hesitantly — not having tested it, I wasn’t sure that the skin wouldn’t grow too dark with the longer cooking time, or that the seasoning would be balanced. This year, I figured it was time to try it out for myself.

I set about tinkering, and the first thing I changed was timing. The chicken takes a simple overnight dip in the buttermilk, but a turkey weighs three times as much as a chicken, so it needs to spend a full 48 hours in the brine to ensure the meat is tender and properly seasoned throughout.

Next, the salt. Unlike the original chicken recipe, which leaves things to chance, I decided to specify the turkey brine’s ideal salinity — no one wants a bland holiday bird. But I’m a pragmatist, and I know that we’re not all using the same type of salt. I also know that different salts have different levels of salinity by volume, but not by weight. So, if you’ve got one, I encourage you to use a scale to measure out your salt to ensure a balanced brine. It’s just about the trickiest part of the recipe, and I promise you won’t regret it.

The last and most obvious change was my decision to spatchcock the turkey. By removing its backbone and flattening it out, I cut the cooking time by more than half. While in the chicken recipe, the lactose in the buttermilk contributes to perfectly golden-brown skin, I’d worried that a turkey’s significantly longer cooking time might yield a blackened bird.

Spatchcocking put an end to that fear. Furthermore, laying the bird out flat means there’s greater surface area for browning — more of that dark, lacquered skin for everyone.

An unexpected boon of spatchcocking is how beautifully it streamlines the entire brining process: Without a backbone, the turkey can just be folded in half and slipped into a two-gallon zipper-top plastic bag containing the buttermilk and salt. There’s no unwieldy pot or bowl taking up all of your refrigerator space. Just slip the bag in wherever it fits, turn it two or three times a day, and that’s it. Simplicity is everything here.

This year will require something different of many of us, whether that means gathering in smaller groups, eating alone on a Zoom call or forgoing some of our usual Thanksgiving comforts. So I’m offering three versions of this recipe, for whatever your holiday entails: the spatchcocked whole turkey; a brined breast, for those who want turkey for four to six people; and the classic buttermilk chicken, for those who may not want or be able to manage a turkey.

All of the variations yield incredibly tender meat that’s seasoned through and through, enveloped in that showstopping caramel-brown skin that’s such a pleasure to eat. And they’re all utterly simple and satisfying. In a year full of so many other complications, let your holiday bird be stress-free.

Recipes: Buttermilk-Brined Roast Turkey | Buttermilk-Brined Turkey Breast | Buttermilk-Brined Roast Chicken

Follow NYT Food on Twitter and NYT Cooking on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and Pinterest. Get regular updates from NYT Cooking, with recipe suggestions, cooking tips and shopping advice.

Source: Samin Nosrat's Turkey

Highlights

Categories
World News

The Buttermilk-Brined Turkey of Your Thanksgiving Dreams

For someone who didn’t grow up celebrating Thanksgiving, I’ve got a lot of strong opinions about turkey.

It’s probably because I’ve cooked more of it than practically anyone I know, in just about more ways than I can list. I’ve roasted, braised, grilled, spit-roasted and deep-fried it. I’ve boned it out and made “turchetta.” I’ve dry-brined it, wet-brined it, injected it with brine and stuffed slabs of herbed butter under its skin. I’ve built a makeshift cinder-block oven to cook it at a friend’s farm that lacked a kitchen. I’ve even cooked 20 turkeys in a night, working the holiday in a restaurant.

And I once took an impromptu call from the famed rancher Bill Niman. He was just starting to raise heritage turkeys, and wondered if he could swing by with seven different breeds for me to cook for a blind tasting. I figured why not, and threw myself into the challenge, roasting all of the breasts and right legs, and braising all of the left legs. I remember that I took lots of notes and that some birds tasted much more turkey-ish than others.

As I look back on all of this poultry, though, one thing is clear: No matter how complicated or technical the preparation, no one turkey I’ve ever cooked has been that much more exciting to eat than any other. (Though if it was underseasoned or overcooked, it was certainly less exciting to eat.)

The truth is, deep down in my heart, I’ve always secretly hoped that if I cook it just right, a roast turkey will emerge from the oven as tender and juicy as a perfect roast chicken. And I suspect I’m not the only one who feels that way. But the fact of the matter is that it’s a different bird! And it has completely different qualities.

So let’s stop wishing our turkeys could be chickens, and let’s stop making ourselves unnecessarily miserable by complicating the cooking process. When it comes to turkey, simpler is better.

While I’ve finally, grudgingly, admitted that turkey isn’t chicken, it has occurred to me that I might be able to adapt my favorite roast chicken recipe for Thanksgiving. Three years ago, I published a recipe for three-ingredient, buttermilk-brined roast chicken in my book, “Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat.” It’s now among the most beloved of my recipes, and every November, people reach out to ask if they can apply the technique to their holiday turkey.

I’ve always answered hesitantly — not having tested it, I wasn’t sure that the skin wouldn’t grow too dark with the longer cooking time, or that the seasoning would be balanced. This year, I figured it was time to try it out for myself.

I set about tinkering, and the first thing I changed was timing. The chicken takes a simple overnight dip in the buttermilk, but a turkey weighs three times as much as a chicken, so it needs to spend a full 48 hours in the brine to ensure the meat is tender and properly seasoned throughout.

Next, the salt. Unlike the original chicken recipe, which leaves things to chance, I decided to specify the turkey brine’s ideal salinity — no one wants a bland holiday bird. But I’m a pragmatist, and I know that we’re not all using the same type of salt. I also know that different salts have different levels of salinity by volume, but not by weight. So, if you’ve got one, I encourage you to use a scale to measure out your salt to ensure a balanced brine. It’s just about the trickiest part of the recipe, and I promise you won’t regret it.

The last and most obvious change was my decision to spatchcock the turkey. By removing its backbone and flattening it out, I cut the cooking time by more than half. While in the chicken recipe, the lactose in the buttermilk contributes to perfectly golden-brown skin, I’d worried that a turkey’s significantly longer cooking time might yield a blackened bird.

Spatchcocking put an end to that fear. Furthermore, laying the bird out flat means there’s greater surface area for browning — more of that dark, lacquered skin for everyone.

An unexpected boon of spatchcocking is how beautifully it streamlines the entire brining process: Without a backbone, the turkey can just be folded in half and slipped into a two-gallon zipper-top plastic bag containing the buttermilk and salt. There’s no unwieldy pot or bowl taking up all of your refrigerator space. Just slip the bag in wherever it fits, turn it two or three times a day, and that’s it. Simplicity is everything here.

This year will require something different of many of us, whether that means gathering in smaller groups, eating alone on a Zoom call or forgoing some of our usual Thanksgiving comforts. So I’m offering three versions of this recipe, for whatever your holiday entails: the spatchcocked whole turkey; a brined breast, for those who want turkey for four to six people; and the classic buttermilk chicken, for those who may not want or be able to manage a turkey.

All of the variations yield incredibly tender meat that’s seasoned through and through, enveloped in that showstopping caramel-brown skin that’s such a pleasure to eat. And they’re all utterly simple and satisfying. In a year full of so many other complications, let your holiday bird be stress-free.

Recipes: Buttermilk-Brined Roast Turkey | Buttermilk-Brined Turkey Breast | Buttermilk-Brined Roast Chicken

Follow NYT Food on Twitter and NYT Cooking on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and Pinterest. Get regular updates from NYT Cooking, with recipe suggestions, cooking tips and shopping advice.

Source: Samin Nosrat's Turkey

Highlights