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Simple Herbed Turkey with Easiest Ever Gravy
Travis and Ryan Croxton
Cousins Travis and Ryan Croxton of the Rappahannock Oyster Co. make this simple, flavorful turkey whenever they’re putting together their Thanksgiving feast.
8 – 10 servings
0 hours 20 mins
2 hours 50 mins
4 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 sprig plus 3 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
1 sprig plus 2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 carrots, halved
2 celery ribs, halved
1 onion, quartered
1 (12- to 14-pound) turkey, giblets discarded and neck reserved
Simple Herbed Turkey drippings and turkey neck
1/2 c. dry white wine
1/4 c. all-purpose flour
4 c. chicken stock
Kosher salt and black pepper
Make turkey: Preheat oven to 350°F. Combine butter, chopped thyme, and chopped sage in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Place thyme sprig, sage sprig, carrots, celery, onion, turkey neck, and 2 cups water in a roasting pan; top with a roasting rack.
Loosen skin on turkey breasts and rub butter mixture under skin. Season turkey, including cavity, generously with salt and pepper; place on roasting rack. Tie legs together with kitchen twine and tuck wings under.
Roast, basting every 30 minutes and adding more water to pan if vegetables begin to scorch, until an instant-read thermometer reaches 165°F when inserted into thickest part of thigh, 2 to 3 hours. Gently tilt turkey to release any juices from cavity into pan. Transfer turkey to a cutting board; let rest 30 minutes before carving. Scrape brown bits from bottom of pan and reserve drippings and turkey neck for gravy.
Make gravy: Cook reserved turkey drippings and turkey neck in a large, straight-sided skillet over medium-high heat, stirring often, until dark brown and thickened, 12 to 14 minutes. Add white wine and simmer, stirring often, until syrupy, 6 to 8 minutes. Sprinkle with flour and cook, stirring, 30 seconds. Gradually stir in chicken stock and simmer, stirring often, until thickened, 14 to 16 minutes. Pour through a fine wire-mesh strainer. Season with salt and pepper.
Pumpkin Pie Moscow Mule
This festive fall drink has just a handful of ingredients!
Star Anise (Optional)
Cinnamon Stick (Optional)
Vanilla vodka: I like to use Smirnoff or Pinnacle vanilla vodka. Basically, use something decent. But there’s no need to reach for anything on the top shelf. Do really top shelf vodkas even come in flavors?
Pumpkin butter: This stuff is like magic. Delicious, delicious magic. I’ve found mine at Trader Joe’s but Google tells me that there are other options.
Lime juice: Freshly squeezed, please.
Ginger beer: I like very spicy ginger beer, but use whatever kind you prefer.
Garnishes: While these are technically not required, they make the drink look so pretty! I like to use a whole star anise and cinnamon stick
You’ll start by adding vanilla vodka, pumpkin butter, and lime juice to a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake shake shake until it’s very cold. Strain the contents of the shaker into a copper mug with ice.
If you want to ensure that there are no little globs of pumpkin butter that didn’t get incorporated in the shaker in your cocktail, you can double strain this drink. Basically, that means straining the drink out of your strainer and through a fine mesh strainer and into your glass.
Top everything with some spicy ginger beer and garnish with some beautiful star anise and a cinnamon stick!
Vegan Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes
1 hour 10 mins
These smooth and creamy cauliflower mashed potatoes are a healthy holiday side dish! Roasted garlic and rosemary fill them with delicious savory flavor.
– 3-4 cloves of roasted garlic
– 2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes
– 1 (1-pound) cauliflower head, broken into a few large pieces
-1 tablespoon minced rosemary
– 4-6 tablespoons olive oil (or butter/vegan butter)
– Salt & pepper
– Reserve some starchy potato water
Roast a whole garlic bulb for 1 hour or drizzle individual cloves with olive oil and salt and bake at 350 until soft (about 15 minutes).
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the potatoes and the cauliflower (I did them at the same time) and boil until knife-tender (until you can poke with a knife and it easily slides out). My cauliflower took about 15 minutes, while my potatoes took 25-35.
In a food processor, puree the cauliflower with roasted garlic, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, rosemary, and a few generous pinches of salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasonings. (Tip: this mixture can be over-flavored because it’ll get mixed with the potatoes later).
When the potatoes are soft, remove them from the pot. Peel them (careful, they’re hot) and use a food mill, ricer, or masher, to mash them. Add 2 more tablespoons of olive oil, then stir the cauliflower puree into the bowl with the potatoes. Stir in a folding motion until smooth and creamy. If necessary, add ¼ cup (or so) of hot starchy potato water to help it out. Taste and adjust seasonings, adding more olive oil, salt, pepper, and/or rosemary to taste.
Serve hot. Mine actually reheated great too – store in the fridge, microwave the next day.
I’d advise against using raw garlic here. (We tested it, and it’s just too strong). If you don’t feel like roasting the garlic, make garlic-oil instead. Smash a few cloves into your ¼ cup of olive oil. Let it infuse for at least a few minutes and remove garlic pieces before using.
This recipe can also be adapted to make a cauliflower puree without the potatoes. Double up the cauliflower and adjust seasonings to taste.
A better Butterbeer with or without alcohol
For the Batter:
– 1/2 cup heavy cream
– 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
– 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
– 2 tablespoons butterscotch sauce
– 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
For the Butterbeer:
– 6 (12-ounce) cans vanilla cream soda, or one 2-liter bottle Make the Butterbeer Batter In a small bowl, combine the cream, spices, butterscotch, and softened butter.
– Whisk for 2 minutes to mix. Avoid whipping it so long that it becomes whipped cream, but it should thicken and increase in volume slightly
– Place the bowl in the freezer for 15 minutes to give it a good chill. If not making butterbeer immediately, cover the bowl and store in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
– Make the Butterbeer Fill a frosty glass about two-thirds full with cold vanilla cream soda.
– Pour the chilled butterbeer batter over the back of a spoon and into the glass. It will naturally rise to the top and float on the soda. Make this layer as thick as you like, but go slow because it will grow fast.
– Serve it with a straw or drink it straight from the glass (and experience the foamy mustache). Enjoy.
Scrumptious Salted Caramel Apple Punch
1 gallon apple cider
2 liters ginger ale
1 cup orange juice
1 cup salted caramel syrup
1/3 cup lemon juice, or to taste
4 medium apples, diced
4 cups ice
2 tablespoons caramel ice cream topping, optional garnish
1/4 teaspoon flaky sea salt, optional garnish
In a large stockpot, combine the apple juice, ginger ale, orange juice, caramel syrup, and lemon juice. Taste and adjust, adding more syrup and/or lemon juice, as desired. Transfer the mixture to the refrigerator to chill thoroughly.
Fill the punch bowl and add a ladle for serving or transfer the chilled punch to pitchers. Chop the apples and add them to the punch along with ice cubes just before serving. Put the caramel ice cream topping or dulce de leche in a bowl and lightly dip the rims of serving glasses. Sprinkle with flaky salt.
Delicious Maple Roasted Acorn Squash
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 40 mins
Total Time: 50 mins
This roasted acorn squash recipe is a delicious fall side dish! You can roast it in halves or slices, depending on your preference.
– 3 acorn squash, halved and seeded
– Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
– Maple syrup, for drizzling
– Chopped fresh sage and/or rosemary
– Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 425°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Place the acorn squash halves on the baking sheet cut-side up. Drizzle with olive oil, maple syrup, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Use your hands to coat the squash. Sprinkle the sage and/or rosemary into the center of the squash and roast until tender and golden brown around the edges, 25 to 40 minutes depending on the size of your squash.
Season to taste and serve hot as a side dish, or pair it with herbed farro to make it a meal.
For an easy variation, you can roast the squash in slices instead of halves. Use the same method to season them, but cut the squash halves into 1/2-inch half-moons. Roast them until tender, for 25 to 30 minutes.