'Tis the Season: Perfect Timing for a Perfect Thanksgiving

This week's video is all about timing. We'll talk about how to start your Thanksgiving prep during the week before the big meal, so you don't have to wake up at four am on the morning of the big day. We'll also talk about how to 'time the table' to make sure all your delicious dishes make it onto the table at the same time.

Please enjoy some of the the delicious recipes featured in the video

What a beautiful turkey!

Turkey Brine and Roast:

Brining Ingredients:

12-16 lb. turkey
2 gallons water
1 cup salt
3 tablespoons very coursely ground black peppercorns
2 teaspoons juniper berries
1/2 cup sugar
4 sprigs rosemary

Make the brine up to two nights before you cook the turkey. Heat water just enough to dissolve sugar and salt. Add remaining ingredients and cool down to refrigeration temperature. If there is no room in the refrigerator, line a large enough cooler with a trash bag and submerge turkey in brine in the trash bag. Tie tightly and ice very well to keep turkey at refrigeration temperature.

Roasting ingredients:
olive oil or butter- just enough to coat the outside of the turkey
1/2 cup fresh herbs, chopped (rosemary, sage, thyme are really nice)

Turkey cooks at 15 minutes per pound, so set your clock accordingly. Remove the turkey from the brine about 20 minutes before you start to cook it and pat dry. Do not rinse! Rub the turkey with butter or olive oil (or a combination thereof) and fresh herbs. Do not add any additional seasoning- this was the brine's job! Roast turkey until it reads 165. Cover with foil if the skin becomes too dark brown before it is cooked all the way through. Check in with your turkey every hour or so and baste. Let rest for about 20 minutes before carving.


serves 8


1.5 oz. turkey fat from the roasting pan
2 oz. flour
1 cup chicken stock
1 cup whole milk
3 sprigs thyme
fresh ground black pepper and salt to taste

Make a roux with the turkey fat and the flour. Cook the roux for a few minutes to remove the raw flour flavor. Slowly whisk in the stock and milk. Add the thyme and cook sauce until thickened. Season with salt and pepper. Remove thyme sprigs before serving. Some of the leaves will have fallen off and that is great extra flavor.

Chicken Stock (for gravy)
yields approximately 8 quarts


8 lbs. chicken bones
2 lbs. mirepoix (50% onion, 20% carrot, 30% celery), roughly chopped
4 sprigs parsley
4 sprigs thyme
10 peppercorns
2 bay leaves


Place bones in stock pot and fill with water so that it covers 4" above bones.

Bring to a simmer and add mirepoix vegetables. Assemble the parsley, thyme, peppercorns, and bay leaves in a cheesecloth and secure with a string. This is called a bouquet garni. Simmer for another 3 hours and add bouquet garni for the last hour. Allow stock to cool and then strain into another large container. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight to allow fat to form on the top. Skim fat and discard and pour into freezer bags and/or tuperware containers. Be sure to label though, because it's easy to forget which stock/sauce is which. Freeze for up to 6 months or use immediately.

Sage Stuffing

Sage Stuffing

4 oz. unsalted butter
1 lb. yellow onions, medium dice
5 stalks celery, medium dice
1/4 cup Italian parsley, roughly chopped
4 tablespoons chopped fresh sage, roughly chopped
2 cups (generous) 1-inch cubes crusty bread from a loaf
2 large eggs, lightly whisked
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted and roughly chopped
1/2 cup currants
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1 cup (or more) chicken broth (see recipe below for you over-achievers!)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a large casserole dish for the stuffing.

In a medium skillet sweat onions and celery in butter. Add herbs. Place cubed bread in a large mixing bowl and pour warm onion celery herb mixture over the bread cubes and mix through. Add remaining ingredients and toss through. Put all ingredients into a casserole dish and bake for about 45 minutes or until browned and all liquid has absorbed.

Potato Puree
serves 8

The key to getting the best quality mashed potatoes is to use a ricer! It's called a ricer because it squeezes the potatoes through so finely that it looks like rice.


4 lbs. russet or Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and quartered
4 oz. butter or olive oil
4 oz. whole milk
salt and pepper to taste


Place cubed and peeled potatoes in a pot of cold water. Root vegetables must always start cooking in cold water first. If you cook them in already heated water they will cook too much on the outside and not quite enough on the inside.

Boil potatoes for about 20 minutes or until fork tender. Drain water and immediately rice potatoes back into the pot they cooked in (it will help to keep the potato mixture hot). Add butter or olive oil and stir through. Add milk and season with salt and pepper. Add more milk if mixture is still too dry.

Ginger Cranberry Sauce
Serves: 10

16 ounces fresh cranberries, picked over and rinsed
2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
1 tablespoon finely chopped ginger
Finely grated zest from 1 orange


1. Combine all of the ingredients in a heavy saucepan. Cook over medium heat until the berries pop open, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat.

2. Skim foam off the surface with a metal spoon and discard. Cool to room temperature. Refrigerate, covered, for up to 3 months.

Pumpkin Tart with Anise-Seed Crust

Tart Shell Ingredients:

1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 oz. stick cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 large egg yolk
1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons ice water
1 tablespoon anise seeds

Hand whisk all dry ingredients into a mixing bowl. Very quickly with your fingertips pinch the cold butter into the dry mixture until the consistency becomes that of wet sand. Add egg and just mix through. Drizzle ice water over dough mixture and mix through only until all ingredient are incorporated. Do not over mix. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and flaten into a thick disc and refrigerate for about an hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove dough from refrigerator and lightly flour a rolling pin and surface. Roll dough out and place into an 11" tart shell pan. Make sure edges are all even. With a fork prick tart shell dough to prevent bubbling. Lay parchment paper on top of tart dough and fill with pie weights (dry rice and beans work great). Bake for about 15 minutes or until crust is lightly browned. Make pumpkin filling (see below). Remove parchment paper and pie weights and fill with pumpkin filling. Continue to bake for about 40 minutes or until filling is firm in the center. Cool for at least 2 hours before serving (this is great to make a day ahead) and enjoy with Bourbon Whipped Cream!

Pumpkin filling:

15 ounce canned pumpkin
3/4 cup sugar
3 teaspoons pumkin pie spice
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/3 cups heavy cream

Whisk all ingredients together until smooth and pour into blind baked tart shell.

Bourbon Chantilly


1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon bourbon
2 teaspoons confectioners' sugar

Combine all ingredients together and whisk cream slowly to firm peaks.

Video produced by Jamila Jordan, Jennie Josephson. Post-production by Katie Best and John Adams. Graphics by Todd Tanner for Yahoo! Studios.

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