Makes about 12 cups.
Note: Calvados is an apple-flavored brandy from France’s Normandy region. Broth may be prepared up to 3 days in advance. From Lynne Rossetto Kasper and Saveur magazine.
• Extra-virgin olive oil
• Neck and giblets from 10- to 12-lb. fresh turkey
• 2 lb. mixed chicken legs and thighs
• Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
• 2 yellow onions, chopped
• 2 garlic cloves, crushed
• 2 whole cloves
• 1 carrot, chopped
• 1 celery stalk (with leaves), chopped
• 1/4 c. Calvados or apple brandy
• 2 c. dry white wine
Lightly coat bottom of a 12-inch skillet with olive oil and heat over medium-high. Add turkey neck and giblets and chicken legs and thighs, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Brown on both sides, and transfer turkey and chicken to a 6-quart pot.
Pour half the fat out of the skillet and return to medium-high heat. Add onions, garlic, cloves, carrot and celery, and cook until just browned, about 12 to 14 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and add Calvados and white wine.
Return skillet to heat, bring to a boil and scrape up the brown bits on the bottom of the skillet. Transfer vegetable mixture to 6-quart pot with turkey and chicken. Add enough water to cover the mixture, plus an extra inch of water.
Over low heat, bring to a slow simmer. Partially cover and cook, without stirring, for 4 to 5 hours (add more water as necessary, to keep solids covered). Remove from heat, let cool, strain (discarding solids) and refrigerate broth. You should have about 12 cups.
CRISP APPLE-SCENTED ROAST TURKEY
Serves 8 to 10.
Note: From Lynne Rossetto Kasper and Saveur magazine.
• 1 c. kosher salt
• 1/3 c. packed dark brown sugar
• 1/3 c. ground ancho chile powder
• 2 large heads garlic
• 8 c. fresh apple cider, divided
• 4 tart apples (such as Granny Smith), unpeeled, cored and coarsely chopped
• 3 large celery ribs, halved crosswise
• 3 large carrots, halved crosswise
• 3 large yellow onions, cut into thick rounds
• 2 tart apples (such as Granny Smith), unpeeled, cored and coarsely chopped, divided
• 2 c. lightly packed fresh basil leaves, divided
• 4 c. dry white wine, plus more if needed
• 4 tbsp. (1/2 stick) butter, at room temperature
• 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
To prepare brine: In a medium bowl, whisk together salt, brown sugar and chile powder.
Remove (and discard) root ends from garlic heads, then rinse heads in water. In a bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade, combine 2 cups apple cider, garlic and 4 apples, and purée until smooth. Transfer purée to a large plastic brining bag. Add salt mixture, then add remaining 6 cups apple cider and 4 quarts cold water. Whisk to dissolve sugar and salt.
Place turkey in brining bag, seal bag and place it in a large pan and refrigerate. Calculate 1 hour of brining for each pound of turkey.
To roast turkey: About an hour before roasting, remove pan from refrigerator (keeping turkey in bag) and bring turkey close to room temperature; this will allow for a shorter roasting time.
When ready to roast, remove center rack from oven and arrange remaining rack as low as possible, then preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Select a large, shallow roasting pan, ideally 2 inches deep (if pan is too deep, the turkey will steam rather than roast).
In the bottom of the pan, lay a foundation of celery, carrots and onions, so that vegetables become a sturdy rack for turkey. Scatter 1 of the apples and 1 1/2 cups basil leaves over the top of the vegetables. Add white wine (or more, if needed) to cover bottom of pan with 1/2 inch of liquid.
Remove turkey from brine (an easy to way to do this is to place the bag in a sink and, using a paring knife, cut a few holes in the bottom of the bag, to drain the liquid). Carefully rinse turkey under cold running water, and pat dry with paper towels.
Set the turkey, breast-side down, on the vegetables in prepared pan (this will draw juices down into the breast while also protecting the meat from the heat) and tuck remaining 1 apple and remaining 1/2 cup basil leaves into the cavity. Dot top of turkey with butter and dust all over with black pepper.
Place turkey in oven and begin roasting. Calculate 10 minutes of roasting time per pound. As bird cooks, use a spoon to baste turkey with pan juices every 20 minutes.
After the first hour, remove roasting pan from oven, and, using two pot holders, carefully turn the turkey breast-side up. Baste with pan juices and return the turkey to the oven. (Cover turkey loosely in an aluminum foil tent if it threatens to burn.)
Continue to baste every 20 minutes. When an instant-read thermometer inserted into a thigh (without touching bone) reaches 165 to 170 degrees, remove turkey from oven, transfer to a platter, and let rest while you prepare the gravy (see recipe).
Serves 8 to 10.
Note: From Lynne Rossetto Kasper and Saveur magazine.
• 12 c. turkey broth, divided (see Recipe)
• 1/3 c. Calvados or apple brandy
• 1/2 c. white wine
• 1/3 c. fresh apple cider
• 1/4 c. flour
• 8 torn fresh basil leaves
• Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
While turkey is roasting, remove broth from refrigerator and skim off (and discard) fat. In a large saucepan over medium heat, reheat all but 1 cup broth until it comes to a low simmer. Return reserved cup broth to refrigerator.
Remove two-thirds of vegetables from roasting pan (discarding vegetables), and skim off excess fat from pan juices.
Using a paring knife, cut remaining vegetables in roasting pan into small pieces.
Add Calvados, white wine and apple cider. Place pan over two burners on high heat and bring mixture to a boil, using a wooden spatula to scrape up all the caramelized bits. Cook liquid down to a syrup, about 6 to 8 minutes.
Add two-thirds of heated broth to pan. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, until reduced by half, about 15 minutes.
Stir remaining heated broth into pan and bring to a boil. In a tall glass or jar, whisk together reserved cup chilled broth and flour until there are no lumps (this is a slurry). Whisk slurry into bubbling gravy.
Continue simmering and whisking until gravy is smooth and thick enough to lightly coat the back of a spoon, about 20 minutes. Taste, and if you taste raw flour, simmer the gravy for another minute.
Stir basil leaves into gravy and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Pour gravy into a bowl or other serving vessel. Carve turkey and arrange meat on a large platter. Serve turkey and gravy separately.
On the side
“Here’s the thing about Thanksgiving: I love the side dishes. They don’t have to be complicated, but I really like things that I’m surprised by, as well as all the old favorites. This is an old James Beard recipe. You can make it a few days ahead, and reheat it when you need it.
You cut up a green cabbage — and, if you want, a red cabbage — into squares. You drop it into a big pot of salted, boiling water and cook it until it’s just tender, then you drain it. You chop a few pieces of bacon, throw it in a skillet and sauté it, then add the cabbage and toss it. You add more salt, some sherry vinegar and lots of black pepper. It’s killer; it’s absolutely killer.
I’ve done it where I’ve left out the bacon, and the vinegar doesn’t have to be fancy. It could be balsamic, it could be sherry vinegar, or it could be apple cider vinegar. It’s so lovely, and so fresh. And so easy.”
Lynne Rossetto Kasper