Cocktail Recipes, Spirits, and Local Bars

The Ultimate Thanksgiving Restaurant Primer 2011

The Ultimate Thanksgiving Restaurant Primer 2011


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We've seen them played out on the big screen — the dire situations that call for finding a restaurant that's open for dinner on a big holiday. The weather is bad and you're stranded in a city because your flight has been cancelled à la Planes, Trains, and Automobiles. Maybe the neighbor's dogs rampaged through your kitchen and devoured your turkey like in A Christmas Story. Or you get to your relative's house and they've already started, like in Avalon when Lou Jacobi arrives and asks, "You cut the turkey without me?!"

If you can't decide whether to brine or deep-fry, or you want to do a destination dinner — whatever the reason, wherever you are, this list should help. Below are suggestions by notable blogs, newspapers, and personalities for restaurants celebrating Turkey Day, as well as places you can pick up meals to-go, in The Daily Meal's featured cities.

(Photo courtesy of Trace)

AUSTIN

• III Forks — Enjoy a four-course Thanksgiving feast at this high-end steakhouse chain with menu items that include tomato basil soup, châteaubriand, and Kentucky bourbon pecan pie.

• Trace at The W Austin — Locally sourced seasonal ingredients get dressed up for the holidays in this traditional Thanksgiving menu. Dishes include curried squash soup and turducken — turkey stuffed with duck confit and chicken liver cornbread dressing.

• 24 Diner — The elevated comfort food served at this restaurant is tailor-made for a memorable Thanksgiving feast. The fare is traditional, with dishes such as brined, roasted turkey (alongside turkey leg confit) and bacon-braised greens.

For further guidance on where to eat Thanksgiving in Austin check out these guides:

• Citysearch: Austin Thanksgiving Planner 2011

• Open Table: Austin

(Photo courtesy of Temple Bar)

BOSTON

Grafton Street — Enjoy a three-course prix-fixe dinner with dishes like duck confit tart, pan-roasted pork loin, and spiced chocolate molten cake.

• Temple Bar — New England flavors meet American classics in this three-course Thanksgiving Dinner menu with dishes like smoked ham hock croquettes, pan-toasted faro “risotto,” and slow-roasted all-natural Amish turkey.

• Russell House Tavern — Enjoy upscale modern American dishes like hickory-smoked salmon terrine and roasted Verrill Farm pumpkin risotto without breaking your budget.

For further guidance on where to eat Thanksgiving in Boston check out this guide:

• Open Table: Boston

(Photo courtesy of Facebook/NoMi)

CHICAGO

• Bin 36 — Indulge in a flavorful Thanksgiving with dishes like duck served three different ways, maple syrup-brined turkey, and eight different family-style sides.

LM Restaurant — Enjoy a Thanksgiving tasting menu that includes poached apple and chestnut soup, seared scallops, and a pumpkin tart with cranberry chutney and cream cheese.


Classic Thanksgiving 'Best Way' recipes

23 of 24 Buy Photo Clockwise from center: The Chronicle's Best Way Brined Air-Chilled Turkey Bean Salad, Gingerbread, Pecan, and Cranberry Tart Fall Salad with Pomegranate Vinaigrette Green Beans with Hazelnut, Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Trumpet Mushroom and Persimmon Dressing and Green Beans with Hazelnut, Pancetta and Carmelized Onions. Russell Yip/The Chronicle Show More Show Less

For Thanksgiving tradition is tradition, and at the Food & Wine section, we have favorites that we just can't do without. They're time-tested classics for our Best Ways to roast turkey (we still love brining and air-drying), and prepare gravy, mashed potatoes, pie and more.

You'll also find all of them, plus dozens of other recipes we've developed over the years, online at www.sfgate.com/thanksgiving, along with how-to videos, specialized menus and everything you'll need for a wonderful holiday.

If we're missing something, please let us know. It's never too soon to start planning for next year.

Chronicle Classic: Best Way Brined Air-Chilled Turkey

Several years ago, we roasted nearly 40 turkeys in our test kitchen and found a brined turkey to be the best. In retesting the recipe the last two years, we found it works best when paired with an air-chilled method. Air chilling may take up some space in the refrigerator, and adds an extra day, but it results in concentrated flavor and juicy meat.

1 turkey, about 12 pounds
For the brine:
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 to 1 3/4 cups kosher salt
2 1/2 gallons cold water
2 bay leaves, torn into pieces
1 bunch fresh thyme
1 head garlic, cloves separated, smashed and peeled
5 whole allspice berries, crushed
4 juniper berries, smashed (see Note)
For roasting:
2 tablespoons softened butter + butter for basting
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup chicken stock + more as needed

Instructions: Remove giblet bag and neck from turkey, along with any extra internal fat and pin feathers. Rinse well under cold tap water. Combine sugar, salt and water in a stockpot. Stir until sugar and salt dissolve. Add remaining brine ingredients.

Ice-chest and bag method: Double-bag two heavy-duty, unscented trash bags (not made of recycled materials) or use a purchased heavy-duty brining bag. Put them in an ice chest that is large enough to hold the turkey. Place the turkey in the bag, and pour in the brine to completely cover the bird. You may not need all the brine. Press out the air if using two bags, close each separately. Keep turkey cold by piling bags of ice over and around the closed bags which will also help keep the turkey submerged. Brine for 12 to 24 hours.

Refrigerator method: Place the turkey and enough brine to cover in a large pot. Refrigerate for 12-24 hours. If turkey floats to top, weight it down with a plate and cans to keep it submerged in brine.

To air-dry: After brining, rinse the turkey and pat dry with paper towels. Place the turkey in a roasting pan or rimmed baking sheet. Refrigerate, uncovered, 12 to 24 hours. Turn the bird over halfway through drying time.

Quick air-dry method: Rinse the brined turkey and pat dry, inside and out. Vertically place tail side down on a rack set inside a roasting pan. Place turkey in front of a small fan set to medium for about 20-30 minutes turn the turkey to dry the opposite side. Finally, place turkey on the rack, breast side up (positioned for roasting). Continue to dry with the fan, turning the turkey around once to dry the opposite end. The turkey can be roasted immediately.

Roasting: Preheat oven to 400°. Spread 2 tablespoons softened butter over skin. Sprinkle pepper over skin and in cavity. Tuck wing tips under, loosely truss legs and place turkey on a V-shaped rack in a roasting pan. Tent breast with foil.

Put the turkey in the oven. To ensure that the bird cooks evenly, rotate roasting pan 180° every 30 minutes. Roast for about 1 hour, remove foil and baste turkey with 1/2 cup stock. Return to oven and roast, basting with pan drippings every 20 minutes, using more stock as needed.


Classic Thanksgiving 'Best Way' recipes

23 of 24 Buy Photo Clockwise from center: The Chronicle's Best Way Brined Air-Chilled Turkey Bean Salad, Gingerbread, Pecan, and Cranberry Tart Fall Salad with Pomegranate Vinaigrette Green Beans with Hazelnut, Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Trumpet Mushroom and Persimmon Dressing and Green Beans with Hazelnut, Pancetta and Carmelized Onions. Russell Yip/The Chronicle Show More Show Less

For Thanksgiving tradition is tradition, and at the Food & Wine section, we have favorites that we just can't do without. They're time-tested classics for our Best Ways to roast turkey (we still love brining and air-drying), and prepare gravy, mashed potatoes, pie and more.

You'll also find all of them, plus dozens of other recipes we've developed over the years, online at www.sfgate.com/thanksgiving, along with how-to videos, specialized menus and everything you'll need for a wonderful holiday.

If we're missing something, please let us know. It's never too soon to start planning for next year.

Chronicle Classic: Best Way Brined Air-Chilled Turkey

Several years ago, we roasted nearly 40 turkeys in our test kitchen and found a brined turkey to be the best. In retesting the recipe the last two years, we found it works best when paired with an air-chilled method. Air chilling may take up some space in the refrigerator, and adds an extra day, but it results in concentrated flavor and juicy meat.

1 turkey, about 12 pounds
For the brine:
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 to 1 3/4 cups kosher salt
2 1/2 gallons cold water
2 bay leaves, torn into pieces
1 bunch fresh thyme
1 head garlic, cloves separated, smashed and peeled
5 whole allspice berries, crushed
4 juniper berries, smashed (see Note)
For roasting:
2 tablespoons softened butter + butter for basting
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup chicken stock + more as needed

Instructions: Remove giblet bag and neck from turkey, along with any extra internal fat and pin feathers. Rinse well under cold tap water. Combine sugar, salt and water in a stockpot. Stir until sugar and salt dissolve. Add remaining brine ingredients.

Ice-chest and bag method: Double-bag two heavy-duty, unscented trash bags (not made of recycled materials) or use a purchased heavy-duty brining bag. Put them in an ice chest that is large enough to hold the turkey. Place the turkey in the bag, and pour in the brine to completely cover the bird. You may not need all the brine. Press out the air if using two bags, close each separately. Keep turkey cold by piling bags of ice over and around the closed bags which will also help keep the turkey submerged. Brine for 12 to 24 hours.

Refrigerator method: Place the turkey and enough brine to cover in a large pot. Refrigerate for 12-24 hours. If turkey floats to top, weight it down with a plate and cans to keep it submerged in brine.

To air-dry: After brining, rinse the turkey and pat dry with paper towels. Place the turkey in a roasting pan or rimmed baking sheet. Refrigerate, uncovered, 12 to 24 hours. Turn the bird over halfway through drying time.

Quick air-dry method: Rinse the brined turkey and pat dry, inside and out. Vertically place tail side down on a rack set inside a roasting pan. Place turkey in front of a small fan set to medium for about 20-30 minutes turn the turkey to dry the opposite side. Finally, place turkey on the rack, breast side up (positioned for roasting). Continue to dry with the fan, turning the turkey around once to dry the opposite end. The turkey can be roasted immediately.

Roasting: Preheat oven to 400°. Spread 2 tablespoons softened butter over skin. Sprinkle pepper over skin and in cavity. Tuck wing tips under, loosely truss legs and place turkey on a V-shaped rack in a roasting pan. Tent breast with foil.

Put the turkey in the oven. To ensure that the bird cooks evenly, rotate roasting pan 180° every 30 minutes. Roast for about 1 hour, remove foil and baste turkey with 1/2 cup stock. Return to oven and roast, basting with pan drippings every 20 minutes, using more stock as needed.


Classic Thanksgiving 'Best Way' recipes

23 of 24 Buy Photo Clockwise from center: The Chronicle's Best Way Brined Air-Chilled Turkey Bean Salad, Gingerbread, Pecan, and Cranberry Tart Fall Salad with Pomegranate Vinaigrette Green Beans with Hazelnut, Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Trumpet Mushroom and Persimmon Dressing and Green Beans with Hazelnut, Pancetta and Carmelized Onions. Russell Yip/The Chronicle Show More Show Less

For Thanksgiving tradition is tradition, and at the Food & Wine section, we have favorites that we just can't do without. They're time-tested classics for our Best Ways to roast turkey (we still love brining and air-drying), and prepare gravy, mashed potatoes, pie and more.

You'll also find all of them, plus dozens of other recipes we've developed over the years, online at www.sfgate.com/thanksgiving, along with how-to videos, specialized menus and everything you'll need for a wonderful holiday.

If we're missing something, please let us know. It's never too soon to start planning for next year.

Chronicle Classic: Best Way Brined Air-Chilled Turkey

Several years ago, we roasted nearly 40 turkeys in our test kitchen and found a brined turkey to be the best. In retesting the recipe the last two years, we found it works best when paired with an air-chilled method. Air chilling may take up some space in the refrigerator, and adds an extra day, but it results in concentrated flavor and juicy meat.

1 turkey, about 12 pounds
For the brine:
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 to 1 3/4 cups kosher salt
2 1/2 gallons cold water
2 bay leaves, torn into pieces
1 bunch fresh thyme
1 head garlic, cloves separated, smashed and peeled
5 whole allspice berries, crushed
4 juniper berries, smashed (see Note)
For roasting:
2 tablespoons softened butter + butter for basting
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup chicken stock + more as needed

Instructions: Remove giblet bag and neck from turkey, along with any extra internal fat and pin feathers. Rinse well under cold tap water. Combine sugar, salt and water in a stockpot. Stir until sugar and salt dissolve. Add remaining brine ingredients.

Ice-chest and bag method: Double-bag two heavy-duty, unscented trash bags (not made of recycled materials) or use a purchased heavy-duty brining bag. Put them in an ice chest that is large enough to hold the turkey. Place the turkey in the bag, and pour in the brine to completely cover the bird. You may not need all the brine. Press out the air if using two bags, close each separately. Keep turkey cold by piling bags of ice over and around the closed bags which will also help keep the turkey submerged. Brine for 12 to 24 hours.

Refrigerator method: Place the turkey and enough brine to cover in a large pot. Refrigerate for 12-24 hours. If turkey floats to top, weight it down with a plate and cans to keep it submerged in brine.

To air-dry: After brining, rinse the turkey and pat dry with paper towels. Place the turkey in a roasting pan or rimmed baking sheet. Refrigerate, uncovered, 12 to 24 hours. Turn the bird over halfway through drying time.

Quick air-dry method: Rinse the brined turkey and pat dry, inside and out. Vertically place tail side down on a rack set inside a roasting pan. Place turkey in front of a small fan set to medium for about 20-30 minutes turn the turkey to dry the opposite side. Finally, place turkey on the rack, breast side up (positioned for roasting). Continue to dry with the fan, turning the turkey around once to dry the opposite end. The turkey can be roasted immediately.

Roasting: Preheat oven to 400°. Spread 2 tablespoons softened butter over skin. Sprinkle pepper over skin and in cavity. Tuck wing tips under, loosely truss legs and place turkey on a V-shaped rack in a roasting pan. Tent breast with foil.

Put the turkey in the oven. To ensure that the bird cooks evenly, rotate roasting pan 180° every 30 minutes. Roast for about 1 hour, remove foil and baste turkey with 1/2 cup stock. Return to oven and roast, basting with pan drippings every 20 minutes, using more stock as needed.


Classic Thanksgiving 'Best Way' recipes

23 of 24 Buy Photo Clockwise from center: The Chronicle's Best Way Brined Air-Chilled Turkey Bean Salad, Gingerbread, Pecan, and Cranberry Tart Fall Salad with Pomegranate Vinaigrette Green Beans with Hazelnut, Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Trumpet Mushroom and Persimmon Dressing and Green Beans with Hazelnut, Pancetta and Carmelized Onions. Russell Yip/The Chronicle Show More Show Less

For Thanksgiving tradition is tradition, and at the Food & Wine section, we have favorites that we just can't do without. They're time-tested classics for our Best Ways to roast turkey (we still love brining and air-drying), and prepare gravy, mashed potatoes, pie and more.

You'll also find all of them, plus dozens of other recipes we've developed over the years, online at www.sfgate.com/thanksgiving, along with how-to videos, specialized menus and everything you'll need for a wonderful holiday.

If we're missing something, please let us know. It's never too soon to start planning for next year.

Chronicle Classic: Best Way Brined Air-Chilled Turkey

Several years ago, we roasted nearly 40 turkeys in our test kitchen and found a brined turkey to be the best. In retesting the recipe the last two years, we found it works best when paired with an air-chilled method. Air chilling may take up some space in the refrigerator, and adds an extra day, but it results in concentrated flavor and juicy meat.

1 turkey, about 12 pounds
For the brine:
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 to 1 3/4 cups kosher salt
2 1/2 gallons cold water
2 bay leaves, torn into pieces
1 bunch fresh thyme
1 head garlic, cloves separated, smashed and peeled
5 whole allspice berries, crushed
4 juniper berries, smashed (see Note)
For roasting:
2 tablespoons softened butter + butter for basting
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup chicken stock + more as needed

Instructions: Remove giblet bag and neck from turkey, along with any extra internal fat and pin feathers. Rinse well under cold tap water. Combine sugar, salt and water in a stockpot. Stir until sugar and salt dissolve. Add remaining brine ingredients.

Ice-chest and bag method: Double-bag two heavy-duty, unscented trash bags (not made of recycled materials) or use a purchased heavy-duty brining bag. Put them in an ice chest that is large enough to hold the turkey. Place the turkey in the bag, and pour in the brine to completely cover the bird. You may not need all the brine. Press out the air if using two bags, close each separately. Keep turkey cold by piling bags of ice over and around the closed bags which will also help keep the turkey submerged. Brine for 12 to 24 hours.

Refrigerator method: Place the turkey and enough brine to cover in a large pot. Refrigerate for 12-24 hours. If turkey floats to top, weight it down with a plate and cans to keep it submerged in brine.

To air-dry: After brining, rinse the turkey and pat dry with paper towels. Place the turkey in a roasting pan or rimmed baking sheet. Refrigerate, uncovered, 12 to 24 hours. Turn the bird over halfway through drying time.

Quick air-dry method: Rinse the brined turkey and pat dry, inside and out. Vertically place tail side down on a rack set inside a roasting pan. Place turkey in front of a small fan set to medium for about 20-30 minutes turn the turkey to dry the opposite side. Finally, place turkey on the rack, breast side up (positioned for roasting). Continue to dry with the fan, turning the turkey around once to dry the opposite end. The turkey can be roasted immediately.

Roasting: Preheat oven to 400°. Spread 2 tablespoons softened butter over skin. Sprinkle pepper over skin and in cavity. Tuck wing tips under, loosely truss legs and place turkey on a V-shaped rack in a roasting pan. Tent breast with foil.

Put the turkey in the oven. To ensure that the bird cooks evenly, rotate roasting pan 180° every 30 minutes. Roast for about 1 hour, remove foil and baste turkey with 1/2 cup stock. Return to oven and roast, basting with pan drippings every 20 minutes, using more stock as needed.


Classic Thanksgiving 'Best Way' recipes

23 of 24 Buy Photo Clockwise from center: The Chronicle's Best Way Brined Air-Chilled Turkey Bean Salad, Gingerbread, Pecan, and Cranberry Tart Fall Salad with Pomegranate Vinaigrette Green Beans with Hazelnut, Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Trumpet Mushroom and Persimmon Dressing and Green Beans with Hazelnut, Pancetta and Carmelized Onions. Russell Yip/The Chronicle Show More Show Less

For Thanksgiving tradition is tradition, and at the Food & Wine section, we have favorites that we just can't do without. They're time-tested classics for our Best Ways to roast turkey (we still love brining and air-drying), and prepare gravy, mashed potatoes, pie and more.

You'll also find all of them, plus dozens of other recipes we've developed over the years, online at www.sfgate.com/thanksgiving, along with how-to videos, specialized menus and everything you'll need for a wonderful holiday.

If we're missing something, please let us know. It's never too soon to start planning for next year.

Chronicle Classic: Best Way Brined Air-Chilled Turkey

Several years ago, we roasted nearly 40 turkeys in our test kitchen and found a brined turkey to be the best. In retesting the recipe the last two years, we found it works best when paired with an air-chilled method. Air chilling may take up some space in the refrigerator, and adds an extra day, but it results in concentrated flavor and juicy meat.

1 turkey, about 12 pounds
For the brine:
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 to 1 3/4 cups kosher salt
2 1/2 gallons cold water
2 bay leaves, torn into pieces
1 bunch fresh thyme
1 head garlic, cloves separated, smashed and peeled
5 whole allspice berries, crushed
4 juniper berries, smashed (see Note)
For roasting:
2 tablespoons softened butter + butter for basting
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup chicken stock + more as needed

Instructions: Remove giblet bag and neck from turkey, along with any extra internal fat and pin feathers. Rinse well under cold tap water. Combine sugar, salt and water in a stockpot. Stir until sugar and salt dissolve. Add remaining brine ingredients.

Ice-chest and bag method: Double-bag two heavy-duty, unscented trash bags (not made of recycled materials) or use a purchased heavy-duty brining bag. Put them in an ice chest that is large enough to hold the turkey. Place the turkey in the bag, and pour in the brine to completely cover the bird. You may not need all the brine. Press out the air if using two bags, close each separately. Keep turkey cold by piling bags of ice over and around the closed bags which will also help keep the turkey submerged. Brine for 12 to 24 hours.

Refrigerator method: Place the turkey and enough brine to cover in a large pot. Refrigerate for 12-24 hours. If turkey floats to top, weight it down with a plate and cans to keep it submerged in brine.

To air-dry: After brining, rinse the turkey and pat dry with paper towels. Place the turkey in a roasting pan or rimmed baking sheet. Refrigerate, uncovered, 12 to 24 hours. Turn the bird over halfway through drying time.

Quick air-dry method: Rinse the brined turkey and pat dry, inside and out. Vertically place tail side down on a rack set inside a roasting pan. Place turkey in front of a small fan set to medium for about 20-30 minutes turn the turkey to dry the opposite side. Finally, place turkey on the rack, breast side up (positioned for roasting). Continue to dry with the fan, turning the turkey around once to dry the opposite end. The turkey can be roasted immediately.

Roasting: Preheat oven to 400°. Spread 2 tablespoons softened butter over skin. Sprinkle pepper over skin and in cavity. Tuck wing tips under, loosely truss legs and place turkey on a V-shaped rack in a roasting pan. Tent breast with foil.

Put the turkey in the oven. To ensure that the bird cooks evenly, rotate roasting pan 180° every 30 minutes. Roast for about 1 hour, remove foil and baste turkey with 1/2 cup stock. Return to oven and roast, basting with pan drippings every 20 minutes, using more stock as needed.


Classic Thanksgiving 'Best Way' recipes

23 of 24 Buy Photo Clockwise from center: The Chronicle's Best Way Brined Air-Chilled Turkey Bean Salad, Gingerbread, Pecan, and Cranberry Tart Fall Salad with Pomegranate Vinaigrette Green Beans with Hazelnut, Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Trumpet Mushroom and Persimmon Dressing and Green Beans with Hazelnut, Pancetta and Carmelized Onions. Russell Yip/The Chronicle Show More Show Less

For Thanksgiving tradition is tradition, and at the Food & Wine section, we have favorites that we just can't do without. They're time-tested classics for our Best Ways to roast turkey (we still love brining and air-drying), and prepare gravy, mashed potatoes, pie and more.

You'll also find all of them, plus dozens of other recipes we've developed over the years, online at www.sfgate.com/thanksgiving, along with how-to videos, specialized menus and everything you'll need for a wonderful holiday.

If we're missing something, please let us know. It's never too soon to start planning for next year.

Chronicle Classic: Best Way Brined Air-Chilled Turkey

Several years ago, we roasted nearly 40 turkeys in our test kitchen and found a brined turkey to be the best. In retesting the recipe the last two years, we found it works best when paired with an air-chilled method. Air chilling may take up some space in the refrigerator, and adds an extra day, but it results in concentrated flavor and juicy meat.

1 turkey, about 12 pounds
For the brine:
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 to 1 3/4 cups kosher salt
2 1/2 gallons cold water
2 bay leaves, torn into pieces
1 bunch fresh thyme
1 head garlic, cloves separated, smashed and peeled
5 whole allspice berries, crushed
4 juniper berries, smashed (see Note)
For roasting:
2 tablespoons softened butter + butter for basting
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup chicken stock + more as needed

Instructions: Remove giblet bag and neck from turkey, along with any extra internal fat and pin feathers. Rinse well under cold tap water. Combine sugar, salt and water in a stockpot. Stir until sugar and salt dissolve. Add remaining brine ingredients.

Ice-chest and bag method: Double-bag two heavy-duty, unscented trash bags (not made of recycled materials) or use a purchased heavy-duty brining bag. Put them in an ice chest that is large enough to hold the turkey. Place the turkey in the bag, and pour in the brine to completely cover the bird. You may not need all the brine. Press out the air if using two bags, close each separately. Keep turkey cold by piling bags of ice over and around the closed bags which will also help keep the turkey submerged. Brine for 12 to 24 hours.

Refrigerator method: Place the turkey and enough brine to cover in a large pot. Refrigerate for 12-24 hours. If turkey floats to top, weight it down with a plate and cans to keep it submerged in brine.

To air-dry: After brining, rinse the turkey and pat dry with paper towels. Place the turkey in a roasting pan or rimmed baking sheet. Refrigerate, uncovered, 12 to 24 hours. Turn the bird over halfway through drying time.

Quick air-dry method: Rinse the brined turkey and pat dry, inside and out. Vertically place tail side down on a rack set inside a roasting pan. Place turkey in front of a small fan set to medium for about 20-30 minutes turn the turkey to dry the opposite side. Finally, place turkey on the rack, breast side up (positioned for roasting). Continue to dry with the fan, turning the turkey around once to dry the opposite end. The turkey can be roasted immediately.

Roasting: Preheat oven to 400°. Spread 2 tablespoons softened butter over skin. Sprinkle pepper over skin and in cavity. Tuck wing tips under, loosely truss legs and place turkey on a V-shaped rack in a roasting pan. Tent breast with foil.

Put the turkey in the oven. To ensure that the bird cooks evenly, rotate roasting pan 180° every 30 minutes. Roast for about 1 hour, remove foil and baste turkey with 1/2 cup stock. Return to oven and roast, basting with pan drippings every 20 minutes, using more stock as needed.


Classic Thanksgiving 'Best Way' recipes

23 of 24 Buy Photo Clockwise from center: The Chronicle's Best Way Brined Air-Chilled Turkey Bean Salad, Gingerbread, Pecan, and Cranberry Tart Fall Salad with Pomegranate Vinaigrette Green Beans with Hazelnut, Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Trumpet Mushroom and Persimmon Dressing and Green Beans with Hazelnut, Pancetta and Carmelized Onions. Russell Yip/The Chronicle Show More Show Less

For Thanksgiving tradition is tradition, and at the Food & Wine section, we have favorites that we just can't do without. They're time-tested classics for our Best Ways to roast turkey (we still love brining and air-drying), and prepare gravy, mashed potatoes, pie and more.

You'll also find all of them, plus dozens of other recipes we've developed over the years, online at www.sfgate.com/thanksgiving, along with how-to videos, specialized menus and everything you'll need for a wonderful holiday.

If we're missing something, please let us know. It's never too soon to start planning for next year.

Chronicle Classic: Best Way Brined Air-Chilled Turkey

Several years ago, we roasted nearly 40 turkeys in our test kitchen and found a brined turkey to be the best. In retesting the recipe the last two years, we found it works best when paired with an air-chilled method. Air chilling may take up some space in the refrigerator, and adds an extra day, but it results in concentrated flavor and juicy meat.

1 turkey, about 12 pounds
For the brine:
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 to 1 3/4 cups kosher salt
2 1/2 gallons cold water
2 bay leaves, torn into pieces
1 bunch fresh thyme
1 head garlic, cloves separated, smashed and peeled
5 whole allspice berries, crushed
4 juniper berries, smashed (see Note)
For roasting:
2 tablespoons softened butter + butter for basting
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup chicken stock + more as needed

Instructions: Remove giblet bag and neck from turkey, along with any extra internal fat and pin feathers. Rinse well under cold tap water. Combine sugar, salt and water in a stockpot. Stir until sugar and salt dissolve. Add remaining brine ingredients.

Ice-chest and bag method: Double-bag two heavy-duty, unscented trash bags (not made of recycled materials) or use a purchased heavy-duty brining bag. Put them in an ice chest that is large enough to hold the turkey. Place the turkey in the bag, and pour in the brine to completely cover the bird. You may not need all the brine. Press out the air if using two bags, close each separately. Keep turkey cold by piling bags of ice over and around the closed bags which will also help keep the turkey submerged. Brine for 12 to 24 hours.

Refrigerator method: Place the turkey and enough brine to cover in a large pot. Refrigerate for 12-24 hours. If turkey floats to top, weight it down with a plate and cans to keep it submerged in brine.

To air-dry: After brining, rinse the turkey and pat dry with paper towels. Place the turkey in a roasting pan or rimmed baking sheet. Refrigerate, uncovered, 12 to 24 hours. Turn the bird over halfway through drying time.

Quick air-dry method: Rinse the brined turkey and pat dry, inside and out. Vertically place tail side down on a rack set inside a roasting pan. Place turkey in front of a small fan set to medium for about 20-30 minutes turn the turkey to dry the opposite side. Finally, place turkey on the rack, breast side up (positioned for roasting). Continue to dry with the fan, turning the turkey around once to dry the opposite end. The turkey can be roasted immediately.

Roasting: Preheat oven to 400°. Spread 2 tablespoons softened butter over skin. Sprinkle pepper over skin and in cavity. Tuck wing tips under, loosely truss legs and place turkey on a V-shaped rack in a roasting pan. Tent breast with foil.

Put the turkey in the oven. To ensure that the bird cooks evenly, rotate roasting pan 180° every 30 minutes. Roast for about 1 hour, remove foil and baste turkey with 1/2 cup stock. Return to oven and roast, basting with pan drippings every 20 minutes, using more stock as needed.


Classic Thanksgiving 'Best Way' recipes

23 of 24 Buy Photo Clockwise from center: The Chronicle's Best Way Brined Air-Chilled Turkey Bean Salad, Gingerbread, Pecan, and Cranberry Tart Fall Salad with Pomegranate Vinaigrette Green Beans with Hazelnut, Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Trumpet Mushroom and Persimmon Dressing and Green Beans with Hazelnut, Pancetta and Carmelized Onions. Russell Yip/The Chronicle Show More Show Less

For Thanksgiving tradition is tradition, and at the Food & Wine section, we have favorites that we just can't do without. They're time-tested classics for our Best Ways to roast turkey (we still love brining and air-drying), and prepare gravy, mashed potatoes, pie and more.

You'll also find all of them, plus dozens of other recipes we've developed over the years, online at www.sfgate.com/thanksgiving, along with how-to videos, specialized menus and everything you'll need for a wonderful holiday.

If we're missing something, please let us know. It's never too soon to start planning for next year.

Chronicle Classic: Best Way Brined Air-Chilled Turkey

Several years ago, we roasted nearly 40 turkeys in our test kitchen and found a brined turkey to be the best. In retesting the recipe the last two years, we found it works best when paired with an air-chilled method. Air chilling may take up some space in the refrigerator, and adds an extra day, but it results in concentrated flavor and juicy meat.

1 turkey, about 12 pounds
For the brine:
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 to 1 3/4 cups kosher salt
2 1/2 gallons cold water
2 bay leaves, torn into pieces
1 bunch fresh thyme
1 head garlic, cloves separated, smashed and peeled
5 whole allspice berries, crushed
4 juniper berries, smashed (see Note)
For roasting:
2 tablespoons softened butter + butter for basting
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup chicken stock + more as needed

Instructions: Remove giblet bag and neck from turkey, along with any extra internal fat and pin feathers. Rinse well under cold tap water. Combine sugar, salt and water in a stockpot. Stir until sugar and salt dissolve. Add remaining brine ingredients.

Ice-chest and bag method: Double-bag two heavy-duty, unscented trash bags (not made of recycled materials) or use a purchased heavy-duty brining bag. Put them in an ice chest that is large enough to hold the turkey. Place the turkey in the bag, and pour in the brine to completely cover the bird. You may not need all the brine. Press out the air if using two bags, close each separately. Keep turkey cold by piling bags of ice over and around the closed bags which will also help keep the turkey submerged. Brine for 12 to 24 hours.

Refrigerator method: Place the turkey and enough brine to cover in a large pot. Refrigerate for 12-24 hours. If turkey floats to top, weight it down with a plate and cans to keep it submerged in brine.

To air-dry: After brining, rinse the turkey and pat dry with paper towels. Place the turkey in a roasting pan or rimmed baking sheet. Refrigerate, uncovered, 12 to 24 hours. Turn the bird over halfway through drying time.

Quick air-dry method: Rinse the brined turkey and pat dry, inside and out. Vertically place tail side down on a rack set inside a roasting pan. Place turkey in front of a small fan set to medium for about 20-30 minutes turn the turkey to dry the opposite side. Finally, place turkey on the rack, breast side up (positioned for roasting). Continue to dry with the fan, turning the turkey around once to dry the opposite end. The turkey can be roasted immediately.

Roasting: Preheat oven to 400°. Spread 2 tablespoons softened butter over skin. Sprinkle pepper over skin and in cavity. Tuck wing tips under, loosely truss legs and place turkey on a V-shaped rack in a roasting pan. Tent breast with foil.

Put the turkey in the oven. To ensure that the bird cooks evenly, rotate roasting pan 180° every 30 minutes. Roast for about 1 hour, remove foil and baste turkey with 1/2 cup stock. Return to oven and roast, basting with pan drippings every 20 minutes, using more stock as needed.


Classic Thanksgiving 'Best Way' recipes

23 of 24 Buy Photo Clockwise from center: The Chronicle's Best Way Brined Air-Chilled Turkey Bean Salad, Gingerbread, Pecan, and Cranberry Tart Fall Salad with Pomegranate Vinaigrette Green Beans with Hazelnut, Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Trumpet Mushroom and Persimmon Dressing and Green Beans with Hazelnut, Pancetta and Carmelized Onions. Russell Yip/The Chronicle Show More Show Less

For Thanksgiving tradition is tradition, and at the Food & Wine section, we have favorites that we just can't do without. They're time-tested classics for our Best Ways to roast turkey (we still love brining and air-drying), and prepare gravy, mashed potatoes, pie and more.

You'll also find all of them, plus dozens of other recipes we've developed over the years, online at www.sfgate.com/thanksgiving, along with how-to videos, specialized menus and everything you'll need for a wonderful holiday.

If we're missing something, please let us know. It's never too soon to start planning for next year.

Chronicle Classic: Best Way Brined Air-Chilled Turkey

Several years ago, we roasted nearly 40 turkeys in our test kitchen and found a brined turkey to be the best. In retesting the recipe the last two years, we found it works best when paired with an air-chilled method. Air chilling may take up some space in the refrigerator, and adds an extra day, but it results in concentrated flavor and juicy meat.

1 turkey, about 12 pounds
For the brine:
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 to 1 3/4 cups kosher salt
2 1/2 gallons cold water
2 bay leaves, torn into pieces
1 bunch fresh thyme
1 head garlic, cloves separated, smashed and peeled
5 whole allspice berries, crushed
4 juniper berries, smashed (see Note)
For roasting:
2 tablespoons softened butter + butter for basting
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup chicken stock + more as needed

Instructions: Remove giblet bag and neck from turkey, along with any extra internal fat and pin feathers. Rinse well under cold tap water. Combine sugar, salt and water in a stockpot. Stir until sugar and salt dissolve. Add remaining brine ingredients.

Ice-chest and bag method: Double-bag two heavy-duty, unscented trash bags (not made of recycled materials) or use a purchased heavy-duty brining bag. Put them in an ice chest that is large enough to hold the turkey. Place the turkey in the bag, and pour in the brine to completely cover the bird. You may not need all the brine. Press out the air if using two bags, close each separately. Keep turkey cold by piling bags of ice over and around the closed bags which will also help keep the turkey submerged. Brine for 12 to 24 hours.

Refrigerator method: Place the turkey and enough brine to cover in a large pot. Refrigerate for 12-24 hours. If turkey floats to top, weight it down with a plate and cans to keep it submerged in brine.

To air-dry: After brining, rinse the turkey and pat dry with paper towels. Place the turkey in a roasting pan or rimmed baking sheet. Refrigerate, uncovered, 12 to 24 hours. Turn the bird over halfway through drying time.

Quick air-dry method: Rinse the brined turkey and pat dry, inside and out. Vertically place tail side down on a rack set inside a roasting pan. Place turkey in front of a small fan set to medium for about 20-30 minutes turn the turkey to dry the opposite side. Finally, place turkey on the rack, breast side up (positioned for roasting). Continue to dry with the fan, turning the turkey around once to dry the opposite end. The turkey can be roasted immediately.

Roasting: Preheat oven to 400°. Spread 2 tablespoons softened butter over skin. Sprinkle pepper over skin and in cavity. Tuck wing tips under, loosely truss legs and place turkey on a V-shaped rack in a roasting pan. Tent breast with foil.

Put the turkey in the oven. To ensure that the bird cooks evenly, rotate roasting pan 180° every 30 minutes. Roast for about 1 hour, remove foil and baste turkey with 1/2 cup stock. Return to oven and roast, basting with pan drippings every 20 minutes, using more stock as needed.


Classic Thanksgiving 'Best Way' recipes

23 of 24 Buy Photo Clockwise from center: The Chronicle's Best Way Brined Air-Chilled Turkey Bean Salad, Gingerbread, Pecan, and Cranberry Tart Fall Salad with Pomegranate Vinaigrette Green Beans with Hazelnut, Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Trumpet Mushroom and Persimmon Dressing and Green Beans with Hazelnut, Pancetta and Carmelized Onions. Russell Yip/The Chronicle Show More Show Less

For Thanksgiving tradition is tradition, and at the Food & Wine section, we have favorites that we just can't do without. They're time-tested classics for our Best Ways to roast turkey (we still love brining and air-drying), and prepare gravy, mashed potatoes, pie and more.

You'll also find all of them, plus dozens of other recipes we've developed over the years, online at www.sfgate.com/thanksgiving, along with how-to videos, specialized menus and everything you'll need for a wonderful holiday.

If we're missing something, please let us know. It's never too soon to start planning for next year.

Chronicle Classic: Best Way Brined Air-Chilled Turkey

Several years ago, we roasted nearly 40 turkeys in our test kitchen and found a brined turkey to be the best. In retesting the recipe the last two years, we found it works best when paired with an air-chilled method. Air chilling may take up some space in the refrigerator, and adds an extra day, but it results in concentrated flavor and juicy meat.

1 turkey, about 12 pounds
For the brine:
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 to 1 3/4 cups kosher salt
2 1/2 gallons cold water
2 bay leaves, torn into pieces
1 bunch fresh thyme
1 head garlic, cloves separated, smashed and peeled
5 whole allspice berries, crushed
4 juniper berries, smashed (see Note)
For roasting:
2 tablespoons softened butter + butter for basting
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup chicken stock + more as needed

Instructions: Remove giblet bag and neck from turkey, along with any extra internal fat and pin feathers. Rinse well under cold tap water. Combine sugar, salt and water in a stockpot. Stir until sugar and salt dissolve. Add remaining brine ingredients.

Ice-chest and bag method: Double-bag two heavy-duty, unscented trash bags (not made of recycled materials) or use a purchased heavy-duty brining bag. Put them in an ice chest that is large enough to hold the turkey. Place the turkey in the bag, and pour in the brine to completely cover the bird. You may not need all the brine. Press out the air if using two bags, close each separately. Keep turkey cold by piling bags of ice over and around the closed bags which will also help keep the turkey submerged. Brine for 12 to 24 hours.

Refrigerator method: Place the turkey and enough brine to cover in a large pot. Refrigerate for 12-24 hours. If turkey floats to top, weight it down with a plate and cans to keep it submerged in brine.

To air-dry: After brining, rinse the turkey and pat dry with paper towels. Place the turkey in a roasting pan or rimmed baking sheet. Refrigerate, uncovered, 12 to 24 hours. Turn the bird over halfway through drying time.

Quick air-dry method: Rinse the brined turkey and pat dry, inside and out. Vertically place tail side down on a rack set inside a roasting pan. Place turkey in front of a small fan set to medium for about 20-30 minutes turn the turkey to dry the opposite side. Finally, place turkey on the rack, breast side up (positioned for roasting). Continue to dry with the fan, turning the turkey around once to dry the opposite end. The turkey can be roasted immediately.

Roasting: Preheat oven to 400°. Spread 2 tablespoons softened butter over skin. Sprinkle pepper over skin and in cavity. Tuck wing tips under, loosely truss legs and place turkey on a V-shaped rack in a roasting pan. Tent breast with foil.

Put the turkey in the oven. To ensure that the bird cooks evenly, rotate roasting pan 180° every 30 minutes. Roast for about 1 hour, remove foil and baste turkey with 1/2 cup stock. Return to oven and roast, basting with pan drippings every 20 minutes, using more stock as needed.


Watch the video: See What The Most Expensive Thanksgiving Dinner In History Includes for $50,000 (July 2022).


Comments:

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