Our Thanksgiving Favorites: Herbed Saffron Turkey with Apple Cranberry Relish, Sweet Yam Crunch and Corn Bread

by Marjan

Before you know it, it will be time to celebrate Thanksgiving. Plan ahead with some of our favorite recipes that I guarantee will excite your guests for an amazing feast.

Even if you live outside of the United States, and Thanksgiving is not a holiday to celebrate, you can still try out our recipes with the spirit of gratitude for your life, family, friends, and food!

With past blog articles, we introduced saffron as an herb for soups, pasta and deserts. If you have some saffron left over from those recipes, try preparing this year’s turkey with a flavor that will make an ordinary turkey into an extraordinary, exciting, flavorful bird! Unlike most recipes, this fabulous recipe does take some time to prepare the turkey, but it is well worth it! Since the turkey is the main event, you can plan on easy side dishes.

The recipes for Cornbread, Cranberry Relish and Sweet Yam Crunch are fast and easy to prepare while maintaining an exquisite flavor to compliment the turkey. This cornbread will bring a subtle yet satisfying contrast to a cranberry side dish that is tangy and full of flavor. The sweet yam is not just a side dish, it’s a dessert too!

Share some of your favorite recipes for Thanksgiving with us!

HERBED SAFFRON TURKEY WITH GRAVY



Tired of the traditional spices, such as cloves, used to dress your turkey? The blended aromas of herbs, lemon and saffron infuse a light, refreshing sensation to the average bird in this recipe! Break away with convention and try something new!

Ingredients (serves 8)

Turkey:
10-14 lb. turkey
1 large lemon
5 cloves of garlic
1 stick of unsalted butter
¼ cup parsley
1 small shallot
1 tablespoon fresh sage
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
1 teaspoon salt and pepper
1 pinch of saffron threads 2 medium lemons cut into 1/8 inch thick slices

Stuffing:
2 medium lemons cut in half
Hand full of parsley sprigs
5 sprigs each of fresh sage, rosemary and thyme
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Gravy:
2 cups of chicken stock
3 garlic cloves- chopped
2 shallots- chopped
¼ cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon peel
½ teaspoon sugar
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon each freshly chopped sage, thyme, and rosemary


1. Make 2 long ½ inch cuts in lemon and place in a microwave-safe small bowl. Cover and microwave for 2 minutes on high. Reserve liquid and allow cooling. Cut lemon in half and squeeze juice in to the same bowl and reserve for gravy. Do not discard lemon!

2. Place garlic in a small microwave-safe bowl; add enough water to cover garlic. Cover bowl and microwave on high for 2 minutes. Discard water, and allow garlic to cool and peel.

3. Scrape all fruit and pith from inside lemon peel halves; discard insides. Chop peel into small pieces.

4. In a mini processor, finely chop lemon peel and garlic. Add butter, parsley, shallot, sage, thyme, rosemary salt, pepper, and saffron to the processor to blend.

5. Set rack at lowest level in oven and preheat to 325 degrees.

6. Sprinkle turkey with desired salt and pepper on the outside and inside.

7. Reserve 2 tablespoon of the lemon butter for the gravy in a small bowl.

8. Starting at the neck of the turkey, carefully and gently, use your fingers to separate the skin from the meat, without causing any tear. Spread the lemon butter between the skin and meat all the way to the thighs, drumstick, and breast. Place lemon slices on top of the butter under the skin. Fill main cavity with remaining lemon butter, halved lemon, and all herb sprigs.

9. Tie legs together loosely to hold shape, and tuck wing tips under to prevent burning.

10. Place turkey in a roasting pan and rub the outside of the turkey with olive oil.

11. Roast turkey for approximately 3 hours.

12. Remove turkey from the oven and allow to rest on a serving platter for 30 minutes prior to serving.


Gravy:
1. Scrape juices and browned bits from reserved roasting pan into large glass measuring cup. Spoon off fat, reserve ¼ cup.

2. In a large sauce pan over medium heat, use 2 tablespoon of the turkey fat to sauté garlic and shallot for 4 minutes. Add flour and whisk until golden. Add turkey juices and chicken stock. Bring to a boil and whisk until smooth. Reduce heat and simmer until gravy is at desired consistency. Whisk in 2 tablespoon of reserved lemon butter, 2 tablespoon of reserved lemon juices, grated lemon peel, sugar and herbs.

3. Salt and pepper to taste.


APPLE CRANBERRY RELISH



This relish should be prepared the night before serving. Easy to make, simple to fall in love with.

Ingredients (serves 8-10)

2 cups apple cider
½ cup sugar
One 12oz bag fresh cranberries
1medium Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored, diced
2 teaspoon finely grated lemon peel
½ cup crushed walnuts
1 tablespoon fresh parsley- chopped


1. In a small sauce pan, boil apple cider to reduce to ½ cup.

2. Add sugar until well blended. Set aside until cooled.

3. In a food processor coarsely chop cranberries and apple.

4. Transfer to a large bowl, add cider, lemon peel, and walnut. Toss and cover and chill overnight.

5. Prior to serving, stir in parsley and transfer to a serving dish.


SWEET YAM CRUNCH

Creamy yam, a touch of cinnamon, and crushed pecans will have you wonder, is this dessert or a side dish?

Ingredients (serves 4-6, takes about 1 hour)

2 lb sweet yam
½ cup water
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup heavy cream
6 tablespoon butter
1 cup crushed pecans
½ cup brown sugar (more or less to taste)
1 teaspoon cinnamon (more or less to taste)


1. Peel, wash, and cube yam. Place over low heat, yam, salt and ½ cup water in a medium pot for 20-30 minutes, or until the yam is soft and ready to be mashed. Most of the water should have cooked into the yam or evaporated; if not, discard excess water.

2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

3. Add cream and 4 tablespoon of butter (reserve 2 tablespoon of butter) to the yam and mash until a smooth consistency is achieved.

4. Grease baking dish with ½ tablespoon of butter. Spread mashed yam evenly in dish.

5. In a small bowl, mix pecans, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Evenly sprinkle mix over the yam. Place small dabs of remaining butter on top of the mix and place in the oven for 30 minutes.


EL SOMBRERO CORN BREAD
Corn bread doesn’t have to be boring! Spice it up with some flavors of the Southwest!

Ingredients (serves 8-10)

1 ½ cups cornmeal
3 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
2 eggs
1 can (14 ¾ oz) cream style corn
1 cup sour cream
½ cup canola oil
1 ½ cups shredded cheddar cheese
3 Jalapeno peppers- seeded and finely chopped
9 inch baking dish

1. In a large bowl, combine the cornmeal, baking powder and salt.

2. In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, corn, sour cream and oil. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in 1 cup cheese and jalapenos. Transfer to a greased 9 inch square baking pan. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.

3. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick near the center comes out clean. Serve warm.

Comments

  1. Tested the cranberry relish. Highly recommend it. How long does it take to prepare turkey? sounds inetersting

    ReplyDelete
  2. This is a great thanksgiving menu, Marjan. I can't wait to try them on Thanksgiving.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Lynne/John HartungNovember 26, 2010

    Marjan; the cranberry relish was great. Interesting flavors.

    ReplyDelete

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