Beer and Wine Journal is mostly about brewing, with a little winemaking and mead making content thrown in. But we also run the occasional story about food. Last year, I posted one Thanksgiving beer recipe (Cranberry Zinger) and one beer recipe that uses a typical Thanksgiving ingredient (Sweet Potato ESB). We also have a Pumpkin Beer recipe, if that’s your thing. I also posted a variety of Thanksgiving food recipes, which I summarize here.
These are all recipes of mine, and I have made them several times, with good results. Although they are great (in my opinion), they are not overly complicated or excessively “foodie.” I’m not into making overly complicated sauces, rubs, or brines. I think that using fresh ingredients and understanding your cooking techniques and “kitchen chemistry” lets you make better recipes than those that include everything but the kitchen sink.
This article describes how to smoke a turkey. Using the method I outline, you prepare a turkey with moist meat and crispy skin all around. The same basic idea works for oven roasting, too. I use a very simple rub here. You can substitute any poultry rub you want and still reap the benefits from the cooking method (seating the turkey upright, as in beer can chicken).
When you smoke (or roast) your turkey, save the carcass to make turkey stock. You can refrigerate or freeze the carcass on Thanksgiving day — when you’re likely very busy — and make the stock later.
You should also use the pan drippings to make pan gravy. Smoked turkey pan gravy is ridiculously delicious. However, if you brine the bird, the gravy can be too salty. My recipe calls for using low sodium turkey broth to compensate for this.
In my book, the main reason to make turkey stock is so you can make turkey soup. In my recipe, you skim the turkey fat from the stock and use it to sauté some onions and garlic. And if you’re sick of turkey leftovers right after Thanksgiving, both the stock and the soup made from it freeze well. Make some after Thanksgiving and enjoy it later.
You probably don’t need a recipe for a turkey BLT — the name pretty much describes the sandwich completely. This is more of a reminder to make some. To me, turkey BLTs seem less “leftover-ish” than other Thanksgiving leftover dishes. The trick is finding decent tomatoes this time of year.
This is my wife’s green bean recipe — green beans with sautéd onion, bacon, and toasted pecans. It’s easy to make and turns out great. Don’t overdo the toasting of the pecans.
Here’s a tasty way to use up last of the stuffing — make chicken-fried stuffing balls. This recipe is foolproof. The interior of the “oysters” is made from ingredients that are already cooked, so all you need to do is brown the coating. I like the “southwestern” version, made with a sprinkle of cumin. They seem a little less like Thanksgiving leftovers that way.
Here’s a recipe that utilizes brewing equipment — use your Corny keg to carbonate some cranberry relish. (And add some vodka to the mix to spice things up, if you’d like).