Thanksgiving approaches, and I am pleased to have my menu and shopping list prepared!
I cannot brag too much, since it is an updated version of the same menu I have used for the past four years. That being said, I switch up the details every year, so I can experiment with new textures and flavors. Green beans are especially fun to play with.
The one things I never, ever change is my Dry Brined Roasted Turkey.
A turkey does not need brining (the act of introducing a salt and aromatics solution to the meat) to taste delicious. However, brining adds flavor and texture, and reduces the risk of dry meat. I highly recommend it.
Wet brining involves soaking a turkey in a salt water bath. It works, but I find the meat roasts up a bit spongey, and it is a messy process. I much prefer dry brining, which involves rubbing a salt and aromatics mixture into the turkey, then letting it sit for three days in the fridge. The meat absorbs the salt, taking the aromatics with it, and the salt helps the tissue retain moisture through the roasting process. All you need is: salt, aromatics (pepper, dried spices, citrus peel, etc), a big bag, and a turkey.
1 tablespoon of salt for every 5 pounds of meat. So simple!
This is my go-to recipe - http://articles.latimes.com/2009/nov/18/food/fo-calcook18 - and it has never failed me.
If you try one new thing this year, try dry brining.