Impress your Thanksgiving guests with this fantastic spread from author and food writer Rebecca Lang.
Bacon-Covered Roasted Turkey
2 cups medium-flake kosher salt (such as Diamond Crystal)
2 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
3 Tbsp. black peppercorns
1 Tbsp. mustard seeds
1 (12-lb.) whole fresh turkey
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh sage
1⁄2 tsp. table salt
1⁄2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
6 bacon slices (not thick cut)
Garnishes -- roasted carrots, fresh bay leaves
1. Combine first 4 ingredients and 2 qt. water in a saucepan, and cook over medium heat 5 minutes or until salt and sugar are dissolved. Remove from heat. Divide liquid between 2 large (10- to 12-cup) bowls; add 4 cups ice cubes to each bowl and enough cold water to make 10 cups of brine in each bowl. Stir until ice melts and both mixtures are completely cool (about 5 minutes).
2. Remove giblets and neck from turkey, and reserve for another use, if desired. Place turkey in an 18-qt. food-grade plastic container or stockpot. Pour brine into cavity and over turkey, covering turkey completely. Place in refrigerator. Cover and chill 24 hours, turning turkey once halfway through.
3. Combine butter and next 4 ingredients in a small bowl.
4. Preheat oven to 350°. Remove turkey from brine, discarding brine. Rinse turkey well, including cavity.
5. Starting at neck, carefully loosen and lift skin from breast and drumsticks using your fingers. (Do not totally detach skin.) Rub 3⁄4 cup butter mixture under skin; carefully replace skin. Tie ends of legs together with string; tuck wing tips under. Place turkey, breast side up, on a lightly greased rack in a roasting pan; rub remaining butter mixture over skin.
6. Roast turkey at 350° for 1 hour and 45 minutes, basting with pan juices every 20 minutes during last 45 minutes of cooking. Remove from oven, and lay bacon slices, crosswise, over breast and drumsticks.
7. Return turkey to oven; roast 45 minutes to 1 hour or until a meat thermometer inserted in thickest portion of thigh registers 170°, basting every 15 minutes. Let stand 30 minutes before carving. Garnish, if desired.
Makes: 8 servings Hands-on Time: 50 min. Total Time: 4 hr., plus 1 day for brining
All Things Sweet Potato Casserole
4 1⁄2 cups mashed baked sweet potatoes (about 4 lb. whole)
2 large eggs
2⁄3 cup heavy cream
1⁄3 cup fi rmly packed light brown sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1⁄4 tsp. ground nutmeg
3⁄4 cup unsalted butter, melted and divided
11⁄2 cups crushed gingersnaps (30 cookies)
3 cups miniature marshmallows
1. Preheat oven to 350°. Combine potatoes, eggs, next 5 ingredients, and 1⁄2 cup melted butter in a large bowl; beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Spoon into a lightly greased 13- x 9-inch baking dish.