Thanksgiving, a primarily North American holiday, has gained popularity across the globe in recent years. Similar to Halloween, we might credit its fandom to pop culture or to people who simply seek a reason to indulge in an elaborate feast. Chefs across Mumbai have been serving Thanksgiving dinner and popularising the foreign holiday for a few years now. If you are up for the ultimate challenge of preparing a Thanksgiving feast at home, we’ve got some classic recipes—from turkey to dessert for you.
“The biggest myth is the belief that a juicy, perfectly cooked turkey is difficult for the novice cook to achieve. One of the secrets to a moist and delicious turkey is spreading butter under the skin. This recipe of the Thanksgiving special roast turkey is simple and easy to cook at home. We use a whole lot of aromatics and herbs like fresh parsley, sage, rosemary, zesty orange and Worcestershire sauce to flavour the bird and roast until the skin is crisp to end up with a beautifully tender, and moist turkey,” explains Chef Paul Kinny, director of culinary, The St. Regis Mumbai.
1 sprig fresh sage, leaves picked
12 strips higher-welfare pancetta or thinly sliced streaky bacon
1 bulb garlic, broken into cloves
4 medium red onions, peeled
2 sticks celery, trimmed and chopped
1 big handful breadcrumbs
1 handful dried apricots
300 gm higher-welfare minced pork
1 lemon, zest of
1 pinch grated nutmeg
1 large free-range egg
Freshly ground black pepper
12 small sprigs of fresh rosemary, plus a few extra
4-4.5 kg higher-welfare turkey, at room temperature
2 carrots, peeled
1 large orange
2 tablespoons plain flour
1.1 litres organic chicken or vegetable stock
1. Preheat the oven to maximum. Heat a saucepan until medium hot and add a splash of olive oil, sage leaves and 6 of the pancetta or bacon strips. Peel and chop 2 garlic cloves and 1 onion. Add the garlic, celery and onion to the saucepan and fry everything gently until soft and golden brown. Take the pan off the heat, add the breadcrumbs and, while the mix is cooling down, chop the apricots roughly and stir them in. When the stuffing has cooled down, add the pork, lemon zest, nutmeg, egg and lots of salt and pepper, and mix everything together well.
2. Slice the remaining strips of pancetta or bacon in half and slice 1 peeled garlic clove into thin slivers. Place a rosemary sprig and a garlic sliver on one end of a halved strip of pancetta and roll it up tightly. Repeat with the other pieces of pancetta until you have 12 little rolls. Stab the thighs and drumsticks of the turkey in 6 places on each side. Push a little pancetta roll into each hole until it just peeps out. This’ll give your turkey thighs a fantastic flavour and will keep them moist while they cook.
3. Chop the remaining onions in half and slice the carrots thickly. Give your turkey a good wipe, inside and out, with kitchen paper, and place it on a board, with the neck end towards you. Find the edge of the skin that`s covering the turkey`s breasts and gently peel it back. Work your fingers and then your hand under the skin, freeing it from the meat. If you`re careful you should be able to pull all the skin away from the meat, keeping it attached at the sides. Go slowly and try not to make any holes! Lift the loose skin at the neck end and spoon the stuffing between the skin and the breast, tucking the flap of skin underneath to stop anything leaking out. Pop the orange in the microwave for 30 seconds to warm it up and stuff it into the cavity. Weigh the stuffed turkey and calculate the cooking time (about 20 minutes per 500gm).
4. Place the bird on a large roasting tray, rub it all over with olive oil and season well. Surround with the chopped carrots, onions, remaining garlic, cover with tinfoil and place in the preheated oven. Turn the heat down right away to 180°C/350°F/gas 4, and roast for the calculated time, or until the juices run clear from the thigh if you pierce with it a knife or a skewer. Remove the tinfoil for the last 45 minutes to brown the bird. Carefully lift the turkey out of the tray and rest on a board that’s covered loosely with foil for at least 1 hour, preferably 2 hours for bigger birds. When the resting time is nearly up, skim the surface fat from the roasting tray and add the flour and stock. Place the tray on the hob and bring to the boil on a high heat. When the gravy starts to thicken, strain it into a bowl. Carve your turkey, serve with the gravy!
Cashew miso glazed chicken with Banana Flower
“The first thing that comes to my mind when I think of Thanksgiving is the decadent food. My approach has always been creative when it comes to flavour infusions. Most of my favourite marinades are derived from and are naturally fermented textures. Miso is one of the highly fermented products with a sweet taste and umami character and fits perfectly to cook chicken,” shares Rahul Karve, sous chef, JW Marriott Sahar.
1 petal banana flower
100 gm boneless chicken thigh
30 gm cashew nuts
15 gm miso paste
200 gm sugar
50 gm rice vinegar
15 gm garlic
10 gm red chillies
5 ml sesame oil
100 gm honey
60 gm light soy sauce
2 gm togarashi powder
15 gm carrot
15 gm cucumber
15 gm radish
100 gm synthetic vinegar
2 gm cinnamon
1. Blanch the banana flower and keep it aside.
2. Boil the cashew nuts and churn them till it results in a smooth paste.
3. In a bowl, mix together miso, cashew paste, honey, light soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic and red chillies.
4. Apply it on the chicken pieces and let it rest for 4 to 5 hours.
5. On a grill or a pan, stir for 2 minutes and then put it in the oven for 20 minutes.
6. Glaze it with honey and miso mixture once removed hot.
7. Cut the carrot, cucumber and radish in batons and soak it in a mixture of vinegar, sugar and cinnamon overnight.
7) Serve the glazed chicken on the banana flower topped with togarashi powder accompanied by house pickled vegetables.
Mashed Potatoes with Sour Cream, Bacon and Chives
“Traditionally, mashed potatoes are either creamy or a more rustic lumpy style. Our twist on it is to add a slight bit of tang from the sour cream to complement the potatoes. Bacon bits add texture and a smoky salty flavour. The chives help with cutting through all that fat and creaminess, with some freshness,” says Ali Akbar Baldiwala, executive chef, Slink & Bardot.
1.5 kg medium-sized potatoes
400 gm milk
120 gm unsalted butter (cut into cubes)
120 gm sour cream
100 gm streaky bacon
Salt to taste
Chopped chives for garnish
1. Start by peeling the potatoes and cut each one into 4 pieces. Place them in a large pot with at least thrice the amount of room temperature water and season the water and boil them till a knife can easily pass through.
2. While the potatoes are cooking, fry the bacon in a pan till the fat has rendered and then take it out on a paper towel lined plate to drain excess fat. Once it cools, chop it into small bits and set aside.
3. Once the potatoes are cooked through, drain them immediately to avoid a watery tasting mash and put through a food mill or ricer into a large bowl. This has to be done while they’re hot. Add the milk into the potatoes and incorporate it with a spatula or a wooden spoon. Then add the cold butter, bit by bit and keep incorporating for a smooth and creamy mash. Finally, add the sour cream and fold it in till smooth. Finish with salt.
4. To present, set the mash in a wide bowl or casserole, garnish with bacon bits and chives.
Pecan Nut Caramel Pie
“To round off your elaborate meal, this delicious nutty dessert is the best way to get everyone together,” concludes Chef Nicholas Fernandes, pastry chef, JW Marriott Juhu.
250 gm flour
100 gm icing sugar
110 gm butter
0.5 gm salt
10 ml milk
Pecan nut pie mixture:
200 gm sugar
125 ml fresh cream
125 gm honey
165 gm butter
370 gm pecan-nut
80 gm vanilla sponge crumbs
Prepare sweet paste
1. Sieve the flour in a mixing bowl.
2. Add sugar, salt, essence, and soft butter to the flour.
3. Mix it all together to get a bread crumb consistency.
4. Add milk and mix until it forms smooth dough.
5. Cover the dough and let it rest for one hour in the fridge.
6. Remove the dough and make small portions on a well ducted floured surface.
7. Roll with a rolling pin approximately to 2mm thickness.
8. Remove the dough with the help of a rolling pin and place it inside the pie ring.
9. Trim the edges of the ring.
10. Place a cling film in the lined tart and some beans on it.
11. Half bake the tart shell at 180 degree Celsius for approximately 10 minutes.
12. Let it cool down.
1. Take sugar, cream, honey, & butter in a heavy pan & boil the mixture till it reaches a temperature of 114ºC.
2. Add walnut and sponge crumbs.
3. Add eggs and mix well.
4. Put the mixture in the pre baked tart and bake it at 160ºC for 20 to 25 minutes.
5. Remove from the oven and let the pie cool down to room temperature.
6. Remove the pie from the pan and serve.