The Final (Thanksgiving) Countdown
How to Salt or Brine a Turkey
We recommend brining or salting a turkey to make it moist and flavorful. How can you choose which one is right for you? Salting turkey in advance is one way to season the meat and keep it juicy. Salting requires time, but it won't thwart the goal of crispy skin. We prefer to use kosher salt for salting because it's easier to distribute the salt evenly. Brining works in much the same way as salting. But note that brining inhibits browning, and it requires fitting a brining container in the fridge. Also, because it's soaking up liquid, achieving perfectly crisp skin with brining is more difficult. In these cases, make sure to pat the skin as dry as possible prior to cooking.
French-Style Mashed Potatoes
Chef Joël Robuchon’s indulgent recipe for ultrasilky and buttery mashed potatoes poses a number of challenges for the home cook, including peeling piping-hot whole boiled potatoes and passing the puree multiple times through a special restaurant sieve called a tamis. Our recipe eliminates all those challenges. Instead of using water, we cook peeled, diced potatoes directly in the milk and butter that will be incorporated into the mash. This approach also eliminates the need to laboriously beat in the butter after the fact and captures potato starch released during cooking, which is key to producing an emulsified texture where the butter doesn’t separate out.
Fall for Sweet Potato Soup
Sweet Potato Soup
Most sweet potato soup recipes call for so many other ingredients that the sweet potato flavor is muted. By cutting back to just shallot, thyme, and butter and using water instead of broth, we put the focus back on the main ingredient. We also puree some of the potato skins into the soup for extra earthiness. However, the real key to intensifying the sweet potato flavor was using only a minimal amount of flavor-diluting water. To do so, we let the sweet potatoes sit in hot water off heat for 20 minutes to make use of an enzyme that reduces their starch content. Less starch meant we could create a soup with less water, keeping the sweet potato flavor in the forefront.
Foolproof All-Butter Pie Dough
by Andrea Geary
Outside the kitchen I’m sometimes a bit of a klutz, but give me a rolling pin and a lump of traditional all-butter pie dough—the kind that’s dry and brittle and exhibits an alarming tendency to crack—and I’ll dazzle you with my proficiency and grace as I roll it into a flawless circle. It’s a skill that’s taken me decades to acquire, and practicing it makes me feel like some sort of high priestess of pastry. My goal was to create a supple, moist all-butter pie dough that's supremely easy to roll out and bakes up tender and flaky.