Pre-Thanksgiving Feast

Since Matt and I won’t be together on Thanksgiving, we cooked our own Thanksgiving dinner at my mom’s house last weekend. Matt wanted to make some dishes off of Marco Canora’s Thanksgiving menu, and I of course wanted the requisite turkey, cranberry sauce, and brussels sprouts. I couldn’t find bone-in, skin-on turkey breast (too early I guess?), so I settled for chicken. Still, we ended up with an amazing menu:
 
 
 

Roasted Fennel Soup with Cranberries and Hazelnuts
Caramelized Leek and Sage Stuffing
Orange-Cranberry Sauce
Pan Roasted Chicken Breast with Gravy
Butternut Squash Risotto with Mostarda di Cremona, Amaretti Cookies and Fried Sage Leaves
Balsamic Glazed Brussels Sprouts


 
Roasted Fennel Soup with Cranberries and Hazelnuts

We followed Marco Canora’s recipe for the soup. Matt made a huge batch of Mark Bittman’s vegetable stock that we used in this soup, the stuffing, and the risotto. The soup was rich tasting but light at the same time, and I think that stock made all the difference. The tart cranberries and crunchy hazelnuts were perfect toppers.
 
Caramelized Leek and Sage Stuffing

We also used Marco Canora’s stuffing recipe. Matt and I loved it. My mom was hoping for a more herby stuffing, so this wasn’t her favorite. I did have to add significantly more stock than the recipe called for, and probably could have even added more sage as well.
 
Orange-Cranberry Sauce

For the cranberry sauce, I brought a half cup of both water and sugar to a simmer. Then I added a 12 oz. bag of fresh cranberries along with the zest and juice of one orange. While it was cooking, I added a little bit (or maybe a lot) of brandy. I let it simmer until most of the cranberries had popped. This probably goes without saying, but it was so much better than the canned stuff.
 
Pan Roasted Chicken Breast with Gravy

I made the chicken almost the same way I made it a couple of weeks ago. The only difference is that I put some rosemary and sage sprigs under the skin this time. It came out perfectly tender and flavorful with crispy skin. I made a quick gravy (which I forgot to photograph) by deglazing the pan with some white wine, adding some wondra flour, and then some chicken stock and a small dash of soy sauce.
 
Butternut Squash Risotto with Mostarda di Cremona, Amaretti Cookies and Fried Sage Leaves

This recipe was also Marco Canora’s, and it was probably the biggest hit of the night. It had so much squash in it that it’s hard to consider it risotto, but it was delicious nevertheless. The mostarda, which is basically candied fruit in a mustard flavored syrup (and can be found at Formaggio’s), added just a little bit of kick. It sounds kind of weird and honestly isn’t very good eaten straight out of the jar, but it surprisingly goes really well with butternut squash. We topped each serving of it with grated amaretti cookies and fried sage leaves.
 

Balsamic Glazed Brussels Sprouts

Matt made the brussels sprouts by first boiling them for 4 minutes in salted water and then shocking them in ice water. Then he cut each one in half and seared them in a very hot skillet in some butter and olive oil until they were caramelized. At the very end, he poured in some balsamic vinegar and it reduced almost immediately. This might be my new favorite way to make brussels sprouts.
 

And it all came together beautifully. Cheers!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...


  • Popular

    • Smashed White Bean and Avocado Sandwich
    • Kale, Apple, and Ginger Smoothie
    • Spanish Tortilla
    • Roasted Carrots and Beets with Thyme (+ Some Big News!)
    • Tomato Sauce with Zucchini, Summer Squash, and Eggplant