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Martha’s Thanksgiving recipes: Turkey, gravy and sides

Still haven't decided on what to cook for Thanksgiving? Let Martha Stewart help you out! Here's her recipes for the perfect meal, including the turkey, gravy, stuffing and several sides. Find more of her dishes at MarthaStewart.com.

Thanksgiving turkey
Servings:

Serves 12 to 14

Ingredients

    • 1 20- to 21-pound fresh whole turkey, giblets and neck removed from cavity and reserved
    • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, about 3 sticks, melted, plus 4 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
    • 1 bottle dry white wine
    • 2 teaspoons salt
    • 2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper
    • Cornbread stuffing (see recipe below)
    • 1 cup dry red or white wine for gravy (optional)

Preparation

Baking Directions:

Warm the butter and white wine together and soak the cheesecloth in it. Season the bird with peppercorns and coarse salt.Allow the bird to rest for about two hours to come to room temperature. Tuck the wing tips under the body.Insert the stuffing just before the turkey goes into the oven. Never do it ahead of time and don't pack it too tightly. The stuffing won't cook evenly and bacteria may grow. Don't forget to stuff the neck cavity.Pull the flap of skin at the neck down and use toothpicks to fasten it.Pull the legs together loosely and tie them with kitchen string -- a bow will be easy to untie later. Any kind of sturdy white string or twine will do, as long as it's made of cotton, not polyester, which may melt in the oven's heat. Rub the turkey with butter and season with salt and pepper. Choose a heavy roasting pan with sides 2 to 3 inches high. Don't use one with a nonstick surface. A roasting rack will keep the turkey from sticking to the pan.Cover the turkey with cheesecloth that has been soaking in the butter and wine. It should cover the breast and part of the leg area. Begin roasting.Every 30 minutes, use a pastry brush to baste the cheesecloth and exposed areas of the turkey with the butter-and-wine mixture. Basting should be done in the oven and as quickly as possible so the oven temperature doesn't drop. Watch the pan juices; spoon out and reserve them for the gravy if they are in danger of overflowing.After the third hour of cooking, carefully remove and discard the cheesecloth; it will have turned quite brown. Baste the turkey with pan juices, taking care not to tear the skin, and return it to the oven.After the fourth hour of cooking, insert an instant-read thermometer into thickest part of the thigh (if you poke a bone, try again); when the temperature reaches 180 degrees Fahrenheit, the bird is ready.Transfer the turkey to a serving platter to rest for 30 minutes. Use a thin-bladed, carbon-steel knife to carve the meat into thin slices. Make sure bird is sufficiently rested, which takes approximately 15 minutes after it has been removed from the oven, before cutting.

White-wine gravy
Servings:

Makes about 3.5 cups

Ingredients

    • Turkey drippings from roast turkey recipe
    • 1 cup dry white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc
    • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
    • 4 cups low-sodium or homemade chicken or turkey broth, warmed
    • Coarse salt and ground pepper

Preparation

Baking Directions:

Skim fat from the drippings. Set pan across two burners over medium-high. Add wine.Cook for about four minutes, stirring and scraping up browned bits with a wooden spoon until mixture thickens and holds a trail.Add flour and reserved drippings and whisk to combine.Continue whisking until flour is fully cooked, which takes about two or three minutes.Slowly whisk in broth, then one cup water. Cook, whisking, until gravy thickens, which takes 15 minutes.If desired, strain gravy through a fine-mesh sieve. Season with salt and pepper. Keep warm. Thin with water if desired.

Cornbread dressing
Servings:

Serves 10

Ingredients

    • 4 tablespoons butter, plus more for baking dish
    • 1 large onion, finely chopped
    • 3 celery stalks, finely chopped
    • Coarse salt and ground pepper
    • 1/2 cup dry white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc
    • 16 cups cubed store-bought cornbread (about 2.75 pounds) or one recipe Buttermilk Cornbread
    • 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh sage
    • 3 large eggs, beaten
    • 2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth, heated

Preparation

Baking Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion and celery and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, which takes about eight to 10 minutes. Add wine, and cook until evaporated, which takes about three to five minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and let cool slightly.Add cornbread, sage and eggs to the bowl and season with 1.5 teaspoons salt and a teaspoon pepper. Pour 1/2 cup hot broth over the cornbread mixture. Toss gently -- the cornbread will break down into smaller pieces. If necessary, add up to 1/2 cup more broth so stuffing is moist but not soggy.If stuffing turkey, set aside four cups dressing. Spoon remaining dressing into a buttered 2-quart baking dish; pour up to 1 cup remaining broth over top to moisten. Bake, covered, for 30 minutes. Then uncover and bake until browned for about 15 minutes more.

Maple-whipped sweet potatoes
Servings:

Serves eight

Ingredients

    • 4 pounds of sweet potatoes, or about seven medium-sized spuds
    • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
    • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
    • Coarse salt and ground pepper

Preparation

Baking Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Prick the sweet potatoes all over with a fork. Place on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until very tender when pierced with a knife, which takes about 1 hour.When cool enough to handle, halve sweet potatoes. With a spoon, scoop out flesh (discard skins); transfer to a food processor. Add butter andpure maple syrup and process until smooth. Season with coarse salt and ground pepper. Serve warm.To store, refrigerate in an airtight container up to 2 days. Reheat gently.

Cranberry-pomegranate relish
Servings:

Serves eight

Ingredients

    • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
    • 1 large shallot, finely chopped
    • 1 bag, about 12 ounces, of fresh or frozen cranberries
    • 1 cup pomegranate juice
    • 1/2 cup packed dark-brown sugar
    • coarse salt and ground pepper
    • 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds (optional)

Preparation

Baking Directions:

In a medium saucepan, heat oil over medium-high. Add shallot; cook, stirring constantly, until softened, which takes about three minutes. Add cranberries, pomegranate juice and brown sugar, then season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until cranberries have burst and sauce is slightly thickened, which takes about 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in pomegranate seeds (if using). Let cool to room temperature before serving. To store, refrigerate in an air-tight container for up to one week. Use any leftovers as a sandwich spread or stirred into yogurt as a dip.

Roasted pears and red onions
Servings:

Serves eight

Ingredients

    • 4 semi-ripe medium pears, quartered and cored
    • 1 large red onion, cut into eight wedges
    • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
    • 2 tablespoons of sherry vinegar
    • Coarse salt and pepper
    • Two sprigs rosemary

Preparation

Baking Directions:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Toss the pears and onion with 2 tablespoons each unsalted butter and sherry vinegar. Season with coarse salt and ground pepper.In a 9-by-13-inch baking dish, arrange pears and onion in a single layer (they should fit snugly in dish) and top with two sprigs rosemary.Cover dish tightly with foil and bake until pears begin to soften, which takes about 20 minutes.Uncover and bake until pears are golden brown on bottom and tender when pierced with a knife, which takes an additional 15 to 20 minutes.Sprinkle with fresh rosemary leaves if desired and serve warm or at room temperature.

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