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Video: Martha Stewart makes Thanksgiving dinner

  1. Closed captioning of: Martha Stewart makes Thanksgiving dinner

    >>> back now at 7:43. this morning on martha on "today," a thanksgiving feast from start to finish, martha stewart is here. she will be helping us. i'm great.

    >> you're helping me?

    >> i'm helping you. put me to work i like to say, this is my martha stewart intervention, i am taking this learning home with me.

    >> hau ow to stuff a turkey and cook a turkey so it looks like a beautiful golden brown .

    >> you have a fail proof turkey here already prepared.

    >> we put the salt and pepper and sage under the skin. no long nails. we have cornbread that you can buy or you can make. you can even use cornbread mix.

    >> it's actually pretty good. i've had it. and celery sauteed with butter and a little white wine and cornbread shchopped up and add two eggs.

    >> don't overstuff it.

    >> pack it, because it will expand and that's enough for the rear.

    >> what do you do with the wings?

    >> i'll show you. you don't have to struggle. it's a struggle to tuck them under. don't forget to put stuffing in the neck cavity. any extra stuffing, by the way, can be put in a butter dish and roasted as the same time as the turkey.

    >> people are always concerned with the stuffing but okay as long as you cook it to the right temperature.

    >> don't put hot stuffing in a cold bird. everybody is concerned about salmonella. if you do it this way, now is the time, if you eat this afternoon, start preparing right now. here is your beautiful bird.

    >> hopefully, your bird is thawed. you like fresh.

    >>> i like fresh. this is a hayne turkey, anti-biotic freeze. i'm catching the wing tips .

    >> what is this?

    >> a cotton string. over the drum strips and under the little legs and tie around the parson's nose, the tail.

    >> is that what it's called? that's the nose.

    >> not a very flattering description of the parson.

    >> tie a little bow there.

    >> tie a bow. then put this on the rack in your roasting pan.

    >> that's important to put it on the rack.

    >> turkey is important because you want to keep the bird -- you want to keep all those wings and stuff from flopping. this is three-fifthth of untalented butter and one bottle of a good white wine .

    >> i'm liking this.

    >> this is the secret of the perfect roasted bird. dip now a piece of cotton cheesecloth. don't buy that polyester stuff at the car wash .

    >> no, no.

    >> you don't want that.

    >> dip this into the melted butter and white wine . this covers -- i have a friend who uses an old clean t-shirt for this.

    >> okay.

    >> you can use a piece of white cotton sheet, flannel sheet. put this over your bird. it covers the whole thing. put it into a 425 degree oven for one hour.

    >> one hour.

    >> you bacon standly.

    >> it takes a lot longer to cook this.

    >> that's only the start. you reduce the heat to 325. keep basting until you use up all our liquid. internal temperature, this is the greatest digital thermometer , you stick into the thickest part of the bird.

    >> we're running out of time . what's the temperature?

    >> i take it out about 156, 60. 160. let it sit for 20 minutes .

    >> what are you doing?

    >> i've been paying attention. we

TODAY recipes
updated 11/24/2010 2:22:57 PM ET 2010-11-24T19:22:57

Recipe: Thanksgiving turkey

  • 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)

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.

Serving Size

Serves 12 to 14

Recipe: White-wine gravy

  • 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

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.

Serving Size

Makes about 3.5 cups

Recipe: Cornbread dressing

  • 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

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.

Serving Size

Serves 10

Recipe: Maple-whipped sweet potatoes

  • 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

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 and
pure 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.

Serving Size

Serves eight

Recipe: Cranberry-pomegranate relish

  • 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)

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.

Serving Size

Serves eight

Recipe: Roasted pears and red onions

  • 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

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.

Serving Size

Serves eight

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