Thanksgiving Recipes: Turkey, Gravy, Potato Gratin and More

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Like many of you, our Celebrity Cruises® chefs live for the holidays when they can put their creative juices into overdrive, dreaming up special culinary creations to put new spins on classics that will help everyone get into the holiday spirit.

Thanksgiving is a particularly bountiful celebration aboard our ships, and this, combined with the international palates we all now boast, gives our chefs the perfect excuse to develop both traditional and contemporary holiday menus, boasting flavors we know so well, with a few unexpected surprises that are sure to delight the well-traveled palate’s tastebuds. Here are some of our favorite Thanksgiving recipes, crafted by our very own Celebrity Executive Chefs. Their addition to your menu will surely enliven your own culinary traditions at home.

ROASTED TURKEY WITH SAGE GRAVY

Turkey
1 (16-18-pound whole turkey)
2 ounces fresh thyme (chopped)
2 ounces fresh rosemary (chopped)
8 ounces olive oil
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon allspice (ground)
4 ounces garlic cloves (finely chopped)

Mirepoix for the Turkey
2 carrots (peeled and diced)
2 yellow onions (diced)
2 whole bunches celery (diced)

Sage Gravy
5 pounds turkey bones
2 additional drumsticks
As desired giblets from the turkey
1 bunch leeks (steamed, diced)
2 large carrots (diced)
1 large yellow onion (diced)
4 stalks celery (diced)
1/2 pound butter
3 ounces tomato paste
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
4 ounces sherry
6 ounces white wine
1 piece bouquet garni
1 sprig fresh thyme leaves
10 sprigs fresh sage
1 quart turkey stock
4 ounces butter (cut into cubes)
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon white peppercorns

Method

To get the turkey ready for roasting, preheat oven to 350°F (175°C). Rub turkey with half of the thyme and rosemary, all of the olive oil, salt, allspice and garlic.

To make the mirepoix for the turkey, combine the mirepoix ingredients in a mixing bowl.

Stuff half the mirepoix and the rest of the thyme and rosemary into the cavity of the turkey. Place the other half of the mirepoix in an un-greased roasting pan. Place the turkey in the pan, breast side up, over the mirepoix. Bake for about three hours or until the temperature of the breast reaches 170°F (77°C), the thigh reaches 180°F (82°C) and the stuffing reaches 165°F (74°C). Let turkey cool for approximately 30 minutes before carving.

To make the gravy, in a large cooking pan over high heat, caramelize the turkey bones, drumsticks, giblets, leeks and mirepoix with the butter. After they are seared off, mix in the tomato paste and the sugar. To caramelize, bake for 30 minutes at 350°F (175°C) in the oven. Return the pan to the stove. Add the sherry, white wine, bouquet garni, thyme and sage, and cook to reduce to syrup consistency. Add the turkey stock; heat to boiling. Reduce to simmering; cook about 20 minutes or until turkey drumsticks and giblets are cooked through.

Remove and strain the stock. Let cool and slowly stir in the cubes of butter. Turkey roasting juices can be added to the gravy before seasoning and thickening. Add salt and peppercorns to taste.

Serves 6.

*

STAR ANISE CRANBERRY SAUCE

4 cups cranberry juice
1 cup raspberry vinegar
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup brown sugar (packed)
2 tablespoons star anise (approximately 14 to 16 pieces)
1 teaspoon cinnamon (ground)
2 cups dried cranberries
1 lemon zest (from 1 medium lemon)

Method

Combine all ingredients in a small saucepot. Heat to boiling over medium heat; reduce heat. Simmer sauce until most liquid has evaporated; reduce heat to low and continue cooking, stirring often so as not to burn, until a thick consistency.

TIP: This sauce can be made in larger batches weeks before your event, placed in an airtight bag and stored in the refrigerator.

Serves 6.

*

POTATO GRATIN

2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon garlic cloves (chopped)
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
3 thyme sprigs (leaves removed, chopped)
4 tablespoons parmesan cheese (grated)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon white pepper (ground)
1 1/2 white onions (julienned)
10 Idaho potatoes (peeled, cut into 1/2 inch slices)
2 cups gruyere cheese (shredded)

Method

Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). Butter a 1-quart baking dish, using 1 tablespoon of the butter.

In a mixing bowl, combine chopped garlic, heavy cream, thyme, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper, mix well. Sauté onions with 1 tablespoon of the butter in a medium skillet until golden brown and caramelized; remove and set aside.

Layer half of the potatoes in the baking dish; ladle some of the garlic cream mixture over potatoes and garnish with half of the caramelized onion and gruyere cheese; repeat process until all ingredients are used. It is important for the last layer to be entirely covered with gruyere cheese to provide for a good gratin.

Cover baking dish with foil. Bake for 45 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 10 minutes or until golden brown. The potatoes need to be very tender throughout and can be checked by inserting a knife point through the potatoes.

TIP: You can prepare the gratin a day in advance and then slowly heat in the oven to serve the next day.

Serves 6.

*

GREEN BEAN CASSEROLE

1/2 cup butter
1 cup yellow onions (finely chopped)
4 garlic coves (finely chopped)
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup whole milk
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 cups Cheddar cheese (grated)
1 cup sour cream
1/2 pound French green beans (tips remove, blanched)
1 cup Parmesan cheese (grated)
1 cup panko bread crumbs

Method

Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C).

Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook down until caramelized. Stir in the flour and cook for 1 min to make a roux. Add the milk and salt. Cook for 3 minutes while stirring, then add cheddar cheese and sour cream. Cook until cheese is melted and has a thick consistency. Add the green beans. Transfer the mixture into an un-greased casserole dish. In a small mixing bowl, mix the parmesan cheese and the panko bread crumbs. Sprinkle the bread crumb mixture over the casserole, then place in the oven.

Bake for about 15 to 20 minutes or until the top is golden brown.

Serves 6.

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