Padma Lakshmi’s Special Thanksgiving Turkey Brine Recipe Featuring DAH!
Yield: 8 to 12 servings
For the Brine:
- 8 fresh bay leaves
- 2½ quarts DAH! Plain Lassi
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup coarse sea salt
- 1 tablespoon black peppercorns, toasted and ground (see Tip)
- 1 ½teaspoons ground cayenne
- 1 (14-pound) fresh or thawed frozen whole turkey, neck and giblets removed
- 20 fresh bay leaves
- 3 small Fuji or Honeycrisp apples, cored and cut into wedges
- 2 small Granny Smith apples, cored and cut into wedges
- 2 small fennel bulbs, sliced
- 1 medium red onion, sliced
- 1 medium yellow onion, sliced
- 1 small bunch of thyme
- 10 slices fresh ginger
- 12 garlic cloves, sliced
- 1 orange, cut into 1-inch wedges
- Coarse sea salt
- 1½ tablespoons black peppercorns, toasted (see Tip), plus more toasted and ground for seasoning
- 1 lemon, quartered
- Extra-virgin olive oil
For the Gravy:
- ½ cup unsalted butter
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons brandy, preferably Pomona or Calvados (optional)
- Salt and pepper
1. Brine the turkey: Tear the bay leaves to release their natural oils. Place in a large bowl with the DAH! Plain Lassi, sugar, salt, black pepper, and cayenne, and stir to dissolve the sugar. Place the turkey in a brining bag or clean unscented garbage bag, and pour in DAH! Plain Lassi (liquid yogurt drink) and tightly tie the bag closed. Place in a pot or bowl that holds it snugly, making sure the legs are fully immersed in the brine, and refrigerate for at least 48 hours and up to 72 hours.
2. Make the turkey: Position a rack at the bottom of the oven and heat the oven (not convection) to 450 degrees. Tear the bay leaves to release their natural oils. Spread the apples, fennel, onions, 12 bay leaves, and half of the thyme, ginger, garlic, and orange across the bottom of a large roasting pan. Sprinkle with salt and whole peppercorns.
3. Drain the turkey and wipe it dry. (Discard the brine.) Place the turkey in the pan breast side up, and rub its cavity with salt and ground pepper. Stuff the cavity with the lemon and the remaining bay leaves, thyme, ginger, garlic, and orange. Tuck the wings underneath and tie the legs together with kitchen twine. Sprinkle the turkey with salt and ground pepper, and drizzle everything with oil. Drizzle more oil all over the turkey and rub it to generously and evenly coat the skin. Transfer to the oven and roast until browned in spots all over but not burned, 20 to 40 minutes. (Ovens vary widely in how quickly they brown such a large bird, so start checking at 20 minutes and keep going until it’s spotted all over.)
4. Pour 2 cups water into the pan, cover the turkey with foil and loosely crimp around the edges of the pan. Reduce the oven temperature to 300 degrees and slide the pan back into the oven. Slow-roast until the turkey is almost cooked through (a meat thermometer will register 150 degrees in the thickest part of the breast and 160 degrees in the thigh), for about 4 hours.
5. Uncover, baste all over with the pan juices, and roast uncovered until the skin is more evenly browned and the meat registers 155 degrees in the breast and 165 degrees in the thigh, 30 to 45 minutes. The internal temperature will continue to rise as the turkey rests. Let cool slightly in the pan, then transfer the turkey to a serving platter.
6. Make the gravy: Smash the fruits and vegetables in the roasting pan. Set a colander with small holes or a medium-mesh strainer over a bowl or pot, and pour in everything from the pan, working in batches if needed. Press hard on the solids to extract as much liquid as possible along with fruit and vegetable pulp. Discard the solids in the colander; scrape any strained pulp into the bowl. Skim and discard fat from the strained juices.
7. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the flour and whisk until deep golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes. While whisking, add the defatted pan juices a little at a time, whisking until smooth, then stir in the brandy. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened, 4 to 5 minutes. Keep warm over low.
8. When ready to serve, season the gravy to taste with salt and pepper. Carve the turkey and serve with the hot gravy.
Tip: Padma toasts her peppercorns dry in a metal ladle held and swirled over a medium flame on a gas stove until fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. You can do the same or use a small skillet instead. She pounds her pepper in a mortar with a pestle. You can as well or use a spice grinder.
DAH! Mango Chutney Stuffing:
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 30-45 mins
It makes approximately eight cups of stuffing
- 1 loaf of high-quality bread (French, Italian bread, brioche, even cornbread if you’re feeling crazy)
- 5 tbsp butter
- 1/2-3/4c Mango DAH! Lassi (testing the moisture as you go)
- ¼ c olive oil, plus one tablespoon
- 1 egg
- 2 tbsp minced rosemary
- 1 tbsp rubbed Sage
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- ½ red onion, diced
- 2 celery stalks, diced
- ¼ c mango chutney
- ½ c dried cranberries
- 1 c vegetable broth
- Salt and pepper: to taste
- 1 apple, diced
- Preheat oven to 350
- Tear the bread into 1/2- 1-inch pieces
- Pour ¼ c olive oil and 4 tbsp butter
- Add garlic and 1 tbsp of rosemary
- Add the bread pieces
- Coat the bread thoroughly
- Lightly sprinkle with ½ tbsp of sage and stir
- Sauté the bread for 8-9 minutes until it browns
- Remove from heat and add the mixture to a large bowl
- remove excess ingredients from the pan and add 1 tbsp of olive oil and 1 tbsp of butter, and warm over low heat
- Add onions and sauté until they are clear
- And celery. Once tender, remove from the heat
- Add the mango chutney to the pan and stir rapidly
- Pour over the breadcrumbs and toss to mix the ingredients
- Add the cranberries and enough broth to moisten the stuffing
- Add in the egg (beaten) and DAH! to moisten the stuffing
- Season with the remaining spices and add salt and pepper to taste
- Place the stuffing in a baking dish, cover, and bake for 20 minutes
- Remove the lid and bake for an additional10 minutes
DAH! Pumpkin Spiced Latte
- 8 oz brewed coffee or 1-2 shots of espresso
- ½ c DAH! Vanilla with Cardamom Lassi
- 3 tablespoons of pumpkin puree
- ½ tsp pumpkin pie spice
- ½ tsp vanilla
- 2 teaspoons of maple syrup or sweetener of choice
- Sprinkle of cinnamon
- Add the pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice, vanilla, and maple syrup to your hot coffee
- Froth cold Lassi and pour over coffee.
- Sprinkle with cinnamon, and enjoy!
DAH! Lassi Pumpkin Parfait
- 1 tsp coconut oil
- 1 sweet apple, diced
- ½ c pumpkin puree
- 2 tsp maple syrup, split
- ¼ tsp pumpkin pie spice
- A dash of cinnamon
- 1 c DAH! Vanilla with Cardamom Lassi split into 2
- ½ c granola
- Optional: cinnamon stick for decoration
- Apple Mixture:
- Heat coconut oil in a small pan over medium heat
- Add diced apple, 1 tsp maple syrup, and a dash of cinnamon
- Cook for 10 minutes
- Pumpkin Mixture:
- In a small bowl, stir 1/2 c Lassi with pumpkin puree, 1 tsp maple syrup, pumpkin pie spice, and a dash of salt
- Building the Parfit:
- Spoon half of the pumpkin mixture into the bottom of a jar
- Add 1/2 c Lassi
- Add ¼ c granola and half of the apples. Repeat sequence
- Enjoy immediately!
DAH! Lassi in a Glass
- DAH! Lassi (flavor of your choice) mixed with mango and blueberries. A Fancy Thanksgiving dessert or pregame for the big day to protect your gut.
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