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Editors’ Potluck Thanksgiving

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A spectacular holiday potluck with recipes from our editors.

There’s no other holiday quite as tied to food as Thanksgiving, so at Fine Cooking, we plan each year’s holiday feature far in advance. Every winter, we gather to start talking about what we want to do next year.  The conversation meanders from new and interesting turkey cooking techniques we’ve read about or tried to different ways to approach the side dishes (which, for most of us, are just as exciting as the bird) and, inevitably, to how we personally celebrate the holiday. We have a wide array of traditions in our families, from huge, lively gatherings to small, intimate affairs. Some of us have signature dishes our relatives clamor for, and some of us like to change things up. This year, we realized that if we pooled our talents, we could put together one heck of a delicious menu. The recipes in this menu represent our editors’ own personal favorites. They make quite the feast served together, but you could also pick one or two and add them to your own holiday spread.

 

This menu serves 8 to 10 people, with leftover turkey

Menu Timeline

Good news: Much of this feast can be made ahead. Here’s how to pace it so you won’t feel overwhelmed on the big day.

Up to 6 weeks ahead
  • Make the pie up to the point of freezing it whole. (The pie must be frozen at least 1 day ahead.)
Up to 1 week ahead
  • Make the flavored butter for the hot cider.
Up to 5 days ahead
  • Make the soup and refrigerate, covered.
  • Make the flavored butter for the turkey.
Up to 3 days ahead
  • Blanch the haricots verts and refrigerate in a covered container or zip-top plastic bag.
Up to 2 days ahead
  • Make the cranberry sauce and refrigerate, covered.
1 day ahead
  • Dry-brine the turkey.
  • Cut the bread for the stuffing and let dry overnight.
  • Cook the sausage and vegetables for the stuffing. Cool and refrigerate in a covered container.
  • Make the turkey broth, cool, and refrigerate in a covered container.
  • Cook and mash the potatoes with their add-ins, transfer to the broiler-safe dish, cover, and refrigerate.
6 hours before dinner
  • Bake and cool the pie.
  • Take the turkey and the citrus-herb butter out of the fridge.
4 hours before dinner
  • Rub the citrus-herb butter on the turkey and begin roasting it.
  • Take the potatoes out of the fridge.
2 hours before dinner
  • Prepare the corn spoonbread.
  • Prepare the stuffing.
  • Take the cranberry sauce out of the fridge.
1 hour before dinner
  • When the turkey is done, remove from the oven, tent it with foil and let it rest
  • Bake the stuffing.
  • Bake the corn spoonbread.
  • Finish the haricots verts.
Just before dinner
  • Make the gravy.
  • Broil the potatoes.
  • Reheat and garnish the soup.
After dinner
  • Make the hot cider.

Shopping List

Fresh Produce
  • 2-1/2 lb. (about 5 large) firm, tart apples (such as Braeburn, Jonagold, or Pink Lady)
  • 1 lb. (about 3 medium) firm-ripe pears (such as Anjou)
  • 1-1/2 lb. fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1 small grapefruit
  • 2 medium lemons
  • 4 lb. russet potatoes
  • 3 lb. carrots, preferably organic
  • 2 lb. haricots verts
  • 2 lb. mixed fresh mushrooms
  • 1 bunch celery (with leaves)
  • 1 large and 1 small yellow onion
  • 4 medium shallots
  • 2 bunches scallions
  • 1 bulb garlic
  • 1 fresh hot chile, such as Fresno or habanero
  • 1 large bunch fresh sage
  • 1 medium bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 medium bunch fresh mint
  • 1 small bunch fresh dill
  • 1 small bunch fresh rosemary
Meat, Eggs & Dairy
  • 1 14- to 16-lb. fresh natural turkey (or frozen, thawed)
  • 12 oz. sweet Italian sausage (bulk or links)
  • 4 oz. bacon
  • 5 large eggs (2 of them optional)
  • 1 cup plus 2 Tbs. heavy cream, more for serving with the pie, if desired
  • 1-1/2 cups sour cream (or 1 cup sour cream and 1/2 cup crème fraîche)
  • 4 oz. manchego cheese
  • 4 oz. fresh goat cheese
  • 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 lb. plus 4 oz. unsalted butter
Other Groceries
  • 11 cups lower-salt chicken or vegetable broth
  • 7 cups lower-salt chicken broth
  • 1-1/2 quarts apple cider
  • 1 lb. crusty white artisanal bread
  • 2-3/4 oz. (1/2 cup) stone-ground yellow cornmeal
  • 2-1/2 cups frozen corn
  • 1 cup dried tart cherries
  • 3/4 cup pecans
  • 3/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup hazelnuts
  • 1-1/2 to 2 cups gold rum, such as Bacardi Gold; more to taste
  • 1 cup London dry gin
  • 1/3 cup bourbon
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 2 Tbs. Madeira
  • 2 Tbs. amontillado sherry
  • 2 Tbs. prepared horseradish
Pantry Staples
  • 14-1/2 oz. unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2-1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 Tbs. olive oil
  • 8 to 10 long cinnamon sticks
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 1 whole nutmeg
  • 1 Tbs. baking powder
  • 2 tsp. yellow mustard seeds
  • 1-1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. vanilla paste or extract
  • 1 tsp. coriander seeds
  • 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. celery seed
  • 1/2 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. table salt
  • Kosher salt (at least 1/3 cup)
  • Black peppercorns

The Menu

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