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A Thanksgiving Menu with Southwestern Flair

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A little heat and a whole lot of flavor is the mantra of this southwestern-inspired Thanksgiving menu.

Serves 10-14, though the Fresh Cranberry Relish needs to be doubled to serve 12. The scaled up amounts are reflected in the shopping list.

This menu is inspired by the flavors of the southwest. The butter rub for the turkey is spiced with cumin, oregano, and chile powder, while the gravy is finished with a touch of honey to balance the heat. The hearty stuffing continues the trend with chorizo and roasted poblanos―a little more cumin seals the deal. The Pumpkin Sage Bundt Cake makes a sophisticated sweet-savory end.

Menu Timeline

3 Days Ahead

  • Toast the bread cubes for the stuffing; store at room temperature.

2 Days Ahead

  • Butter, season, and refrigerate the turkey; reserve 1/4 cup of the butter for making the gravy.
  • Make the broth for the gravy; refrigerate.

1 Day Ahead

  • Make the charmoula for the green beans; refrigerate.
  • Make the cranberry relish; refrigerate.
  • Roast and chop the poblanos for the stuffing; refrigerate.
  • Make the pumpkin cake; cover and store at room temperature.

4 Hours Before Dinner

  • Take the turkey out of the refrigerator; let sit at room temperature for 1 hour.

3-1/2 Hours Before Dinner

  • Heat the oven to 350°F.

3 Hours Before Dinner

  • Roast the turkey.

2 Hours Before Dinner

  • Make the smashed potatoes; cover with foil and keep in a warm spot until ready to serve.
  • Assemble the stuffing.

1 Hour Before Dinner

  • Take the charmoula out of the refrigerator.
  • Bake the stuffing.

30 Minutes Before Dinner

  • Cook and sauce the green beans and carrots.
  • Let the turkey rest tented with foil; make the gravy.
  • Take the cranberry relish out of the refrigerator.

Just Before Dinner

  • Carve the turkey.

Shopping List

Fresh Produce

  • 1 bunch fresh oregano
  • 1 bunch fresh sage
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro
  • 1 bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 2 lb. slender green beans
  • 1 small and 2 large yellow onions
  • 2 medium stalks celery
  • 1 lb. carrots
  • 1 lb. large shallots
  • 3 lb. Yukon Gold potatoes
  • 1 butternut squash
  • 3 poblano chiles
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 orange
  • 24 oz. (6 cups) fresh or frozen cranberries

Meat, Fish, Eggs & Dairy

  • 1 16-lb. fresh turkey (neck, tail, and giblets reserved for the gravy)
  • 14 oz. (3-1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1 lb. fresh Mexican chorizo
  • 5 large eggs

Other Groceries

  • 1 1-lb. loaf rustic white bread with crust
  • 1 15-ounce can pumpkin purée
  • 1 Tbs. pure ancho chile powder
  • 1/2 Tbs. pure chipotle chile powder
  • 4-1/2 cups lower-salt chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup rice vinegar
  • 3-1/2 cups dry white wine
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts

Pantry Staples

  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp. minced garlic
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1/2 cup plus 7 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil; more as needed
  • 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. table salt
  • 2 Tbs. honey
  • 2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 Tbs. plus 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. sweet or hot paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin seeds
  • Sea salt

The Menu


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