A Slow Thanksgiving Menu

Interested in following Michael Pollan’s lead? Just read on. Included here are a few recipes — some that Michael himself followed, others gleaned from Slow Food champions — for your Slow holiday table.


Duo of Roasted and Braised Heritage Turkey

One18-pound Heritage turkey, legs removed, wings removed at the second joint,
1 large onion, peeled and cut into large mirepoix
1 large carrot, peeled and cut into large mirepoix
1 celery branch, peeled and cut into large mirepoix
1 small rutabaga, peeled and cut into large mirepoix
4 garlic cloves, unpeeled and lightly crushed
Bouquet garni, containing 2 bay leaves, 2 branches of sage, 5-6 parsley leaves, and a few inner celery leaves
750 milliliters white wine
2 liters chicken stock
150 milliliters vegetable oil
90-100 grams onion, ciselée
175 grams butter
Salt and freshly ground pepper
25-30 sage leaves, stemmed, stems reserved

For the Braise
1. Preheat the oven to 350¡F. Begin by cutting a manchon into the leg ends, which will facilitate the removal of the tough leg tendons after cooking. Season the legs with salt and pepper and set aside.
2. In a sautoir just large enough to hold the legs comfortably, heat 75 milliliters of oil; add the legs and brown well on all sides.
3. Add half of the mirepoix and cook until soft and it develops some color. Remove the legs and strain the contents, leaving 2-3 tablespoons of the fat in the pan.
4. Return all the ingredients to the pan and deglaze with 500 milliliters of wine. Reduce the liquid until syrupy and add approximately 1_ liter of stock — the liquid should come about halfway up the sides of the legs.
5. Add the bouquet garni and 2 garlic cloves, bring to a boil, cover, and place in the oven. Let braise, turning occasionally, for 2-2 1/2 hours, or until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the inner thigh (not touching bone) registers at least 180¡F. Remove the legs, cover, and keep warm. Strain the braising liquid and return to the heat, skimming diligently and reducing slightly.

For the Roast
1. At the same time you start braising the legs, begin roasting the breast. Rub it all over with about 25 milliliters of oil and season with salt and pepper. Chop the neck and wings into 1-inch pieces.
2. Place a small roasting pan in the oven to heat it for a few minutes. Add 50 milliliters of oil to the pan, place the breast in the pan, skin side up, and distribute the remaining garlic and neck and wing pieces around it. Place the pan in the oven, roast the turkey for 30 minutes, and then baste with 25 grams of butter to encourage browning.
3. If the neck and wing pieces have developed color, deglaze them with the remaining stock and bring to a boil. Return the pan to the oven and continue basting every 15 minutes for approximately 1 1/2 – 2 hours, or until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 168¡F. Remove the breast, cover loosely with a foil, and keep warm. Let the breast rest a minimum of 15-20 minutes before carving. Strain and degrease the cooking liquid and skim well.

For the Sauce
1. Marry the braising and the roasting liquids together and reduce them to just under 1 liter.
2. Meanwhile, soften the onion in the reserved fat and deglaze with the remaining wine. Add the sage stems and reduce by two-thirds. Combine this with the reduced stock and simmer for just a few minutes to meld the flavors.
3. Strain the sauce through a fine chinois and mount with the remaining butter. Taste for seasoning and add a chiffonade of sage leaves.
4. Debone the legs and serve a portion of leg meat accompanied by some breast meat, and nap with the sage jus. If a slightly more viscous sauce is desired, thicken the finished reduction with a slurry.

Mirepoix: Diced; cut the vegetablesin about 1/2-inch dice
Manchonner : To cut off the tip of the legbone
Ciselée: Finely diced

Corn, Sage, and Goat Cheese Spoonbread Stuffing

Yields 6 servings

1 small white onion, chopped
6 Tbsp. Unsalted butter plus extra for greasing pan
1/4 cup minced fresh sage leaves
2 cups milk
3/4 cup roasted Iroquois White Corn Flour
1/2 cup buttermilk
6 eggs separated
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 Tbsp. sugar
3/4 cup grated Parmesan
1 1/3 cups goat cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter 8″ x 11″ pan and sprinkle with 2 Tbsp. grated Parmesan.
2. In a saucepan, heat the butter and sauté onion until translucent. Add the minced sage and set aside.
3. Combine the corn flour in a bowl. Heat the milk to a scald and pour while still very hot over the cornmeal mixture. Stir to combine. Smooth out lumps.
4. Add sautéed onions with the butter and sage. In a separate bowl, mix egg yolks baking powder, baking soda, salt, sugar, grated Parmesan and buttermilk. Add to cornmeal mixture, then dot with goat cheese.
5. Whip the egg whites to soft peaks. Gently fold into the batter.
6. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake 40-45 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

To order Iroquois White Corn Flour, call Pinewoods Community Farming at 1-888-652-5628. Prices range from $17.50 for 5 lbs. to $60.00 for 20 lbs.

Turnip and Potato Gratin

Yield: 6 to 8 Servings

5 medium Yellow Finn or russet potatoes
10 medium turnips
Butter
Salt and Pepper
2 cups heavy cream

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

1. Peel and slice the potatoes 1/4 inch thick, with a knife or on a mandolin, and put them in a bowl of cold water to prevent them from discoloring.
2. Peel the turnips if their skin is tough and slice them 1/4 inch thick.
3. Butter the sides and bottom of a 9 x 12-inch baking dish.
4. Drain the potatoes and pat them dry.
5. Layer the potatoes and turnips alternately in the baking dish, seasoning each layer with salt and pepper.
6. Pour in enough of the cream and half chicken stock, to barely cover the vegetables.
7. Bake uncovered for 40 minutes. Rotate the dish periodically for even browning.