Friday, June 9, 2023

A Rachel Ray Thanksgiving!

Bailey Woodean
Bailey Woodean
I have been a freelance writer for more than 4 years, a mom for more than 2 years, and a wife for just under a year. I am currently a student in a cooking and catering program with the intention of expanding my knowledge of the culinary business. I then plan to take this knowledge to properly write about and critique restaurants and food. Writing to you from Niagara Falls, NY, thanks for joining me on the ride!
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Rachel Ray is one of the “big hitters” of the culinary world. With her quirky wit and “down-to-earth” style cooking, she is certainly one of the best in the industry! The first time I ever made Thanksgiving dinner for my husband and our friends, I knew I could turn to Rachel Ray for Thanksgiving dinner recipes that would be a hit! If you’re looking for a smashing Thanksgiving dinner, look no further!

Rachel Ray’s Classic Pan Gravy

  • Pan drippings
  •  3.5 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons flour
  • Salt and pepper
  1. Using a fine-mesh sieve, strain the pan drippings into a large glass measuring cup.
  2. Skim off the fat, reserve ⅓ cup in a small bowl.
  3. Place the roasting pan over medium heat, add 2 cups of broth and bring to a boil.
  4. Stir, scraping up any browned bits, until the broth reduces slightly, about 2 minutes.
  5. Add enough remaining broth to the cup with the pan drippings to measure 1.5 cups, pour it into the roasting pan and bring to a boil.
  6. Whisk the flour mixture into the pan juices; return to a boil.
  7. Simmer, whisking, until thickened, about 5 minutes. Season to taste.
Brussels Sprouts

Rachel Ray’s Manchego-Almond Brussels Sprouts

  • 2 pounds Brussels Sprouts, halved lengthwise
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • ⅓ cup sliced almonds
  • 1 lemon, zested, plus 1 tablespoon juice
  • 1 ounce shaved manchego (can also use Parmesan or pecorino)
  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss the Brussels Sprouts with the oil.
  3. Season, then arrange Brussels, cut side down.
  4. Roast for 10 minutes
  5. Sprinkle the almonds on top; continue roasting until the Brussels are crisp-tender and beginning to brown and the almonds are toasted, 5 to 10 minutes.
  6. Transfer to a bowl.
  7. All the lemon zest, lemon juice and half the cheese to the Brussels.
  8. Toss to coat, season and top with remaining cheese.
Roast Turkey

Rachel Ray’s Classic Roast Turkey

  • 1 12-15 pound turkey
  • 6 tablespoons butter at room temperature
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 ribs celery, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 2 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil for brushing (Rachel calls it EVOO)
  1. Let the turkey stand at room temperature 1-2 hours
  2. Place a rack in the bottom third of the oven; preheat 425 degrees Fahrenheit
  3. Under the skin: carefully slide your fingers between the skin and the breast meat. Spread the butter (mixed with desired seasonings) evenly under the skin, into the breast meat and the tops of the thighs.
  4. Tuck the wings behind the turkey.
  5. Place it, breast side up, on a rack in a large roasting pan.
  6. In the cavity, season the cavity with salt and pepper, then stuff with the celery and onion.
  7. Using kitchen string, loosely tie the legs together.
  8. Season the turkey all over with salt and pepper.
  9. Pour the broth into the roasting pan.
  10. Roast the turkey for 1 hour.
  11. Rotate the pan, reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and continue roasting until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh (don’t touch the bone) registers 155 degrees Fahrenheit, 1.5 to 2 hours.
  12. On the roasted bird: transfer the turkey to a serving platter.
  13. Reserve the roasting pan and pan drippings for gravy
  14. Brush the extra virgin olive oil all over the turkey, season.
  15. Tent the turkey with foil and let stand at least 20 minutes before carving.

My notes

I remember being so nervous about making such an important holiday meal for the first time. I knew I was in good hands with these recipes and I would happily turn to them and many others of Rachel’s when I am in need of elevated home cooking.

I chose to follow each recipe as closely as I could. However, I did make a few tweaks. For example, in addition to the butter under the turkey skin (super weird task to complete, by the way) I mixed in fresh herbs, garlic, and salt. I also made Rachel’s Rosemary Mashed Potatoes and her Marble Rye and Apple Stuffing.

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