Good morning. For years now, people have been asking Samin Nosrat if her recipe for buttermilk-brined roast chicken, first published in her 2017 hit cookbook “Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat,”could be adapted for a Thanksgiving turkey. She always hedged her response, never having tried the method on a big bird herself.
Now she has a definitive answer: yes. Samin described the process of buttermilk brining a turkey in an article for The Times this week, and gave us recipes as well, for both buttermilk-brined roast turkey (above) and buttermilk-brined turkey breast. You might consider one or the other for your feast this year, perhaps especially the turkey breast one if you’ve never cooked a turkey before or have only limited experience cooking turkeys. The results are juicy and delicious, below a marvelously burnished skin.
Alternatively, so long as we’re talking about the coming holiday, maybe you’ll like Melissa Clark’s Thanksgiving Dinner in One Recipe, which is just the essentials, simplified, in a single pot and on a single pan. (You can watch her cook it here.)
Or take a spin through our Thanksgiving Menu Planner, which is a joy to use, to find new ideas for what to cook for the meal in this strange and difficult year. Do that collaboratively with distant family and friends and you’ll be celebrating, as my colleague Jim Windolf would have it, Zoom-’giving.
For myself, I think I’d like to try this slow-cooker beef stew with maple and stout and this tomato rice with crispy Cheddar, not to mention this black pepper, beef and cabbage stir-fry and this pasta aglio olio with butternut squash. I won’t get to all four, but I absolutely want to make this cranberry-lemon Eton mess, whatever precedes it.
Maybe you’d prefer these spicy roasted chicken thighs. It’s good weather where I stay for this fish chowder Julia Moskin got out of the kitchen at Eventide in Portland, Me. (Eventide’s a crepuscular word, not a maritime one, meaning the end of the day. It will be on your final exam.) It’s never a bad idea to make mushrooms on toast.
Many thousands more recipes to consider making this weekend await you on NYT Cooking. Go see what you discover there. (Here’s how to make pie crust. Here’s the tourtière you can make with that knowledge.) Save the recipes you like. Rate the ones you’ve made. And leave notes on them, too, for yourself or for the benefit of your fellow subscribers.
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Now, it’s not about cooking, really, but I can’t get enough of professional eaters writing about how the coronavirus has denied them the chance to be in restaurants. Here’s Pat Sharpe of Texas Monthly on what she misses most.
Listen to Jade Bird, “Headstart.”
Finally, as Mike Hale pointed out in The Times a while back, “The Good Lord Bird” is a limited series on Showtime that’s worth your time, with a remarkable performance by Ethan Hawke. (The book it’s adapted from, by James McBride, is pretty great as well.) Watch that this weekend when you’re not in the kitchen. I’ll see you on Sunday.