Grateful for Food

December 2, 2022

Are you tired of eating the same, bland, turkey every year on Thanksgiving day? Are you tired of wondering where the flavor is? Do people praise the cook about how good their mashed potatoes are, when really it’s so tasteless that a spoon of oats would be more filling than gooey, textured potatoes? It is time Oakton students and staff feel real gratitude towards traditional Thanksgiving foods. For once, here are two mouth watering recipes that are sure to make you throw up from insatiable desire.

Starting with the animal that should be known as tasty, expensive, and elegant; the turkey is the most overrated yet underrated. This turkey recipe is full of flavor and only takes about 20 minutes to prepare.
First, it is time to make the brine. Mix together ½ a cup of salt and 1 tbsp of brown sugar in a bowl until it becomes one. Then, bring out the turkey. Place the turkey inside a a V-shape rack inside a large roasting pan. Sprinkle the brine on every square inch over the outside and inside of the turkey. After the quick seasoning break (your hands are not done yet), Chill the bird for at least 12 hours and up to 2 days.
When the turkey is chilled, line the baking sheet with 3 layers of foil and set the rack the turkey used for the turkey inside. Then, gently place the turkey on the rack and tuck the wings underneath. You should let the turkey sit at room temperature for two to three hours.
Preheat the oven to 450°. Then, pry open the wings with fingers and smear butter under the wings. Do the same to the outside of the turkey with another 4 tbsp of butter.
Once done with the butter, tie the legs together with twine and pour a cup of water onto the baking sheet. Then, roast the turkey until the skin is mostly golden brown all over. This should take about 30 minutes. Remember to rotate the pan halfway through.
While the turkey is roasting, place ¼ cup of red wine vinegar, 2 tbsp of honey, 4 tsp of Worcestershire sauce, 3 sprigs of rosemary, 3 crushed garlic cloves, 2 strips of orange zest, and 4 tbsp of butter in a saucepan over medium heat until the mixture bubbles. This should take about 5 minutes. After, keep the glaze warm on the lowest setting.
When the glaze is ready, reduce the oven temperature to 300° and continue to roast the turkey. Brush the turkey with the glaze every 30 minutes and add more water to maintain some liquid in the baking sheet. When an instant-read thermometer is inserted into the thickest part of the breast near the neck, it should read 150°. The skin should be a deep golden brown and look crisp. Finally, let the turkey cool down for at least 30 minutes.

Onto the second recipe, here is a simple recipe for stuffing.
Preheat the oven to 250°. Apply butter to a 13x9x2-inch baking dish and set aside. Separate bread on a baking  sheet. Each piece of bread should be about an inch in size. Bake for about one hour. After the bread is crisp, let it cool and transfer it to a large bowl.
While the bread is cooling down, melt ¾ cup of butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add in and 2 ½ cups of chopped onions and 1½ cups of ¼ celery. Stir until it begins to turn brown. Add the onions and celery to the bowl filled with bread. Stir in ½ cup of chopped parsley, 2 tbsp of chopped fresh sage, 1 tbsp of chopped fresh rosemary, 1 tbsp of chopped thyme, 2 tsp of salt, and 1 tsp of black pepper. Then, drizzle in 1¼ cups chicken broth and lightly toss.
Preheat the oven to 350° and whisk together another 1¼ cups broth and 2 large eggs in a small bowl. Add the bread to the mixture, folding gently until combined. Transfer to a dish covered with foil and bake until an instant-read thermometer reads 160°. It should take about 40 minutes. When the dressing is fully baked, and the top is browned and crisp, uncover and let it cool.

Overall, these recipes are pretty simple and aside from the turkey, easy to bake. Most students and staff have given these recipes 4.5 out 5 stars. Have a great Thanksgiving!

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