“I’ve cooked probably 3,000 turkeys in my life, and every one has always been spot-on for this recipe,” says Cathal Armstrong, chef/owner of Restaurant Eve.
He learned the method from his father, and a version of the failproof recipe will appear in My Irish Table, Armstrong’s first cookbook, debuting in spring 2014.
While there are many ways to tackle a turkey, Armstrong swears by his: The bacon-wrapped bird first steams in the oven, ensuring moist meat, and is then roasted at a higher temperature to crisp the skin. Health departments don’t recommend stuffing the turkey, but as chef says, “if you decide to be risky like your grandmother,” make sure you take the weight of the stuffing (about a pound here) into account for the cooking time.
Thanksgiving Turkey and Stuffing
Serves 8 to 10
For the turkey:
1 (15-pound) turkey, such as those from Fields of Athenry Farm (available at Society Fair)
1 package pork bacon
1 roll aluminum foil
1 pint chicken stock
For the stuffing:
1 pint chicken broth
½ pound diced bacon
1 large yellow onion, diced
1 large Idaho potato, diced
4 cups sourdough bread, diced
4 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped
3 tablespoons fresh sage, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
For the pan gravy:
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
2 quarts chicken stock
Make the stuffing and turkey:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
In a bowl, thoroughly combine the ingredients for the stuffing. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Rinse the turkey cavity and pat it dry. Fill the turkey cavity with the stuffing. Tie the legs together tightly. Cover the neck cavity with foil to ensure the skin doesn’t burn and the stuffing stays moist.
Place the turkey on a baking rack set inside a baking sheet, or place turkey on a traditional turkey baking pan with a raised rack.
Cover the breast of the turkey with strips of bacon, followed by a layer of foil to cover this area only.
Pour 1 pint of chicken stock into the baking sheet or pan. Place in the oven.
Cook the turkey for 15 minutes per pound, plus 15 minutes to begin (about 4 hours total for a 15-pound turkey). One hour from finish cooking time, remove the foil from the stuffing section and the breast section, along with the bacon. Increase oven temperature to 400 degrees. If you want to test the doneness of the bird with a meat thermometer, the target temperature is 165 degrees.
Make the pan gravy:
Once the bird has been removed from the oven, add a small amount of chicken broth to the pan drippings. With a whisk, get the drippings and the liquid moving around.
In a separate bowl make a roux, mixing the flour and butter together.
Set a saucepan over medium heat and add the roux, followed by the chicken stock and pan drippings. Gradually add more chicken stock, stirring, to adjust for consistency (it should be the texture of a light soup). Bring the mixture to a boil until it thickens to a brown gravy. Once it has a thick consistency, remove from the heat and pass it through a fine strainer.
The first night of Hanukkah and Thanksgiving only coincide once every 70,000-odd years, so it’s definitely an occasion worth noting. We asked DGS Delicatessen chef Barry Koslow to concoct a Thanksgivukkah recipe, bringing together flavors from both traditions. The result: sweet potato latkes topped with a savory cranberry condiment, a perfect appetizer or side for your holiday table.
Latkes are simple, recipe-wise, but the trick is keeping them crisp. Make sure you squeeze as much moisture from the potatoes and onions as possible, and pan-fry them in clarified butter, canola oil, or even duck fat for a crackly crust. The DGS team recommends underseasoning the mixture to start, frying up a small test bite, and adjusting to taste. The cranberry mostarda to finish the dish is an easy, chutney-like accent that can be made a week in advance. Latkes aside, you may have just found your new cranberry sauce.
Sweet Potato Latkes With Cranberry Mostarda
Serves 4 as a side dish
For the cranberry mostarda:
½ cup dry white wine, such as Pinot Grigio
½ cup diced apple
½ cup dried apricots
¼ cup mustard seeds
¼ teaspoon mustard powder
½ cup water
Pinch of salt
1 cup fresh cranberries
Combine all ingredients except for the cranberries in a small sauce pot. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.
Simmer for about 5 minutes, or until the mustard seeds start to plump up.
Pull the pot off the heat and add the cranberries, gently stirring. Be careful not to pop them.
Pour the mixture into a bowl or jar and chill thoroughly before serving. The mostarda can be kept in the fridge for up to a week.
For the latkes:
1 Idaho potato
1 medium sweet potato
½ medium white onion
2 egg yolks
2 small sage leaves, minced
½ cup clarified butter, canola oil, or duck fat (if you’re going decadent)
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Using the largest holes of a box grater, grate the sweet potato, Idaho potato, and onion into a mixing bowl.
Squeeze as much water from the mixture as possible and place mixture in a separate bowl. Discard the water.
Add the egg yolks, sage, salt, and pepper to the bowl. Mix all the ingredients until incorporated.
Place a nonstick pan on medium heat and add the clarified butter, oil, or fat.
Form the potato mixture into baseball-size spheres, and gently place in the butter. Flatten them with a spatula into a pancake shape, so they’re about 1⁄8 inch thick.
Brown the latkes for approximately 5 minutes per side. Remove from pan and put on a paper towel to sop up any extra grease.
Finish the latkes for 10 minutes in the oven on a cookie sheet.
Hanukkah already brings tasty dishes to the table, but combine Jewish tradition with American indulgence on November 28 and you really have a meal worth celebrating. Typically the eight-day holiday competes with Christmas for the limelight, but once every 70,000-odd years the Festival of Lights and Thanksgiving unite. We’re keeping our fingers crossed that some chef is crazy enough to tackle a brisketducken (best eaten over mashed latkes, of course).
1317 Connecticut Ave., NW; 202-293-4400
The deli is closed on Thanksgiving Day/Night One but is still getting into the spirit on Wednesday, November 27, with a Thanksgivukkah sweet potato latke piled with roast turkey, gravy, and cranberry sauce. You can also celebrate seven nights of Hanukkah with takeout latkes and doughnuts. Grab to-go beet-horseradish and carrot-cumin latkes with apple preserves and sour cream, or satisfy a sweet tooth with Nutella doughnuts.
Price: Both latkes and doughnuts are $6 for a three-item order.
3435 Connecticut Ave., NW; 202-686-2966
Head to this Cleveland Park neighborhood spot for Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, or a mix of both. The 28th brings a melting pot of Puritan, Italian, and Jewish traditions (turkey! cioppino! latkes!). You’ll find more classic dishes from the Festival of Lights through December 4, including Roseda Farms brisket.
Price: $45 for three courses on Thanksgiving Day; Hanukkah à la carte.
818 Connecticut Ave., NW; 202-331-8118
Chef Todd Gray and Ellen Kassoff Gray recently authored The New Jewish Table, so it makes sense they’re celebrating both holidays. Guests can pick from two separate menus, and can snag a copy of the book with the Hanukkah option.
Price: Hanukkah starts at $60 for adults ($25 kids) for four courses; Thanksgiving is three courses for $65 ($35 kids).
2275 L St., NW; 202-730-2500
You don’t have to wait for November 28 to celebrate Thanksgivukkah at Ris Lacoste’s restaurant. The November “lunch club” menu embraces the holiday throughout the month, with dishes such as slow-cooked beef brisket with cranberry sauce and roast turkey atop challah bread. Over at Union Market, Lacoste runs a holiday stall with cooking items like chicken stock (a matzo-ball-soup-making necessity) as well as cranberry-orange bread and other baked goods.
Price: $25 for a three-course meal or à la carte.
Menu/details: Holiday stall only
2020 O St., NW; 202-496-2020
This funky Dupont Circle spot says “gobble tov!” to the holiday with an eclectic spread, including an appetizer buffet with everything from gefilte fish to a peanut butter “station” (not to be combined), and seated entrées like fried turkey and barbecue brisket. Most everything is for sale here, so you could pick up your Hanukkah presents, too.
Price: $70 for an appetizer and dessert buffet plus seated entrées/sides.
1341 H St., NE; 202-388-3833
This Jewish-Irish H Street spot is a year-round cultural mashup, so obviously there’s plenty of Thanksgivukkah spirit. The tavern is closed November 28 but offers a variety of specials from November 27 through December 4 like apple-cinnamon- or pickle-infused bourbon, Manischewitz-glazed wings, and pulled-brisket sliders. Celebrate the last night of Hanukkah with a Shmaltz tap takeover.
Price: À la carte.
Daunted by tackling a full Thanksgiving meal? Luckily a host of chefs—including some from Washington’s top restaurants—are here to help. Most offer a range of possibilities for every stage of your feast, from pre-brined birds to roasted heritage turkeys, tasty sides, desserts, or a full soup-to-nuts (er, turkey-to-pie) spread.
The feast: Get into the Southern spirit with a New Orleans-inspired spread of roasted or fried Cajun turkey, cornbread-andouille stuffing, mac and cheese, and more.
Serves: About eight, with a 16-to-18-pound gobbler, gravy, four sides, and biscuits ($175). Sides can also be ordered à la carte.
Details: Place orders by 5 on Thursday, November 21, for pickup between 11 and 1 on Thanksgiving Day.
The feast: You’ll find a large variety of seafood and land-fare at the restaurant’s market, from ready-to-cook Amish turkeys to freshly shucked oyster platters, sides, pies, and more.
Serves: Most items, including turkeys, vary by order.
Details: Order through Sunday, November 24, for pickup on Wednesday, November 27.
The feast: An elegant spread includes a roasted free-range bird, sides such as oyster-chorizo stuffing and bacon-cranberry Brussels sprouts, breads, apple pie, and more.
Serves: Six to eight ($300 before tax).
Details: Order until Saturday, November 23, for pickup on November 27 (11 to 7) or Thanksgiving Day (11 to 2).
The feast: Chef Bart Vandaele caters to both large and small gatherings, offering a 17-pound bird or a stuffed breast for four, plus sides and appetizers of all quantities.
Serves: Anywhere from an eight-person full meal ($169 includes the turkey and five sides) to à-la-carte sides and desserts.
Details: Order by Monday, November 25, for pickup on Thanksgiving Day between 10 and noon.
The feast: Chef Victor Albisu gives Turkey Day a Latin twist with Peruvian chicken-style roast turkey and sides such as charred Brussels sprouts and canela candied yams.
Serves: Six to eight for the turkey ($110). Prices of sides vary.
Details: Order by Sunday, November 24, for pickup on Wednesday, November 27, or until noon on Thanksgiving Day.
The feast: Thanksgiving gets a Texas twist with pit-smoked turkeys and fixins like green bean casserole, skillet cornbread, and mac and cheese. Pies in flavors such as bourbon-pecan round out the meal.
Serves: Meals can be ordered for 5 to 8, 10 to 12, or à la carte (prices vary).
Details: Place orders by Friday, November 22, for pickup on Wednesday, November 27 (3 to 5) or Thanksgiving day (9 to noon).
The feast: Go Greek for Thanksgiving with Mike Isabella’s wood-spit-roasted birds, squash orzotto, lemony roasted potatoes, and more.
Serves: The 14-to-16-pound turkeys serve eight to ten ($120); sides vary.
Details: Order by Sunday, November 24, for pickup on Thanksgiving Day between 8:30 and 11.
The feast: Choose between fresh or brined heritage birds, an oven-ready pork rib roast, and classic sides. Also check out sister operation Buzz Bakery for all your pie and biscuit needs.
Serves: Prices and portions vary by order.
Details: Order online for pickup at Union Market and Mosaic District locations.
The feast: Chef Cathal and Meshelle Armstrong’s Alexandria market offers a range of options, from whole turkeys to crowd-friendly appetizers and romantic meals for two.
Serves: Varies by order.
Details: Order online by Saturday, November 23; prices vary by item.
The feast: You’ll find a party-size selection of salads, side dishes, and main courses that go beyond the bird; think a New York strip roast and cedar-plank salmon.
Serves: All platters serve eight to ten, with prices varying by item.
Details: Grab your orders on Thanksgiving Day from 10 to 8:30.
Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken offers “decorate your own doughnut” boxes, and does most of the heavy lifting—or baking, in this case. The kit comes with three vanilla-glazed doughnuts, a piping bag of chocolate glaze, and Halloween-themed sprinkles ($10 each). Preorder through Thursday (recommended) by calling 202-809-5565 or e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Free meals for spirited kids
Dress your kids in their Halloween best and head to Mi Cocina in Chevy Chase for free kids’ meals for any costumed child under 12 through Thursday.
It happens every year. You spend October worrying about flu shots and upcoming Thanksgiving traumas, and all of the sudden the guy on NPR reminds you that a bunch of little kids are going to come by tonight demanding candy. Or maybe you’re a parent trying to forget the fact that your precious offspring is about to get a sugar stash so large he’ll spend the next few weeks as high as a script writer for Sean Saves the World.
This year, don’t let trick-or-treat night sneak up on you lest you end up with a Halloween offering so offensive you become a prime target for neighborhood marauders. Here are ten candies to avoid if you also want to avoid toilet paper, silly string, and—worst of all—the dreaded rotten egg.
Baugher’s Orchard & Farm
Where: Westminster, Maryland
Miles from Downtown Washington: 63
Pumpkins: Head over to this 100-year-old farm for gourds priced at 49 cents per pound.
Apples: Apple season is coming to a close but a limited supply of Fuji, Red and Gold Delicious, Empire, Jonagold, and Shizuka apples can still be found in the new orchard. $1.29 per pound.
Added Fun: One dollar hayrides to the pumpkin patch and orchard offer visitors a scenic view of the surrounding countryside.
Hours: Picking hours for the month of October are Saturdays and Sundays, 10 to 5.
The High Holidays are upon us, with Rosh Hashanah starting Wednesday evening and lasting through Friday. Several restaurants are ringing in the Jewish New Year with special menus and dishes, from classic matzo-ball soup to more modern takes on traditional offerings. Check in with us next week for more culinary celebrations surrounding Yom Kippur.
You could celebrate with a number of regular offerings from this Jewish deli’s lineup, but the kitchen is also preparing a more traditional slow-braised brisket for the holiday with onions, carrots, and mushrooms.
The details: September 4 until the brisket runs out.
Kick off the Jewish New Year with a four-course dinner from chef Barry Koslow, who riffs on classic dishes; think pumpkin kreplach with pistachios and honey-glazed duck lacquered with apples and rosemary.
The details: September 4 through 7 during regular dinner hours; $40 per person or $60 with wine
This Cleveland Park neighborhood favorite puts together a four-course menu that mixes holiday recipes from owner Dean Gold’s mother with other Jewish and Italian inspirations.
The details: September 4 starting at 5 and September 5 at 6; $44 per person, $19 for children.
Chef Todd Gray and Ellen Kassoff Gray recently released their first cookbook, The New Jewish Table, and you’ll find similar seasonally inspired dishes on their Rosh Hashanah menu.
The details: September 3 through 8; $48 per person.
Mon Ami Gabi
Both the Reston and Bethesda locations of this bistro chain offer a set four-course menu for the holiday, including classics such as challah bread, matzo-ball soup, and brisket.
The details: September 4 and 5; $34.95 for adults, $16.95 for children under 12.
Star & Shamrock
Head to this H Street tavern/deli for a truly low-key Rosh Hashanah. The bar celebrates by giving out gratis apples and honey, while you can order off the regular menu for everything else. Pan-fried matzo balls with fried onions “au Jew”? Why not?
The details: Normal hours and prices.
This Sunday marks Bastille Day, the French national holiday, and there are plenty of places to sip Champagne, eat fromage, and get into the Gallic spirit all week long.
Provençal feast at Mintwood Place
When: Tuesday through Sunday
Chef Cedric Maupillier shows his patriotism by whipping up dishes from his native Toulon. Order à la carte or splurge on a five-course feast featuring dishes such as dorade with braised fennel and lamb saddle with ratatouille and squash blossoms. $65 per person; $100 with wine pairings.
Let them eat cake bar at the Phillips Collection
When: Thursday 5 to 8:30 at the Phillips Collection; Malmaison after-party 9 to 2
Brightest Young Things teams up with the gallery for an art-filled soiree, the Unstill Life. Come for cubism-inspired cocktails, absinthe, and an all-you-can-eat cake bar; stay for a gallery talk and tour and an after-party at the newly opened Malmaison.
Sure, Independence Day is on a Thursday. But you can still assert your right to mimosas and eggs at several restaurants, which are throwing down like it’s Sunday Funday. Check back with us as more brunches become available.
One doesn’t automatically think Balkan cuisine for the Fourth, but why not? Feast on unlimited small plates such as prosciutto eggs Benedict and a B.E.L.T. and free-flowing cocktails before heading down to the Mall to stake out a spot for the fireworks ($35 per person).
Feel like pork for breakfast? The neighborhood bar hosts a barbecue starting at 11, with ribs, brisket, slaw, hot dogs, corn, and other summery treats.
Neighboring 14th Street eatery Cafe Saint-Ex is still finalizing its brunch plans, but look for eggy eats and mimosas.
Early birds can head to either the Foggy Bottom or Rockville location, which serve brunch from 7 to 2. Look for American classics such as steak and eggs and pastrami hash.
Four brunches are better than one! Head over Thursday through Sunday between 9 and 4 for a very extended brunch at the Heights. You can even bring dogs to the outdoor patio for their own $2 breakfast treats.
Both DC locations of this family-operated Korean restaurant are serving brunch, and the K Street branch will remain open for dinner. Come for the soju Bloody Mary, stay for Korean-style omelets and marinated steak.
Festivities last all day at Masa, and a deejay will spin until 2 AM. Get a head start with unlimited small plates and bottomless brunch cocktails from 10 to 3 ($35 per person).
In addition to fried chicken picnic buckets and pies to go, Jeff and Barbara Black’s seafood spot offers brunch from 11 to 3. Stick around for extended happy hour through 7.
This post has been updated from a previous version.
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