Thanksgiving Pt. 2 – Roast Turkey with Chestnut Stuffing

This is a follow-up to Thanksgiving Jitters Part 1.

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I made the cranberry sauce with 12 ounces of fresh cranberries, 1 cup of orange juice, 1 cup of sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of orange zest. More about the turkey later.

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For the center table arrangement, I placed a rosemary plant with salvia leaves and berries in an ice bucket. I like to use things in as many ways as possible.

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I love casseroles you can take from the oven to the table, it’s perfect if you have to warm up so many dishes at the same time.

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Sweet potato with a dash of ginger, total comfort food.

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At the end of the night I downloaded all the pictures from the night before when I started cooking. I was on the phone and doing three things at once and and making room for the photos on my hard drive when voilà…. I without realizing it deleted all of the over 50,000 photos on my computer. With some help, I managed to rescue all of my photos except for all of the photos from cooking for Thanksgiving. These were just about all I recovered.

Anyway, I made all the dishes I wrote on my menu except the pumpkin flan and the dill scones. We had two delicious desserts from my friends, a carrot cake and a tower of profiteroles au caramel. I had my concerns about the turkey, about not making it. But this was the first Thanksgiving I didn’t have any left over turkey. It was crisp on the outside and juicy inside. I was basting almost every 20 minutes until done for four and a half hours.

For the meat lover this is the recipe, for the vegetarian I will write soon about the veggie plates:


Seasoning paste:
about 8 ounces of butter, in this case to keep kosher/parve I used vegetable margarine
whole head of garlic
worcestershire sauce
rosemary, sage, and thyme, about a table spoon of each
salt and pepper

Blend all the ingredients and make a paste. Season with salt and pepper. Rub the paste under the skin and all over outside. This will help keep the inside moist.


neck and giblets from the turkey
2 cups chicken broth
4 cups of water
1 celery
1 carrot
1 onion
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil

Heat the oil and brown the neck and giblets, add remaining ingredients and simmer until reduced to about 4 cups. Should take about 45 minutes. Strain. Set aside to cool ompletely. Cover and refrigerate.


12 ounces chestnuts, I used two packages of roasted whole chestnuts
1 apple, chopped
3 celery ribs, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1 loaf of country bread, I used a Tuscany country style bread cut in small cubes
small bunch of fresh sage, rosemary, thyme, minced
olive oil

Toast the bread with olive oil and minced rosemary, until gold and crusty like croutons. In olive oil cook onions, celery, apple, chestnuts and herbs until soft. Stir together with the toasted bread.


1 14-18 pound turkey, kosher and organic
64 ounces chicken broth, about 2 quarts
1 cup white wine

The night before, I cleaned the organic and kosher turkey, seasoned it, and made the stock. Fill main cavity and neck cavity loosely with stuffing. Sew cavities closed and tie legs together, secure wings to body with a small skewers. Place turkey in roasting pan and add 1 cup of chicken broth. I usually cover the the breast loosely with aluminum foil for the first hour of the cooking time to get an uniform roasting. The secret to a crisp outside and juicy inside is to keep basting every 20 minutes and keep adding more broth or wine as needed. And when a part of the turkey starts to get brown too quickly, I cover that part loosely with small piece of aluminum foil. Even if I know for the weight mine should supposedly be done in approximately 4 1/2 hours, but I used a thermometer to be sure it was properly cooked. Breast should register 165° and thighs 175°F. When it is done, let it rest for about 25 minutes before carving.


4 cups turkey stock reserved from earlier
juices reserved from turkey
1/2 cup of fat and juices from pan
6 tablespoon all purpose flour

Scrape bottom of roasting pant to loosen any browned bits, adding 1 cup of the turkey stock. Pour into a large measuring cup. Let stand until fat rises to surface. Spoon fat off and reserve 1/2 cup. In a saucepan boil mixtures of juices with the rest of the turkey stock until reduced to 3 cups. Meanwhile pour reserved 1/2 cup of fat in a saucepan add flour cook until golden brown, stirring constantly. Add stock mixture and continue stirring. Cook until sauce thickens, check season to taste with salt and pepper.



  1. So sorry to hear you lost some pictures and had to go through the hassle of recovering photos. I’d go crazy and be screaming when I think I lost 50,000 photos…. I’m not very good at multitasking and always something happens when I do. I’m not very good at hosting a party because of that….food tends to get burnt when I have guests. What a lovely feast you have prepared! I just looked at the table and went wow. Such a fabulous party!

  2. Hi Lola! Seems like I have been away forever. Your Thanksgiving post looks like a lot of fun. And the turkey.. roasted to a golden perfection. What a beautiful meal and surrounded with much love whether family or friends. Hugs, Jo

    P/S: thanks for buzzing me over at my blog ;).

  3. Hi Lola! Seems like I have been away forever. Your Thanksgiving post looks like a lot of fun. And the turkey.. roasted to a golden perfection. What a beautiful meal and surrounded with much love whether family or friends. Hugs, Jo

    P/S: thanks for buzzing me over at my blog ;).

  4. Wow Lola! What a spread. So glad you rescued your photos! Anthony. :)

  5. The turkey, the side dishes and the tablescape looked amazing! What a beautiful meal! Thanks for sharing!

  6. What a gorgeous Thanksgiving spread! The sweet potatoes sound delightful and your turkey is just gorgeous!

  7. Your turkey does look crispy and delicious! The pictures definitely tell me that your Thanksgiving meal was wonderful. Lots of tasty food and family- nothing beat that! Thanks for the delicious recipes

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