Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
This is my first Thanksgiving away from home.
Jarno and I celebrated with his family and my new Dutch family this past Sunday. It was really nice to have everyone over and enjoying a meal together and having an American tradition in our Dutch household.
I was searching for a Turkey for Thanksgiving but instead got 3 small chickens because turkeys here are about 11 euros per kilo. I’m used to having a huge 20 pound turkey for like $20. My mother used to get them every year at either Waldbaum’s or Pathmark for insanely cheap.
I’m really missing my family and friends today.
Maple Glazed Chicken with Riesling Gravy stuffed with Cornbread Sausage Stuffing
- 3 Small Chickens (a little over 1 kilo each)
- 1/4 cup of REAL maple syrup (hard to come by in the NL)
- 1 tbsp freshly grated ginger
- 6 tbsp butter (unsalted)
- 1.5 tbsp flour
- 1 cup Riesling wine
- Cornbread Sausage Stuffing
- 2 cups home made chicken stock
- 2/3 seedless red and green grapes, cut in half
- salt and pepper to taste
The night before, clean out your chickens and remove the neck and giblets (save those for the chicken stock which you can make the night before, recipe below). Rinse out with cold water. Season with salt and pepper inside and out. Fill the cavity of the bird with stuffing (recipe also below). Secure with kitchen twine; tie the legs together and tuck the wings under the bird. Cover, place in your roasting pan, and leave in the fridge over night.
Heat the oven to about 400F degrees (about 250C). Put the rack at the lowest level possible. Cut a double layer of cheesecloth to fit over the bird. Unfortunately, I could not for the life of me find cheesecloth here so I used gauze. Melt 4 tbsp of butter and soak the cheesecloth (or gauze in my case) in the butter. Drape bird with cloth.
Place roasting pan in the oven and roast for 30 minutes while basting with the butter and juices that accumulates in the bottom of the pan. Reduce heat to 350F or about 200C. Tent with aluminum foil and continue basting. Bird will be ready when it is about 170 degrees (use a meat thermometer). (3 hours for a 14 lb turkey or in my case 1.5 hours for 3 small chickens)
In the last 30 minutes or so, add the maple syrup, ginger, and 1 tbsp butter to a saucepan over medium heat. Melt the butter and let it all bubble. Remove from heat.
Toss the cheesecloth and foil tent and brush the bird with the maple glaze. You can brush a few times over the last half an hour. Keep the saucepan aside.
Remove the roasting pan and remove the bird and set aside on your serving dish, let the bird rest before you do anything with it.
Take the roasting pan and pour the pan drippings into a bowl, use a sieve to remove the fat and gross stuff. Pour the drippings back into your maple saucepan and heat over a medium flame. Pour the cup of Riesling into the pan, this will be your gravy. Reduce heat and let simmer (6 minutes). Once the sauce reduces, add the flour and 1 tbsp of butter. This will help to thicken the gravy. Should take about 7 mins. Remove from heat and transfer to gravy bowl and add grapes to the gravy.
Cornbread Sausage Stuffing
- 1 tbsp butter (unsalted)
- 1 cup flour
- 1 cup yellow cornmeal
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 cup milk
- 2 large eggs
- 1 lb or 1/2 kilo of fresh pork sausage crumbled (casings removed)
- 1 large onion chopped finely
- 3 celery stalks finely chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
- 3 large eggs
- 1 to 2 cups chicken/turkey stock
Preheat oven to 425F or about 250C with your oven rack in the center. Butter an 8” baking pan and set aside. In a mixing bowl, whisk in the flour, cornmeal, sugar, salt, and baking powder. In a small bowl, whisk the wet ingredients - milk and eggs until frothy and pour into mixing bowl. Mix until it is incorporated but still lumpy, careful not to over mix. Pour into baking pan and bake for about 20 - 25 minutes until the top is a golden brown. Use a toothpick and make sure the center is dry. Cut cornbread into 3/4” sections.
Lower the oven to 350F or 200C.
In a non-stick pan, cook sausage over medium-high heat until it is brown and cooked all the way through (7 minutes or so). Put into a large bowl and set aside. In the same pan, add the onion, celery, and 1/4 cup of water. Reduce to medium heat and cover, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper. When cooked down, add to sausage in the bowl.
Add cornbread and eggs to sausage veggie bowl and toss. Add about a cup to the stuffing to soften. Stuff the bird with the stuffing and set aside the rest of the stuffing into a baking pan as an awesome side.
- Bird giblets
- 1 medium onion cut into large chunks
- 2 stalks celery, cut into large chunks
- 2 carrots, peeled, cut into large chunks
- 6 sprigs parsley
- 1 whole bay leaf
- 1 tsp whole black peppercorn
Rinse giblets and combine all ingredients into a medium sized stock pot with 7 cups of water. Place over high heat and bring to a boil.