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Alberg Rants…about Thanksgiving
November is turkey time although at The Red Lion Inn it’s always turkey time! We serve more than 10,000 turkey dinners annually.
Days off in my line of work are few and (sometimes) far between, so when I am preparing T-Day dinner for my family (which is never on the actual holiday), I want it to be effortless so visiting time isn’t spent with my head in the oven.
Just 3 words… MISE EN PLACE. Translated to American or, in layman’s terms, having one’s shit together! That is the way to make Turkey Day service for 600-plus guests at the inn or the family meal at home effortless. Take the time in days prior to prepare your dishes. Here are some hints to help make turkey day as smooth as that golden-brown crispy breast in your oven!
Days prior: Clean and dice turnips or use baby hakurei turnips. Cover with olive oil and poach until tender, then store in oil.
DAY OF: Remove from oil, place in an ovenproof container and warm in oven or on the stove top.
(Yes, you can use a microwave to reheat… just don’t tell anyone!)
Days prior: Halve Brussels sprouts, chestnuts, bacon, onions, chicken broth and thyme. Sauté and simmer in stock for 45 minutes until fork-tender, remove from heat and cool.
DAY OF: Reheat.
There. Three great side dishes that will only take minutes to serve on Turkey Day. Here’s one last Turkey Day Prep tip:
DAYS PRIOR: Soak cheesecloth in salted butter with fresh thyme sprigs.
DAY OF: Season breast, cover with cheesecloth and bake… The cloth helps the bird self-baste and then as the juices flow, it becomes a sponge for the basting juices…
Spend time enjoying your family rather than sweating in the kitchen. Of course, if you can’t stand your family, screw the Mise en Place and keep yourself hydrated with one of these cocktails, all made with local spirits from one of my favorite distilleries here in the Berkshires.
The End Zone
3 oz. Berkshire Mountain Distillers Ethereal Gin
2 oz. St. Germain
1 oz. Aperol
Half an orange, juiced.
Pour juice over ice. Top with sparkling rose.
2 oz. Berkshire Mountain Distillers Ice Glen Vodka
6 muddled raspberries
4 oz. Prosecco
1 rocks glass
4 fingers of Berkshire Mountain Distillers Bourbon
(hands down, my fave)