For our Thanksgiving menus this year, we decided to call in some ringers—fantastic chefs from different corners of the country, with very different takes on American cuisine. We’re proud to share with you updated traditionalist recipes from Michael Anthony of New York City’s Gramercy Tavern, Latin-Jewish flavors from Michelle Bernstein of Miami’s Michy’s, and the tricked-out hackers’ Thanksgiving from Anthony Myint and Karen Leibowitz of San Francisco’s Mission Street Food. Plus, special guest appearances from Nathan Myhrvold and the Modernist Cuisine team, in case your holidays won’t be complete without some carbonated cranberries. Special thanks to Fishs Eddy for the awesome props and Saipua for the stunning flowers. Enjoy! – Ed.
Correction: The cooking time of the turkey has been shortened from when this recipe was published; the current timing is more accurate, but of course, ovens and turkey sizes differ; rely on your thermometer.
Ever since Michael Anthony has been the chef at New York’s Gramercy Tavern, the restaurant has closed for Thanksgiving, allowing the whole staff to go home and celebrate with their families. Anthony favors a day of marinade-like brine followed by a day of rest for his turkey (in the past, he’s plied a local pizzeria with beer to allow him to use their walk-in refrigerator for the bird). The extra day out of brine helps to dry the skin for crispness and more evenly cure the meat, for incredible flavor.
Michael Anthony, Gramercy Tavern
Serves 8-10, with leftovers
1 cup Champagne or white wine vinegar
1 cup cider vinegar
½ pound light brown sugar
3 cups Kosher salt
¾ cup white sugar
2 tablespoons mustard seed
4 tablespoons crushed black pepper
6 sprigs thyme
6 cloves garlic, crushed
2 bay leaves
- On the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, reserve the neck and giblets for the gravy and place the turkey in a container large enough to hold it along with brining liquid. Combine all the remaining ingredients in large pot with 2 quarts of water and bring to a boil.
- Once brining liquid comes to a boil, strain it and allow to cool. Pour cooled brine over the turkey and top with water if necessary to ensure that the bird is completely submerged. Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours.
- After 24 hours, remove the turkey from the brining liquid, pat it dry and let it rest uncovered in the refrigerator to air dry overnight.
- On Thanksgiving, preheat oven to 350°F. Rub the outside of the bird with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
- Roast at 350°F for 1 hour. Reduce the oven temperature to 320°F, and continue cooking for another 2½ - 3 hours, until the juices run clear, or a thermometer inserted in the thigh of the bird reaches a temperature of 150° to 155°F.
- Remove and let rest for at least 20 minutes, uncovered, before carving.
Serves 8-10; if you’re a gravy lover, double the recipe
Neck bones and gizzard from the turkey
6 chicken wings
1 tablespoon butter
1 onion, roughly chopped
1 carrot, roughly chopped
3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1 stalk celery, roughly chopped
1 sprig fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
1 quart good-quality chicken stock (preferably home made)
- Roughly chop the neck, giblets and chicken wings and roast in the same oven as the turkey, for about 20-30 minutes or until very brown.
- While the turkey and chicken parts are roasting, heat a saucepan over medium heat. Add the butter and vegetables, sautéing until they begin to soften.
- Add the roasted bones and herbs to the vegetables then cover with the chicken stock and simmer gently, partially uncovered, for 2 hours as the turkey roasts.
- Strain the enriched stock and reduce over medium-high heat until it is your desired gravy consistency. Season with salt and pepper to taste.