Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!!
Since Thanksgiving is probably my favorite holiday (how can I not love a day all about cooking, eating, and hanging out??), I always get very excited when the end of November rolls around. With most of my friends being foodies also, the last few Thanksgivings have ended up being cooking marathons, when we try out as many cool recipes as possible.
This year, however, I celebrated a quieter Thanksgiving with my sister. With just the two of us, I vetoed the idea of buying a turkey (much to her dismay) and instead we made Zuni Cafe’s Roasted Chicken instead. That recipe is truly amazing! Ok, so you do need to plan ahead and salt the chicken (use the term “dry brine” to impress your friends) two days in advance, but the resulting product is more than worth it. Juicy, flavorful, with a super-crispy skin – basically, everything you want your roast chicken to be.
As for sides, we went with a spinach salad with persimmons+blue cheese+candied walnuts (recipe follows), some beautiful golden-crusted brussel sprouts a la Heidi of 101 Cookbooks (although we did put in less cheese, opting for a lighter side dish since we had so much chicken to deal with), and a chestnut and wild mushroom stuffing a la Jardinière (to which we added a bit of sausage).
(Unfortunately, I had high hopes for the chestnuts in the stuffing and while the dish tasted great, the chestnuts didn’t really add much so I would probably skip the chestnuts next time. As long as you have a good selection of wild mushrooms – we combined cheap non-wild creminis with dried porcinis and a couple of chantrelles – the stuffing will taste amazing anyway.)