How to make the perfect Thanksgiving turkey - Hindustan Times
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How to make the perfect Thanksgiving turkey

Nov 21, 2023 01:39 PM IST

A festive and flavorful Thanksgiving turkey is no ordinary bird; it's the culinary delight that continues to delight long after the holiday feast is done.

Thanksgiving Day (Thursday, November 23) in the United States stands as a cherished occasion steeped in history, tradition, a spirit of togetherness, and of course, food! And fe‘a’stivities surrounding Thanksgiving in India have been gaining momentum in the recent past as more individuals explore and embrace this popular American celebration.

As Thanksgiving’s popularity grows in India, culinary establishments are seizing the opportunity to introduce themed delicacies.
As Thanksgiving’s popularity grows in India, culinary establishments are seizing the opportunity to introduce themed delicacies.

BIRD'S THE WORD

Celebrity chef Sabyasachi Gorai says that “certain classic dishes are almost mandatory on the dinner table, including stuffing, potatoes, gravy, veggies and pie”. And “at the heart of the celebration sits the iconic roast turkey, succulent and golden-brown, often infused with a blend of aromatic herbs and spices, gracing tables as a symbol of bounty and festivity”, he adds. Here, Devna Khanna from The USA Poultry & Egg Export Council (USAPEEC) India notes, “As the Indian palate evolves, there’s an increasing openness to global flavours, making turkey an ideal addition.” He adds, “The lean and versatile meat of turkey offers a canvas for various spices and cooking techniques, aligning well with India’s diverse culinary landscape and the growing consciousness around well-being and mindful eating.”

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A FEAST OF THANKS

Originating from the legendary 1621 harvest feast uniting Pilgrims and the Wampanoag people, this cherished occasion not only commemorates a significant moment in history but also invites everyone to savour a diverse array of culinary delights that symbolise unity and togetherness.

Culinary experts share that complementing the turkey, the star dish, is the savoury stuffing or dressing, a harmonious blend of breadcrumbs or cubed bread, vegetables, herbs and seasonings, whether nestled within the turkey or served as a side dish. The creamy, buttery mashed potatoes, whipped to perfection, serve as a comforting canvas on the Thanksgiving plate, adding a touch of homeliness to the meal. And a rich and flavourful sauce crafted from the turkey drippings, expertly thickened and seasoned, crowns dishes with an extra layer of savoury indulgence. And the grand finale of the meal, pumpkin pie, stands as the quintessential Thanksgiving dessert alongside other pies such as pecan, apple, or various fruit pies, offering a sweet conclusion to the feast. Besides that, a traditional addition to the spread, cornbread, baked to golden perfection, serves as a delightful side dish or a base for savoury stuffing.

LOCAL TURKEY TALES

As Thanksgiving’s popularity grows in India, culinary establishments are seizing the opportunity to introduce themed delicacies. Chef Vanshika Bhatia from Petite Pie Shop in Gurugram is gearing up to tantalise taste buds with her signature classic pumpkin spiced pie in both sweet and savoury versions. Meanwhile, Cafe Delhi Heights is planning a themed spread featuring the iconic turkey alongside traditional sides.

The Pondichery Café at Sofitel Mumbai BKC is preparing a Thanksgiving dinner where the star of the show will be the traditional roasted turkey accompanied by giblet gravy. Heading south to Bangalore, the Courtyard by Marriott Outer Ring Road is ready to serve an enticing Thanksgiving menu comprising unique sides such as pumpkin, mascarpone, and chestnut ravioli, chicken divola, pecan pie, and more.

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