Talking turkey: A live chat about cooking for Thanksgiving
11:55
Meegan Holland|MLive.com: 
Hi folks. We're just getting settled and will be starting shortly. Feel free to start submitting any questions you have.
Tuesday November 20, 2012 11:55 Meegan Holland|MLive.com
12:00
Mike Itchue|MLive.com: 
Personal chef Sandina Polgar has joined us. Welcome Sandina! Jessica will be here momentarily.
Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:00 Mike Itchue|MLive.com
12:01
Jessica Webster: 
Ok Sandina, want to take that one?
Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:01 Jessica Webster
12:01
Mike Itchue|MLive.com: 
And for the record, this is Mike Itchue moderating. :)
Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:01 Mike Itchue|MLive.com
12:01
[Comment From BobBob: ] 
OK, an obvious question, but there still seems to be a lot of debate on it: To brine the turkey or not?
Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:01 Bob
12:03
Jessica Webster: 
I am waiting with bated breath on this one. I know Alton Brown thinks brining is the way to go....
Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:03 Jessica Webster
12:03
Jessica Webster: 
http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/good-eats-roast-turkey-recipe/index.html
Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:03 Jessica Webster
12:04
[Comment From Christopher sorelChristopher sorel: ] 
Tried both ways and always so a apple cider brine
Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:04 Christopher sorel
12:04
Sandina Polgar: 
Hi Bob,
Yes, there is lots of debate, but it's simply matter of personal preference. I've done all types of methods-dry rub, brine, maples, glazing, etc. You will definately be guarenteed a juicy bird if you choose the bringing method. It's simple, inexpensive and just an overnight preparation. This year, I'll be brining one turkey and saving the other bird for the day to roast.
Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:04 Sandina Polgar
12:04
Jessica Webster: 
Oh, so you've got two birds going this year, Sandina?
Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:04 Jessica Webster
12:05
Jessica Webster: 
Alton Brown also said stuffing a bird is "evil" http://m.npr.org/story/165039668 His NPR feature on Thanksgiving was a hoot.
Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:05 Jessica Webster
12:05
Sandina Polgar: 
I've had great results with both brining unstuffed and stuffed turkeys as well. Some people believe that if you brine, stuffing the bird will result in a salty stuffing-not true! Simply dry out the caity and loosely stuff the bird....continue as usual.
Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:05 Sandina Polgar
12:07
Sandina Polgar: 
Yes....I hve two 16 poind birds. One I will bring tonight and cook tomorrow, and the other I plan to roast the morning of Thanksgiving. Both stuffed.....we LOVE the stuffing!!
Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:07 Sandina Polgar
12:07
[Comment From David sDavid s: ] 
Not to throw a curve ball, but we are roasting stuffed quail for Thanksgiving. My plan is to pan sear both sides for 2 minutes each. My question is how long to roast and at what temp?
Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:07 David s
12:08
Jessica Webster: 
Ooh, I've never roasted quail, though certainly have enjoyed it at restaurants. Sandina has, though. What's your trick, Sandina?
Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:08 Jessica Webster
12:09
Jessica Webster: 
While Sandina is typing, I am going to throw this question out for the readers: apple pie or pumpkin pie?
Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:09 Jessica Webster
12:10
Jessica Webster: 
I love love love my mother's classic apple pie recipe: http://www.annarbor.com/entertainment/food-drink/is-it-magic-moms-apple-pie-recipe/
The secret, I think, is the milk in the crust.
Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:10 Jessica Webster
12:10
[Comment From Jen EyerJen Eyer: ] 
Apple! Though my family doesn't agree...
Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:10 Jen Eyer
12:10
Jessica Webster: 
Jen - what does your family prefer? Pumpkin?
Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:10 Jessica Webster
12:11
Sandina Polgar: 
You can actually follow a poultry roasting method that incorporates both searing and roasting.....love the sear tecnique beforehand, as it produces to beautiful crisp skin desired, and the continued oven roasting finishes the birds. Roast at a high temp (375) for about 14 minutes per pound, until juices run clear, is the best best for a smaller bird.....sounds delish!
Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:11 Sandina Polgar
12:11
Jessica Webster: 
I've recently outed myself as a pumpkin pie hater. Best I can do is sweet potato pie, though it's even better with pecans: http://www.annarbor.com/entertainment/food-drink/you-will-be-proud-to-partake-of-this-sweet-potato-pecan-pie/
Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:11 Jessica Webster
12:12
Jessica Webster: 
That quail recipe sounds pretty simple! I might have to try it.
Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:12 Jessica Webster
12:13
Sandina Polgar: 
We love the pumpkin pie....I roast my pumpkins and puree the filling right after Ha;lloween...freezing it for my pies/pumpkin cheesecake. I will be preparing the pumpkin pie, a walnut, ginger strusel-topped pumpin cheesecake and a Banoffee Pie!!
Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:13 Sandina Polgar
12:13
Jessica Webster: 
Banoffee pie? What is that?
Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:13 Jessica Webster
12:15
Jessica Webster: 
And as long as we are talking about pie, this question comes from our AnnArbor.com social media guru, Kyle Mattson: Cool Whip or whipped cream: which is the best to top pumpkin pie with?
Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:15 Jessica Webster
12:15
Sandina Polgar: 
Its an awesome creation by sevral chefs from England years ago that wanted to create a pie incorporating the flavors of Banana and Toffee...hence the name. It's a delicious wafer-crusted pie (I use McVitites english digestive biscuits and butter for the crust, The filling is a homemade d
Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:15 Sandina Polgar
12:16
[Comment From Ben FreedBen Freed: ] 
I love both pumpkin and sweet potato pie, but the king of pies in our family is the pecan. Specifically this one: http://www.goodecompany.com/brazos-bottom-pecan-pie-in-wooden-box.html
Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:16 Ben Freed
12:16
Sandina Polgar: 
dulce le leche toffee that is topped with fresh bananas and whipped cream . Grated bittersweet chocolate shavings to finis the cream,,,,,,HEAVEN!!!!!
Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:16 Sandina Polgar
12:16
[Comment From Cindy HeflinCindy Heflin: ] 
I'm not a fan of stuffing the bird, but I do love cornbread dressing cooked outside the bird. What's your secret for great stuffing Sandina?
Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:16 Cindy Heflin
12:18
Jessica Webster: 
I know Sandina has a great answer for this, but I am going to jump in and say that I still love the classic Good Housekeeping moist bread stuffing. I just stick it in a dutch oven and cook it alongside the bird for the last 45 minutes of roasting.
Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:18 Jessica Webster
12:18
Jessica Webster: 
I'll be sharing that recipe in my AnnArbor.com column tomorrow morning.
Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:18 Jessica Webster
12:20
Sandina Polgar: 
I love stuffing, and my family wants a traditional, wild rice and herb stuffing every year....no meats or oysters (although I love everything). I dry out my breads several days before thanksgiving, add chopped onion and celery, all of my fresh garden herbs....parsley, sage, rosemary ad thyme.....just like the song!! I prepare some wild rice, dice an apple or two, throw in some toasted walnuts. Mix well. Melt some unsalted butter in my homemade vegetable stock and add to the dry ingredients.
Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:20 Sandina Polgar
12:20
Sandina Polgar: 
Stuff the bird loosely (at both ends!)
Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:20 Sandina Polgar
12:20
Jessica Webster: 
And for our vegan friends, this looks pretty awesome: http://www.savvyvegetarian.com/vegetarian-recipes/vegan-stuffing.php
Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:20 Jessica Webster
12:21
Jessica Webster: 
I just learned something - the difference between dressing and stuffing. Dressing is outside the bird. Stuffing is inside.
Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:21 Jessica Webster
12:23
Jessica Webster: 
Dark meat or light meat? Does your family fight over turkey legs?
Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:23 Jessica Webster
12:23
Mike Itchue|MLive.com: 
Going off of Jessica's vegan stuffing recipe, do either of you guys have any suggestions for good veggie options for the vegetarians that may be at the dinner table?
Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:23 Mike Itchue|MLive.com
12:24
Sandina Polgar: 
We are SO into the vegetables.....
Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:24 Sandina Polgar
12:26
Jessica Webster: 
I was a vegetarian through my teen years, and not partaking in the roasted turkey wasn't a hardship at all. I could eat stuffing (I mean dressing) all day and all night. What I need, though, is a good recipe for vegetarian gravy. Anyone have one?
Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:26 Jessica Webster
12:26
Sandina Polgar: 
This year I will be preparing roasted root vegetables (parsnips, turnips, onions carrots, etc.) and finishing them with an apple cder-Michigan honey reduction. I'll also serve some leeks saute with swiss chard. This is great topped with a splash of white wine and toasted pine nuts.
Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:26 Sandina Polgar
12:27
Sandina Polgar: 
I'll also have steamed caulflower for the purists....and the most requested baked sweet potatoes and mashed potatotoes!!
Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:27 Sandina Polgar
12:27
[Comment From LizzyLizzy: ] 
I don't cook often, so I have a simple question for you: How do I cook my brussel sprouts so I actually like them??
Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:27 Lizzy
12:29
Jessica Webster: 
Lizzy - I am in love with roasted Brussels sprouts. This is the recipe that turned me: http://www.annarbor.com/entertainment/food-drink/peggy-lampmans-baby-butterballs/
Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:29 Jessica Webster
12:29
Sandina Polgar: 
Funny story....I actually named my mashed potatoes after a cardiologist that my sister worked for.....Potatoes Dabbous, since they are HEARTSTOPPERS...mashed with butter, heavy cream, cream creese, chevre.....the works. All in moderation, though!
Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:29 Sandina Polgar
12:30
Jessica Webster: 
Roasting the Brussels sprouts in a little bit of olive oil, and along with a whole bunch of garlic just makes them ridiculously good. They get all caramelized, and then I finish them off with a nice squeeze of lemon.
Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:30 Jessica Webster
12:30
Jessica Webster: 
OH Sandina - those mashed potatoes sound ridiculous.
I want some now!!!
Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:30 Jessica Webster
12:31
[Comment From Ryan StantonRyan Stanton: ] 
The vegan gravy that comes in the box when you buy a Tofurky roast is absolutely delicious. I bought one the other day in anticipation of cooking it on Thanksgiving but caved and ate it already. Guess I'll have to make another run to the store!
Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:31 Ryan Stanton
12:31
Sandina Polgar: 
Brussels sprouts are widely debated.....and sometimes hated! We eat with our eats first, if you put a plate of overcooked, gray-looking veggies in front of your guests....not so good.
Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:31 Sandina Polgar
12:32
Jessica Webster: 
Re: ridiculous mashed potatoes. Mark Bittman shares a variation on mashed potatoes he calls Joël Robuchon Mashed Potatoes. Dripping with heavy cream and butter....
You can find the description here: http://www.howtocookeverything.com/recipes/mashed-potatoes

He says: "Only a famous French chef could get away with suggesting so much butter."
Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:32 Jessica Webster
12:33
Sandina Polgar: 
Start by trimming the sprouts and halving them. Toss them in a boiling pot of water to blanch for a few minutes, then shcock them in an ice water bath to stop the cooking and preserve the beautiful bright green color. This is an easy way to "hold" the veggie while you go about doing the other kitchen tasks that day,
Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:33 Sandina Polgar
12:34
Jessica Webster: 
Thanks, Ryan!
Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:34 Jessica Webster
12:35
Jessica Webster: 
Here's a recipe for vegetarian gravy that comes from a blog called Umami Girl (I love it just from the name!!) http://umamigirl.com/2011/11/best-vegetarian-gravy-recipe.html
Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:35 Jessica Webster
12:35
Sandina Polgar: 
I heat a pan and cook some bacon until crisp....remove the bacon, add some chopped onion and cook til softened. Chop the bacon, add back to the pan with the brussels sprouts and coat well...season liberally with kosher salt and cracked black peepper.......bacon saves the day!!!
Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:35 Sandina Polgar
12:35
[Comment From GinaGina: ] 
I'm considering making gravy ahead of time,to avoid the last minute crush in the kitchen. Any hints>
Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:35 Gina
12:35
Jessica Webster: 
Here's another great brussels sprouts and bacon recipe: http://www.annarbor.com/entertainment/food-drink/warm-brussels-sprout-and-bacon-slaw-could-fill-your-thanksgiving-vegetable-needs/
Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:35 Jessica Webster
12:38
Jessica Webster: 
Gina - my mom always makes the gravy ahead of time. She gets chicken parts - wings and the like - and roasts them like she would the turkey, and uses those drippings to make her gravy. Then she has one less thing to worry about on the day of.
Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:38 Jessica Webster
12:38
Jessica Webster: 
And I can vouch that this makes a delicious Thanksgiving gravy.
Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:38 Jessica Webster
12:39
Sandina Polgar: 
Gina, I make my gravy from the turkey pan drippings, so about 45 minutes ahead is the longest time ahead I've gone. HOWEVER...if you cook the giblets, neck, etc and use that as the base for your gravy, you could do it the way before!
Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:39 Sandina Polgar
12:40
Sandina Polgar: 
Keeping the gravy hot in a bain marie or in the oven (if there's room) is great to dress the turkey and stuffing and bring it piping hot to the table!
Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:40 Sandina Polgar
12:41
Jessica Webster: 
Sandina - how do you figure out how to make everything come out at the same time? How do you plot out your oven space? Those are two of my biggest Thanksgiving challenges.
Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:41 Jessica Webster
12:42
[Comment From PamPam: ] 
Yes to vegetarian thanksgiving. See Fit for Life cookbook by Harvey and Marilyn Diamond. Page 171 shepherds pie. It has the stuffing, potatoes and gravy. Before we became gluten free I always used Eds Whole wheat bread. Very tasty!!!
Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:42 Pam
12:42
Sandina Polgar: 
That;s probably the biggest dilemma most cooks face on Thanksgiving! This will be my 28th consecutive year of cooking this feast for my family and believe me, I got so carried away the first couple of years, preparing WAY too many dishes to possibly fit in the oven or on the stovetop.
Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:42 Sandina Polgar
12:44
Sandina Polgar: 
Make sure that your roasting/baking items can FIT in the oven to begin with...then use your stovetop to create "mini-stations" to hold veggies....pots of hot water will hold a bowl of mashed potatoes, etc.
Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:44 Sandina Polgar
12:45
Jessica Webster: 
oooh! Great ideas, Sandina!
Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:45 Jessica Webster
12:45
[Comment From EricaErica: ] 
What dishes are okay to make the night before to then put in the oven the morning of Thanksgiving?
Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:45 Erica
12:45
Jessica Webster: 
Great question, Erica!
Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:45 Jessica Webster
12:47
Sandina Polgar: 
That's always the question posed to me my my neibors...year after year! Mashed potatoes that are baked ahead of time (usually done in a casserol with cheeses) can be reheated just fine. also, if you blanch and shock your green beans, sprouts, broccoli, etc. they can be finished off in a matter of minutes on the stovetop/oven.
Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:47 Sandina Polgar
12:48
Jessica Webster: 
Ooooh - great advice on the veggies!! I am filing that info away for ... well, for tomorrow!
Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:48 Jessica Webster
12:48
Sandina Polgar: 
Neighbors.......love them :)
Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:48 Sandina Polgar
12:48
[Comment From MelanieMelanie: ] 
I always like to bring something unexpected to the table for Thanksgiving. Any recommendations for a special veg-friendly dish?
Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:48 Melanie
12:51
[Comment From MelanieMelanie: ] 
Oooh, Jess! I made that creamed onion gratin last year and it was a huge hit!
Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:51 Melanie
12:52
Jessica Webster: 
I had forgotten about it until today. I might just have to make it this year.
Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:52 Jessica Webster
12:52
Sandina Polgar: 
The Swiss chard dish that I talked about earlier is a great one......I will be incorporating a dish this year that I made at a cooking class in Italy last year. It's farro with shaved brown mushrooms, chopped radicchio, flat parsley, pomogranate seeds, toasted walnuts and fuinished with white truffle oil....it is a fantastic, unlikely combination of flavors!!
Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:52 Sandina Polgar
12:52
Jessica Webster: 
I love farro with mushrooms!! Farro is the most underrated grain ever.
Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:52 Jessica Webster
12:53
Mike Itchue|MLive.com: 
Here's a good question to end with...
Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:53 Mike Itchue|MLive.com
12:53
[Comment From Ben FreedBen Freed: ] 
Sandina, what's your favorite thing to do with the leftovers? (and definitely dark meat)
Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:53 Ben Freed
12:54
Sandina Polgar: 
My favorite by far is turkey soup......I'll tell you a hilarious story of a carcass gone mad in a few....followed closely by hot turkey sandwiches and turkey-jack quesadillas....simple and delish!
Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:54 Sandina Polgar
12:55
Jessica Webster: 
Ben, that question made Sandina clap her hands with glee.
I'm going to jump in too, with my favorite crazy mashed potato quiche crust (also gluten free!) http://www.annarbor.com/entertainment/food-drink/mashed-potato-crust-makes-this-quiche-perfect-for-thanksgiving-leftovers/
Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:55 Jessica Webster
12:55
Jessica Webster: 
Or try Peggy Lampman's leftover turkey Asian-style lettuce wraps: http://www.annarbor.com/entertainment/food-drink/asian-style-lettuce-wraps/
Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:55 Jessica Webster
12:56
Jessica Webster: 
And French Laundry chef Thomas Keller recently penned this essay about leftover Thanksgiving food, complete with recipe links: http://articles.latimes.com/2012/nov/17/food/la-fo-master-class-20121117
Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:56 Jessica Webster
12:57
Sandina Polgar: 
Layer a flour tortilla with chopped turkey and a good amount of peperjack chesse, and top with another tortilla. Cook on a hot grillpan until melted, flipping once. serve with your leftover cranberry sauce mixed with a bit of cumin, fresh cilantro, a diced red pear and some green onion. Top with some sour cream mixed with cilantro........time for football!!!
Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:57 Sandina Polgar
1:01
Sandina Polgar: 
So every year the family endulges in food and drink and starts the meandering away from the kitchen to sources unknown, leaving the hubby and I to sort through the tupperware for takedown. One year the turkey was off the platter and obviously put away by my husband. He thought that I had done it. When we went upstairs for bed, we pulled back the covers to reveal the turkey carcass, half gnawed off, grease everywhere!!! Thank you to my Golden Retriever for the "Godfather" Thanksgiving treat.
Tuesday November 20, 2012 1:01 Sandina Polgar
1:01
Jessica Webster: 
Oh no!! I can imagine my ridgeback, Amos, doing the same thing. How horrifying. And funny!!!!!
Tuesday November 20, 2012 1:01 Jessica Webster
1:01
Sandina Polgar: 
Of course,the question remains....how did 20 people miss a 120 pound dog jump up on the counter, grab a carcass and go upstairs????
Tuesday November 20, 2012 1:01 Sandina Polgar
1:04
Jessica Webster: 
Thanks Sandina, and everyone else for this great chat! Please feel free to continue to post questions. We will check them and answer throughout the week. And please, check out Sandina's website: http://www.sandinacucina.net/ I've learned a lot from her!!
Tuesday November 20, 2012 1:04 Jessica Webster
1:05
[Comment From GinaGina: ] 
What great ideas. Thanks so much, all of you1
Tuesday November 20, 2012 1:05 Gina
1:06
Sandina Polgar: 
Thanks so much, Jessica and crew for the warm welcome and timely topic for chatting....it's been fun! Looking forward to answering more questions if you have them-remember, there's no mistakes....only challenges that usually create great memories! Have a blessed Thanksgiving!
Tuesday November 20, 2012 1:06 Sandina Polgar
1:07
Mike Itchue|MLive.com: 
Thanks everyone for joining our chat today. Hope you all have a great Thanksgiving!
Tuesday November 20, 2012 1:07 Mike Itchue|MLive.com
 
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