On this blog, I like to get right into the recipe with just a paragraph or two of notes rather than make you scroll forever before actually getting to the recipe. I had planned to get into the little background of brining and discuss all the intricacies’ of this Thanksgiving meal made for 2. But as I started to write this, that’s not what came out.
We equate thanksgiving with the food (um, how could we not?!). But given the environment we are currently in, I felt flat and cheap for not talking about giving thanks. I mean really being grateful for what I do have. Many times this year I’ve found myself aggravated with the craziness of 2020, but more often than not, I find myself thinking about how lucky I really am.
I’m grateful for a loving family. I’m grateful for the sun that rises ever single day and gives me energy. I’m grateful for the opportunity to know those I’ve lost. I’m grateful for this WordPress blog which gives me a place to collect my thoughts. I’m grateful for my eye sight, my hearing ability, my movement and thought process. I’m grateful for my friends who post super silly cat videos that make me laugh. I’m grateful for Zoom- which keeps me connected to my students and my friends. I’m grateful for my fantasy football team and my solidly-consistent 5th place this year. I’m grateful for the little red cardinal who has been showing up outside my office window. And yes, I’m grateful for the food on my table, the pans have to cook it in and the plates I have to display it on.
Mostly -I’m grateful for the mistakes I make…and for waking up every day with the opportunity to make new choices each day. I’m a work in process and I’m grateful for those of you who are sticking along for the ride. Thank you.
This year, don’t just eat. Savor, enjoy and accept my thanks to you, for your role in my life. I’m forever grateful!
Sending you so much love,
Small Batch Thanksgiving
Crispy Brisket Roasted Turkey Legs with Brussel Sprouts
2 turkey drumsticks
Brine: 2 cups water + 2-4 tbls celtic gray salt
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp smoky paprika
1 tbls ghee
half dozen Brussel sprouts + avocado oil + pink salt
Make the brine: combine 2 cups water with salt. Use 2 tbls if you are going to leave the legs in brine for 24 hours, 4 tbls if you only have about 12 hours or less.
Mix together the cumin, chili powder, coriander, garlic and smoky paprika. Add half to the brine, reserve the other half. Add the turkey legs to the brine, place in the fridge for 12-24 hours.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove the legs from the brine, pat dry with a paper towel. Smoosh the remaining spice mix with the ghee, rub over the turkey skin. Set in a cast iron or oven proof skillet, roast for 30 minutes.
Clean the Brussel sprouts, slice in half and toss with a little avocado oil and salt. Add to the turkey skillet in the oven. Cook another 20-30 minutes or until the turkey registers 165 degrees on a meat thermometer. Remove from oven and let the turkey rest for 10 minutes.
Apple Stuffing Stuffed Sweet Potato
1 sweet potato (+ 1 white potato if you have a non-loving SP roomie)
1/4 cup diced pancetta
1 small shallot
1 celery stalk
2 garlic cloves
1/2 green apple
couple of fresh sage leaves
1/2 cup of GF bread crumbles (optional)
1/4 cup broth, water or white wine
Bake the sweet potato until tender. TiP: To cook the sweet potato faster, cut the potato in half lengthwise, rub with oil and bake on a sheet pan.
Add the diced pancetta to a skillet, turn on heat to about a medium flame. Let the pancetta cook about 5 minutes. Chop the shallot and celery stalk, add to the pan, cooking to soften. Chop the apple and garlic, add to pan.
Add the bread crumbles, sage leaves and broth, simmer for just a minute to warm. Remove potato from oven. Scoop out the center of the potato, mix into the stuffing pan, leaving all the sides in tact. Fill the potato halves with the stuffing, place back in the oven to keep warm until ready to serve.
Orange Pecan Gremolata
1 cup toasted pecans
1 large handful fresh parsley
1 small garlic clove
pinch or two of salt
Rough chop the pecans and parsley, place in a small bowl. Finely chop the garlic, add to the bowl with a few pinches of salt. Zest the orange into the bowl, then slice the orange in half and squeeze the juice into the bowl. Stir to combine.
Think of this as gravy ~ use over the turkey legs. AND it’s really great spooned over the sweet potato stuffing!
NOTES: Do 1-3 days ahead:
- Bake potatoes and make the stuffing. Stuff the potatoes with the stuffing and reheat at 300 degrees for 20 minutes to warm.
- Mix the Orange Pecan Gremolata
- Brine the turkey legs 12-24 hours prior to cooking.
- The Tissot Bugey Blanc bubbles paired really well with the meal! Serve chilled.
See our video recipe at Happy Eats Healthy Facebook page.