Great Ideas for Christmas Dinner

Apricot-Glazed Turkey with Fresh Herb Gravy

INGREDIENTS

TURKEY
  • One 16-pound fresh turkey
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • 6 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 6 large thyme springs
  • 4 large rosemary sprigs
  • 4 large sage sprigs
  • 1 fresh bay leaf
GLAZE
  • 3/4 cup apricot jam
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped sage
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
GRAVY
  • 3 cups turkey stock, chicken stock or low-sodium broth
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped sage
  • 1 teaspoon chopped thyme
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

HOW TO MAKE THIS RECIPE

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Remove the turkey from the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before roasting. Pat the turkey dry and set it on a V-shaped rack in a large roasting pan. Rub the turkey all over with the oil and season it inside and out with salt and pepper. Stuff the cavity with the lemon halves, crushed garlic, thyme, rosemary, sage and bay leaf. Roast the turkey for about 2 1/2 hours, until golden all over and an instant-read thermometer inserted between the leg and thigh registers 165°.
  2. In a small bowl, mix the apricot jam, lemon juice, lemon zest and sage and season with salt and pepper. Microwave the glaze until thinned slightly, about 20 seconds.
  3. Brush the turkey with half of the glaze and roast for about 15 minutes, until the skin is mahogany-colored. Brush the turkey with the remaining glaze and roast for about 15 minutes longer, until the skin is deep mahogany and an instant-read thermometer inserted between the leg and thigh registers 175°. Tilt the turkey to drain all the juices from the cavity into the roasting pan. Transfer the turkey to a carving board and let rest for 45 minutes.
  4. Skim the fat from the drippings in the roasting pan. Set the roasting pan over high heat and bring to a boil. Add the turkey stock and cook for 2 minutes, scraping up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
  5. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter. Add the flour and cook over moderate heat until smooth, about 2 minutes. Strain 3 1/2 cups of the liquid in the roasting pan into the saucepan and whisk to blend. Bring the gravy to a simmer and cook over moderately low heat, whisking occasionally, until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the parsley, sage and thyme and season with salt and pepper. Pour the gravy into a small pitcher. Carve the turkey and serve with the gravy.

Chile-Brined Fresh Ham

INGREDIENTS

  • One 1-pound box light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • One 8- to 10-pound bone-in smoked ham, skin removed
  • 3 medium Fuji apples—peeled, cored and thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • Kosher salt

HOW TO MAKE THIS RECIPE

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. In a medium bowl, mix the sugar with the pepper, cloves and cinnamon.
  2. Place the ham fat side up on two large pieces of aluminum foil and, using your hands, rub the sugar mixture all over the top and side; it should form a thick layer. Wrap the ham tightly in the foil and transfer to a large roasting pan. Bakefor about 3 hours, until glossy on the outside and a thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the meat registers 125°. Transfer the ham to a work surfaceand let rest in the foil at room temperature until cool enough to handle, about 2 hours.
  3. Unwrap the ham and slice the meat; transfer to a large platter and tent with foil to keep warm. Pour the accumulated juices into a large measuring cup and spoon off any fat. You should have about 3 1/4 cups.In a medium saucepan, combine the sliced apples with 2 tablespoons of water. Cover and cook over moderate heat, 
stirring occasionally, until tender, about 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, 
transfer the apples to a blender and puree with the ham juices and vinegar until smooth. Strain the apple jus through 
a fine-mesh sieve set over a gravy boat and season with salt. Serve the ham, passing the apple jus at the table.

Chile-Brined Fresh Ham

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 cups kosher salt
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 6 quarts cold water
  • 1 cup black peppercorns, crushed
  • 5 ounces Thai or serrano chiles, stemmed and finely chopped
  • 8 whole cloves
  • 4 cups ice cubes
  • One 18-pound, bone-in fresh ham, with skin
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth

HOW TO MAKE THIS RECIPE

    1. In a large saucepan, combine the salt and sugar with 2 quarts of the water. Bring to a boil over moderately high heat, stirring to dissolve the salt and sugar. Pour the brine into a very large pot. Stir in the peppercorns, chiles and cloves. Add the remaining 4 quarts of water and the ice and stir until the ice has melted and the brine is at room temperature. Add the ham, skin side up; the skin does not have to be submerged. Brine the ham in the refrigerator for 24 hours.
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°. Remove the ham from the brine and brush off the peppercorns and cloves. Set the ham skin side up in a roasting pan and let stand for 30 minutes at room temperature.
  2. Roast the ham for 1 hour; turn the pan and add 1 cup of water halfway through. Reduce the oven to 300° and roast the ham for 2 1/2 hours longer, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat registers 150°. Transfer the ham to a carving board and let rest for 30 minutes.
  3. Strain the pan juices into a saucepan; skim off the fat. Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Cut the skin off of the ham and break it into pieces. Thinly slice the meat and serve with the jus and crisp skin.

SUGGESTED PAIRING

Though this might seem like a red-wine dish, this ham tastes great with a full-bodied white, such as Chenin Blanc, which often has a slight edge of sweetness that makes it a good match for lightly spicy foods.

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