November 25, 2021


Prepare an exquisite Thanksgiving dinner with Tamara Falcó

The professional chef, recent graduate of the prestigious Le Cordon Bleu academy and winner of MasterChef Celebrity 4, shows us how to cook a succulent turkey with gravy and cranberry sauce.

Tamara Falcó proposes a Thanksgiving dinner with the stuffed turkey as the main event. The professional chef, who has just obtained the official cuisine diploma at the prestigious Le Cordon Bleu academy in Madrid, explains the origins of this recipe and the importance it holds within North American culture.

To understand the context, Thanksgiving Day is a traditional US family celebration held on the fourth Thursday of November. The main dish served on this day is roast turkey with mash, apples or walnuts. Its origin dates back to 1621 in Plymouth (Massachusetts), when native Indians showed the colonists (pilgrims) to sow and cultivate maize, saving them from the famine that plagued the town. In appreciation of this gesture, the colonists invited the Indians to share food (turkeys, geese, pumpkins and nuts), giving rise to this celebration, which became an official day in July 1623 following Governor Bradford's ruling.

Below we explain the steps you can follow to prepare a succulent Thanksgiving menu and surprise your guests.

Thanksgiving Turkey with baked beans, caramelised yams and mash potato served with gravy and cranberry sauce

Making the turkey

Serves 12 people:
- 1 large turkey (6 kg in weight).
- 3 or 4 pippin apples.
- 3 tomatoes.
- Virgin olive oil.
- Pepper.
- Large roasting bag (optional).

Preparation (2h and 45 minutes)

  • Clean the inside of the turkey thoroughly by removing the viscera, organs and rear tail glands.
  • When it is emptied, season the inside with salt and pepper and then add the diced apples and tomatoes.
  • Place the turkey in a tray, use cooking twine to tie the wings, then cross the legs and secure them together with the twine. Next, cover the ends of the legs with aluminium foil to prevent them from burning, and season the outside with salt and pepper. Then, smear the bird with olive oil, preheat the oven to 175ºC and cook for two and a half hours.
  • Place the turkey in the roasting bag (optional) and follow the manufacturer's instructions.
  • If you want to do it without a bag, place the turkey on the tray and place it in the centre of the oven, making sure it does not touch the top of the oven.
  • Turn the turkey every 35 minutes so it gets cooked in all 4 positions.
  • When done, cover the breast with a sheet of aluminium foil.

Making the baked round green beans (Green Casserole)

Serves 4 people:
- 500 g of cooked green beans.
- 1 onion.
- 300 grams of clean mushrooms.
- 100 grams of fried onion.
- 40 grams of flour (optional).
- 200 ml chicken broth.
- 300 ml of cooking cream.
- Salt.
- Oil.
- Pepper.

Preparation (45 minutes)

  • Put water and salt in a large saucepan. When the water boils, add the beans and leave them to cook for 2-3 minutes.
  • Remove the beans and place them in a bowl with cold water and ice. Once cold, filter the water, drain and set aside on another dish.
  • In another pot, heat the butter or olive oil and when melted, add in the finely chopped onion to brown it (10 minutes over a low heat).
  • When the onion is golden, add the mushrooms chopped into strips and cook for 10 minutes. Optional: Include two tablespoons of flour to thicken.
  • Add the green beans you cooked earlier with the chicken broth. Let it boil and reduce.
  • Add the cream and cook over a low heat until it reduces.
  • Preheat the oven to 200º C and bake the dish for about 10 minutes.
  • Remove the beans from the oven and add the fried onion on top.
  • Set aside and serve.

Making the caramelised yams

Serves 12 people:
- 500 grams of yams or sweet potatoes.
- 55 grams of butter.
- 55 grams of brown sugar.
- 100 ml orange juice.
- Salt.

Preparation (30 minutes)

  • Place the yams in a saucepan and boil in their skins for around 20-30 minutes over a medium heat.
  • When ready, strain and set aside on a plate.
  • Once cool, peal them and cut each piece into small cubes.
  • In a baking dish, combine the yams with the sugar, diced butter and the orange juice. Mix all ingredients and season with salt.
  • Put the tray in the oven at 200ºC for around 20 minutes.
  • Remove the yams from the oven and place the cubes in a bowl.

Making the mash potato

Serves 12 people:
- 500 grams of cooked potato.
- 150 grams of cold butter in cubes.
- 150 ml of hot milk.
- Salt.

Preparation (45 minutes)

  • Wash the potatoes and place them in a medium pot with water and salt to boil in their skins for 30-40 minutes.
  • Remove the potatoes and set aside on a plate. When cool, remove the skins.
  • Pass the potatoes through a potato masher or sieve.
  • Once mashed, put them in a saucepan on the lowest heat and gradually mix in the butter.
  • Salt to taste while it is warm and cover the surface of the potato with cling film.
  • Set aside and serve.

Making the gravy

Serves 12 people:
- 4 onions.
- 2 carrots.
- 100 grams of butter.
- 50 grams of flour.
- 1/2 l of meat broth.
- 1/2 l of chicken broth.
- Salt.
- Pepper.
- Oil
-1/2 litre of port wine (optional).

For the meat broth:
- 1 kilo beef marrow bones.
- 2 onions.
- 1 tomato.
- 1 celery stick.
- 2 carrots.
- 1 leek.
- 1 bay leaf.
- 1 sprig of thyme.
- 1 sprig of parsley.
- Olive oil.

Preparation (24 h for the broth and 50 minutes for sauce)

  • Put the beef marrow bones in a recipient with cold water and ice. Let stand overnight.
  • After 24 hours, remove the bones, dry each one thoroughly and place them in a baking tray.
  • Preheat the oven to 250ºC and place the tray in the oven for 1 hour. Skim off the excess fat once or twice and remove the bones when they turn light brown.
  • In the meantime, cut the onion in half to brown them in a frying pan with very hot oil. When they are ready, set aside.
  • Heat oil in a large pot. Then add the vegetables and sauté them until they are lightly browned.
  • Add the onions and browned marrow along with the aromatic herbs, cover with 5 litres of water and bring to a boil. Remove any impurities with a skimmer.
  • After about 6 to 8 hours of cooking, strain the liquid and set everything to cool in the fridge.
  • After 12 hours, remove the fat from the pot.

Making the gravy:

  • Put some oil in a saucepan and when it is hot, add the onion with the carrot and cook until golden. Once ready, poor in a glass of port wine and cook until reduced.
  • In the same saucepan, add the meat broth and stock and cook for 20-40 minutes until it evaporates. Cover and set aside.
  • In a different pot, put the butter on a slow heat and once melted, add in the flour and mix.
  • Add in the broth and stir with a whisk until you get the desired texture. Season to taste.

Making the cranberry sauce

Serves 12 people:
- 350 grams of fresh cranberries.
- 1 ½ cup of sugar.
- ¾ cup of orange juice.
- 1/2 tablespoon ground cinnamon.
- 1/4 grated ginger.
- 1 pinch of grated clove.
- 1 tablespoon orange zest.

Preparation (20 minutes)

  • Wash the cranberries and put them in a saucepan with water. Then add the sugar, orange juice, cinnamon, ginger and clove. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and reduce the heat to low when the cranberries break down.
  • Remove the mixture from the heat and add in the orange peel.
  • Leave to cool and serve in a bowl.

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