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Rania’s Recipes: Thanksgiving Dinner

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(Photo Courtesy of Rania Harris)

(Photo Courtesy of Rania Harris)

Thanksgiving is just around the corner and Rania Harris stopped by Pittsburgh Today Live on Wednesday to show off some great recipes you can make for your family and friends this year!

Roasting Directions for Fresh Turkeys:

Set oven temperature at 350 degrees

Weight/Roasting Time:

  • 8 – 12 pounds 2 – 2 ½ hours
  • 12 – 16 pounds 2 ½ – 3 ¼ hours
  • 16 – 20 pounds 3 ¼ – 3 ¼ hours
  • 20 – 24 pounds 3 ¾ – 4 ½ hours

Add ½ hour for stuffed turkeys

Roast turkey in uncovered pan at 350 degrees for time indicated on the roasting chart. When turkey is golden brown, place a tent of foil over the turkey loosely to avoid over-browning

We highly recommend the use of both oven thermometers and meat thermometers. Insert the meat thermometer into the breast not touching the bone – a reading of 174 – 176 degrees means the turkey is done

Due to possible variance in oven thermometers we strongly recommend that all ovens be checked at least once every 3 months. The average household may find an oven thermostat variance as high as 100 degrees.

Carving: after removing turkey from the oven, allow it to set for at least 30-40 minutes before carving. Not only will the meat slice much easier, but this time will permit the juices to be absorbed evenly, resulting in a tender, more tasty turkey.

Turkey tender: these timers are programmed to activate when the turkey reaches the proper internal temperature, 174 – 176 degrees. If it has not activated with 1/2 hour from scheduled roasting time, remove the turkey from the oven and check for doneness.

Chestnut and Sausage Stuffing

  • 1 loaf day-old rustic Italian bread (about 1 pound), trimmed of crust and cut into ¾-inch cubes (about 8 cups)
  • ¾ pound canned and peeled chestnuts
  • 1 pound bulk sweet Italian sausage
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 4 celery stalks, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup homemade or low-sodium store-bought chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten

Directions:

Let the bread cubes stand on a baking sheet at room temperature 3 hours to dry.

Quarter the chestnuts; transfer to a large bowl. Add the bread.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cook the sausage in a Dutch oven pan set over medium heat; crumble with a fork. Cook, stirring occasionally, until cooked through, about 7 minutes. Add the butter to the sausage in the pan and then add the onions, celery and garlic. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are soft, 15 to 17 minutes. Add to the bread mixture.

Add the wine to the pan. Scraping up any brown bits from the bottom with a wooden spoon, cook over medium heat until the wine is reduced by half. Add to the bread mixture.

Add the stock to the bread mixture; toss. Add the thyme, sage, and parsley. Add the salt, and season with pepper. Stir in the eggs. Cover the Dutch oven with lid.

Bake 25 minutes; remove the lid. Bake until golden brown, about 25 minutes. Transfer stuffing to a serving dish and serve hot with the turkey.

Serves: 12

Roasted Autumn Vegetables

  • 2 ½ pounds Brussels sprouts, quartered
  • 1 large onion, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 2 medium Honey Crisp apples – cored and cut into 1-inch wedges
  • 2 fennel bulbs ~ tops removed ~ cut into 6 wedges each
  • 4 slices thick sliced pepper bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3 branches fresh thyme
  • 16 large fresh sage leaves, torn
  • 5 large cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 1/8 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes (or to taste)
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • Salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
  • Olive oil for drizzling the vegetables

Directions:

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

In a large bowl toss together all the ingredients. Be generous with the salt and pepper.

Place the vegetables and fruit on two separate heavy-duty baking pans and drizzle generously with olive oil. Roast in the oven for about 35 minutes or until the vegetables are just tender, tossing once or twice while roasting. Do not overcook.

Combine the vegetables in a large serving bowl and sprinkle with salt and pepper, if necessary, to taste. Serve hot.

Serves 12

Cranberry Hot Pepper Sauce

  • 12 ounces fresh cranberries, washed and picked over
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 – 5 ounce jar Hot Pepper jelly

Directions:

Combine the berries, water and sugar. Cook until the berries begin to burst open. Remove from the heat and stir in the jar of jelly. Let cool and refrigerate.

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