It’s already November and Thanksgiving is fast approaching! I’m helping you guys out this year with some recipes I learned from the Williams Sonoma kitchen during my Thanksgiving cooking classes there.
In case you didn’t know, I started taking cooking classes on the weekends at my local Williams Sonoma store for a Thanksgiving prep/crash course.
Click here to check for classes near you.
Each class was different, teaching us how to cook the thanksgiving sides, desserts and best of all… the turkey! I decided to take these classes because this year I’ll be helping make Thanksgiving dinner and I really don’t want to mess something up. The classes were a lot of fun and I truly learned from the amazing Williams Sonoma chefs. My mom came with me to all the classes and we had the best time together bonding and cooking! I’ve learned so much from my mother both in life and in the kitchen but this is something different we wanted to try together.
So, without further ado I put together a bunch of my favorite Thanksgiving recipes I learned from the Williams Sonoma kitchen!
First Up: Buttermilk-Brined Turkey
- 3/4 cup (3 1/2 oz./105 g) kosher salt
- 5 Tbs. dried basil
- 5 Tbs. coriander seeds
- 2 Tbs. black peppercorns
- 2 Tbs. yellow mustard seeds
- 1 Tbs. granulated garlic
- 4 bay leaves
- 4 cups (32 fl. oz./1 l) water
- 4 quarts (4 l) buttermilk
- 1 fresh turkey, 16 to 18 lb. (8 to 9 kg), neck and giblets removed
- 4 Tbs. (1/2 stick) (2 oz./60 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
To make the brine, in a saucepan over high heat, combine the salt, basil, coriander, peppercorns, mustard seeds, granulated garlic and bay leaves with the water and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, until the salt is dissolved. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature. In a large pot, stir together the cooled brine mixture and buttermilk.
Rinse the turkey inside and out with cold water and place in a large brining bag. Carefully pour the buttermilk brine mixture into the bag. Seal the bag, pressing out the air, and place in a large stockpot or other container large enough to hold the turkey. Refrigerate for 24 to 36 hours, turning occasionally.
Remove the turkey from the brine; discard the brine. Rinse the turkey inside and out with cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Trim off and discard the excess fat. Place the turkey, breast side up, on a rack in a large roasting pan. Rub the skin evenly with the butter. Truss the turkey as desired using kitchen twine. Let the turkey stand at room temperature for 1 hour.
Position a rack in the lower third of an oven and preheat to 400°F (200°C).
Roast the turkey for 30 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 325ºF (165°C) and continue roasting, basting every 30 minutes with the pan juices. If the breast begins to cook too quickly, tent it loosely with aluminum foil. After about 2 hours of total roasting time, begin testing for doneness by inserting an instant-read thermometer into the thickest part of the breast and thigh, away from the bone. The breast should register 165°F (74°C) and the thigh, 175°F (79°C). The total roasting time should be 3 to 4 hours.
Transfer the turkey to a carving board, cover loosely with foil and let rest for 20 to 30 minutes before carving. Serves 12 to 14.
Next Up: Mashed Potatoes with herb-infused cream and chives
- 4 1/2 lb. (2.25 kg) russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 1/2 cups (12 fl. oz./375 ml) heavy cream
- 1 tsp. minced garlic
- 1 shallot, thinly sliced
- 1 large fresh thyme sprig
- 1 large fresh rosemary sprig
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tsp. peppercorns
- 8 Tbs. (1 stick) (4 oz./125 g) unsalted butter, diced
- 1/4 cup (1/2 oz./15 g) chopped fresh chives
Put the potatoes in a large pot, add water to cover by 3 inches (7.5 cm) and generously salt the water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a knife, about 15 minutes. Drain well in a colander.
Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine the cream, garlic, shallot, thyme sprig, rosemary sprig, bay leaf and peppercorns. Set over medium-high heat and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the cream is reduced to about 1 cup (8 fl. oz./250 ml), 10 to 12 minutes. Strain the cream through a fine-mesh sieve and keep warm.
Working in batches, pass the potatoes through a ricer into a large bowl. Add the butter, then gradually pour in the cream, stirring constantly until the potatoes are smooth and creamy. Stir in the chives and adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper. Serve immediately. Serves 8 to 10.
Next Up: Cranberry Sauce or Cranberry Relish
- 1 orange
- 1 1/2 lb. (750 g) fresh or frozen cranberries
- 1 cup (8 oz./250 g) sugar
- 1 cinnamon stick
Another cranberry favorite of mine is their Cranberry Relish sauce!
It can be eaten as is from the jar or you can mix it up with some fresh ingredients like I do.
Using a vegetable peeler, remove the zest from the orange in wide strips, leaving the bitter white pith behind. Juice the orange.
In a saucepan over medium heat, stir together the cranberries, sugar, orange zest and juice, cinnamon stick and 3 Tbs. water. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the cranberries begin to pop and the sauce thickens, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove the orange zest and cinnamon stick and discard.
Transfer the cranberry sauce to a serving bowl and serve warm or at room temperature. Or let cool, then transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days, then serve cold. Serves 6.
Last Up: Rustic Stuffing with Leeks and Wild Mushrooms
- Unsalted butter for greasing
- 1 large loaf (about 1 lb./500 g) rustic country bread, cubed (about 9 cups)
- 7 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 Tbs. minced fresh rosemary
- 1 1/2 lb. (750 g) wild mushrooms such as shiitake or trumpet mushrooms, stemmed and sliced
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 3 large leeks, thinly sliced
- 3 celery stalks, diced
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 3 1/2 to 4 cups (875 ml to 1 l) vegetable, chicken or turkey stock, warmed
Preheat an oven to 300°F (150°C). Butter a 9-by-13-inch (23-by-33 cm) baking dish.
In a large bowl, combine the bread cubes, 2 Tbs. of the olive oil and the rosemary. Toss to coat the bread evenly with the oil. Spread the bread in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake until dry and firm but not browned, 45 minutes to 1 hour (the amount of time will vary depending on the type of bread and how fresh it is). Transfer the baking sheet to a wire rack and let the bread cool to room temperature.
Increase the oven temperature to 375°F (190°C).
In a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, warm 2 Tbs. of the olive oil. Add the mushrooms and salt to taste and sauté until the mushrooms are tender and browned, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer the mushrooms to a bowl and set aside.
In the same sauté pan over medium-high heat, warm the remaining 3 Tbs. olive oil. Add the leeks, celery, onion and salt and pepper to taste and sauté until the vegetables are soft and translucent, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer the leek-onion mixture to a very large bowl. Add the bread cubes and stir until thoroughly combined. Stir in the stock 1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml) at a time, making sure it is completely absorbed into the bread cubes and does not pool in the bottom of the bowl. Taste a bread cube, it should be moist throughout but not mushy. You may not need all of the stock. Fold in the mushrooms.
Transfer the stuffing mixture to the prepared baking dish. Cover the dish with a buttered sheet of aluminum foil and bake for 15 minutes. Remove the foil and continue baking until the top is golden brown and crisp, about 30 minutes more. Let rest 10 minutes before serving. Serves 10 to 12.
Snapshots from my Williams-Sonoma cooking classes.
… and thats a wrap! I know this is a lot to read but I wanted to share some recipes I learned from my Williams Sonoma classes. The buttermilk turkey brine smelt so delicious my mouth was salivating the entire time it was cooking in the oven! Also, the rustic stuffing paired with the traditional cranberry sauce and the mashed potatoes was pure perfection. I can’t wait to recreate these recipes this year for my Thanksgiving dinner.
Let me know what you think and if you tried any of these Williams Sonoma recipes.
Also, feel free to comment below any recipes you love to make for this holiday!
Thanks for reading!