Waldy Malouf,
Executive Chef and Co-Owner of Beacon Restaurant-Bar-Bakery,
25 West 56th Street NYC 10019 212/ 332-0500

Waldy's Turkey Tip: Soak turkey in brine 24 hours before roasting.
  • 3 gallons water
  • 2 pounds kosher salt
  • 1 pound sugar
1 - Bring salt, sugar and water to a boil and simmer for 1/2 hour. Cool brine completely and soak the turkey in cold brine for 24 hours.
2 - After the turkey has reached a desired color, cover the breast of turkey by making a tent out of aluminum foil.
3 - Bring turkey to room temperature prior to roasting.

Cranberry and Chestnut Stuffing
Adapted from Chef Waldy Malouf's cookbook, The Hudson River Valley Cookbook, Harvard Common Press, 1998

You can make excellent stuffing from the bags of bread for stuffing sold in supermarkets, but make sure they are unseasoned. If you prepare the bread from scratch, it's best to cut up the bread a day or two in advance, spread it out on baking sheets and let it dry before preparing the stuffing.
This stuffing, baked in a pan, can be prepared a day ahead and refrigerated, covered, until you put the turkey in the oven.
  • 1 1/2 lbs. chestnuts, to yield 1 1/2 cups chestnut meats
  • 6 T. unsalted butter
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • 1/2 cup brandy
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • One 15 oz. package unseasoned bread for stuffing or 1 lb. stale white bread, cut into 1/4 inch cubes
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 1 T. chopped thyme leaves
  • 1 cup cranberries, chopped coarse
  • 3 extra-large eggs
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Roast and shell the chestnuts. Cut an X on the flat side of each chestnut. Put the nuts in a single layer in a roasting pan and roast for 45 minutes. Take the nuts out of the oven and, as soon as you can handle them, peel them. Keep the pan covered while you work: If the chestnuts cool, they will be difficult to peel. Rough chop the chestnuts. Generously butter a shallow 3-quart serving casserole or 9-by-13-inch baking pan. Melt 4 T. of butter in a large sauté pan and cook the celery, onion, garlic, and shallots over medium heat until wilted. Add chestnuts and cook 5 minutes more to brown the nuts a little. Add the brandy and 1 cup of the stock and cook until the liquid has almost evaporated.
Put the bread in a very large bowl. Add the parsley, thyme, cranberries, and chestnut mixture. Break in the eggs and add the cream and the remaining 3 cups of stock. Using your hands, combine everything thoroughly. Season liberally with salt and freshly ground pepper. Spread the stuffing mixture evenly in the buttered casserole, dot with the remaining butter, and cover with foil. You can prepare the stuffing up to this point a day in advance. If you do so, remove it from the refrigerator 4 hours before serving time.
If you want to cook the stuffing separately, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Put the stuffing in the oven and bake for 45 minutes. Remove the foil and bake about 20 minutes more, until the stuffing is firm and a light crust has formed.
If you are cooking the stuffing with the turkey, remove the foil, put it, uncovered, in the oven and leave it in the oven at 325 degrees F until the turkey is carved.

Wine/Drink Recommendations:
Bourbon based cocktails
Light Burgundy wines
Pinot Noirs
Very dry Johannesberg Riesling

[Cranberry and Chestnut Stuffing]  [Mashed Potatoes with Variations]  [Apple Bread Pudding]

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