A Turkey to Dream About

Good morning. Maneet Chauhan, the chef and author of the excellent cookbook “Chaat: Recipes From the Kitchens, Markets and Railways of India,” recently told me about the turkey she serves for Thanksgiving at her Nashville restaurant, Chauhan Ale & Masala House. (In August, Priya Krishna wrote a profile of her for The Times.)

It’s a turkey roulade, essentially, the meat rolled around a biryani then fried and served under the gravy she generally makes for chicken tikka masala. “I do not brine the turkey,” she said, “I marinate it.” She described the marinade: garlic and ginger and yogurt and papaya, which leaves the meat moist and silky and fragrant at once. I cannot stop thinking about that turkey.

Until I can get her to show me how to make it, though, I’ll stick to my regular roasted turkey, and then make Samin Nosrat’s recipe for leftover turkey tikka masala (above) on Friday, as a nod to Maneet and a promise to myself to get to Nashville after the pandemic ends

I do want to get some new flavors on the holiday table on Thursday, though, in this year when I don’t have to play the greatest hits for a crowd that wants only to hear them. There is no crowd this year. I can play the deep cuts. You could maybe do the same. It can be liberating.

So maybe these brussels sprouts with pickled shallots and labneh? These puréed potatoes with lemon? This roasted butternut squash with red onions? This buttered stuffing with celery and leeks? Definitely this Madeira gravy. And here’s a thought: pumpkin layer cake with caramel buttercream for dessert, instead of a pie. Hey, I might even start the meal with a baked Camembert salad. I’m flying wild.

For tonight, though, I’m thinking rice and beans. Or a bowl of oyakodon. Maybe tofu mushroom soup. Something a long way from turkey and fixings. Those will be upon us soon enough.

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Now, it’s nothing to do with sage or marshmallows, but our A.O. Scott on the fiction of Joy Williams is a real pleasure. Please read that.

Thanksgiving ›

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