Instead of the more bookish and sporadic notes, today I figured I’d blog about the Brannan gluten free Thanksgiving. It was yummy and relatively easy. Hope it helps some who have struggled. Oh, these are also dairy free, egg free, and cane-sugar free. And free of other stuff too; the list of allergies around our table today is too long to list. If you have questions, feel free to follow up with me if you’d like (email is on sidebar).
It’s true, we had gluten free turkey, stuffing, gravy, and mashed potatoes. I only made the turkey, stuffing and gravy; my sister-in-law made the mashed potatoes and green beans. Oh, and my lovely wife made GF pumpkin pie and apple crisp. Mom T made the sweet potatoes & fruit salad. Yum, yum yum.
Gluten Free Turkey
Many turkeys are gluten free; you’ll need to check web sites to ensure. Costco’s turkeys were Foster Farms Fresh or something or other, and their web site confirmed their GF-ness. I popped it in a roaster, put lots of Earth Balance (non-dairy butter) between the skin and the breast meat, about 1/3 cup, salt, pepper, rosemary and sage. No stuffing in the bird. It was a 14lb bird, roasted for around 4 hours. Carved the turkey, reserved the drippings.
While the turkey was roasting, I made broth from the neck & giblets. This is very easy. Just put the parts in a saucepan. Fill with water until they’re covered. Bring to a boil, simmer over low heat for like 30 minutes. Strain, set aside; you’ll use this in the stuffing.
Some background at this point: We basically can’t buy anything that lists “spices” in the ingredient list. This means we can’t buy any chicken/beef/veggie stock at any store in the western world. Chicken and turkey stock is gold in our house. So after the the turkey was carved (I cooked it on Wednesday) it was time to make stock. I stuck all the stuff I didn’t put on the meat plate — bones, skin, fat, whatever — into a stock pot. Filled with water until everything was covered. Added some rosemary. Bring to boil, then simmer over low heat for 45-60 mins. Pull bones out, dispose of those. Strain, label containers, put in containers for freezer.
Back to the good stuff.
Gluten Free Stuffing
I winged this one and it turned out. My basic source was Betty Crocker’s recipe, modified as follows.
First, I used a loaf of Trader Joe’s GF Brown Rice Bread. This stuff is heavy. I cut each slice into cubes, then dried in the oven (like, 250 degrees for 10-15 mins). Then I chopped a medium sized onion into oblivion, melted 1/4-1/3 cup butter (Earth Balance) in a frying pan, added a bunch of garlic, and cooked it until the onions were happy.
Dumped the bread pieces into a big bowl. Then 2tbsp parsley (plus a little more); 2tbsp sage (plus a little more); salt, pepper, butter-onion mixture. I’m assuming you’ve done the research to know if your spices are GF. Then Betty’s recipe says 1/2 cup broth, but her recipe assumes you’re putting it in the bird, which will emit all sorts of juices into the stuffing. Instead I baked it seperately. So I needed more broth. I put in at least two cups, probably more like 3. Stirred like crazy. Put it into a casserole dish, mashed it down. This went into the fridge, I ended up cooking it for probably 45 mins on 350F.
Gluten Free Gravy
While the stuffing was turning from wonderful to awesome, I made gravy. Got the reserved drippings and warmed them up again. I also got some GF corn starch and rice milk. Probably at least 1/4 cup corn starch. Put it in a small bowl that has a tight lid. Then add some rice milk, enough to liquefy. Put lid on, shake like the dickens. When drippings are boiling, add the mixture to thicken. Whisk it. If not thick enough, repeat the thickening mixture bit. Simmer it for awhile, and you’re awesome. Add some salt and pepper if you wish.
See, not too hard. The key is to start with the bird, and only use the broth/etc. from the bird to make the other parts. For me, this works better if I do the bird the day before (Wednesday) then the stuffing/etc. the day of (Thursday).
Hope it helps y’all. All I know is it was awesome, and my wife (several food allergies) and sister-in-law (celiac) could enjoy it all too.