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Family, Friends and Food

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays because there are only two requirements: great food and our closest family and friends. We have gathered together from as far from as Anguilla to Aspen to my sister’s home in Nashville and our childhood home in Connecticut. But my favorite Thanksgiving is always here in Las Vegas. Having our celebration in Las Vegas not only allows our party to grow, but also allows me to work with some of our favorite local vendors.

My grandmother Rose was a great cook and all of our family holiday recipes come from her culinary collection. She immigrated from Eastern Europe so paprika is the secret ingredient. We also make a turkey meatball version which is a menu favorite at our restaurant Honey Salt.

Ingredients

Whole, Organic/Free Range Turkey, 18-20 lbs

1 T smoked paprika

1 T garlic powder

1 T salt

Freshly ground pepper

2 T EVOO or high quality vegetable oil

2 apples

1 onion

Directions

Preheat oven to 325, set your oven rack on lowest position; remove all other racks.

Wash & Dry your turkey throughout; remove neck and livers from inside.

Mix together: smoked paprika, garlic powder, salt & freshly ground pepper

Combine oil with dry ingredient mixture into a thick paste; rub around exterior of turkey. Be sure to coat the wings, underneath and inside of turkey cavity. (If you run out, just make more paste!)

Stuff the cavity with your favorite stuffing

Place turkey in a thick roasting pan with sliced onions and apples in the bottom of the pan. Use for flavor to your drippings to make a delicious gravy and add the neck to the pan for additional flavor.

Cover the whole turkey with tin foil

Cook for two hours, remove tin foil; baste every 30 minutes until finished

Total cooking time, approx. 4-4 ½ hours for 18-20 lb turkey, depending on your oven at home

Place a thermometer into lower part of the body to register to 165.

Let rest for at least half/hour before carving.

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