Today marks the 9th anniversary of my great friend Michael Kamen’s death. After the Thanksgiving holidays look for a favorite recipe of his along with a story about his love for a certain dish and the great extent that he would often go to in order to enjoy it. More on that later.
Thanksgiving was also a great event for Michael. He lived mainly in London for the last many years of his life but always enjoyed celebrating this uniquely American holiday. He would round up ex-pats and others and cook the traditional dinner. I happened to be in London for one of the first of his now infamous celebrations. This particular one was smallish, just involving the family, a few friends and a few extended family. The later ones, I’ve been told, ended up being huge extravaganzas for as many as 200 people. The first one was amazing. The dinner itself was cozy and warm and I personally was thankful to have a place to go to with people that I loved on the first ever Thanksgiving away from family. As the evening wore on so did the quality of the celebration. We happened to be working with Herbie Hancock and he joined us. After dinner, over some amazing armagnac we were entertained by Herbie giving us a little concert on Michael’s beautiful piano. A rarified moment indeed.
My mother’s Thanksgiving meal was always a treat, just as I am sure was yours. I will feature another stuffing this week, but this my mom’s classic. She stuffed the big bird with it but you can also bake it off.
- 2 Loaves Bread (She used white)
- 1 Large Onion, chopped
- 3-4 Celery Stalks, chopped
- 1 1/2 Sticks Butter
- 2 Tablespoons Fresh Sage, finely chopped
- Turkey Parts
- Salt and Pepper
- Small Pan
- Large Mixing Bowl
- Large Sauté Pan
- Chef’s Knife
- Ovenproof Dish
- Tear bread into cubes and place in a large bowl and let sit overnight.
- In a small pan put the turkey parts (giblets, neck, etc) and cover with water.
- Simmer for about an hour.
- Sauté onion and celery in a pan with the butter until soft.
- Stir in the sage.
- Strain the turkey parts broth and mix well. If it is not enough liquid either add some chicken broth or melted butter.
- Stuff bird and/or
- Fill dish and cover with aluminum foil.
- Bake for 30 minutes at 350.
- Uncover and bake for another 10-15 minutes to make it golden brown and slightly crispy.