Recipe Improv: John Fraser Thanksgiving Special


Give this man some turkey skin

Today, we’re playing Recipe Improv with chef John Fraser of Dovetail (103 West 77th Street). Before opening Dovetail last December, Fraser worked stints at the French Laundry, at Taillevent in Paris, and Compass in New York.

Since our great day of national gluttony is approaching, I threw some Thanksgiving-themed ingredients at Fraser. He responded with a recipe that would be perfect for using up the Thanksgiving leftovers without resorting to the dreaded never-ending turkey sandwiches.

The surprise ingredients:
Fried turkey skin (turkey chicharrones)

The recipe:

Day-After Thanksgiving Bread Salad

Yield: 6 servings

The bread used here can be pumpernickel, sourdough, or any other good bread, perhaps left over from your stuffing.

6 cups cubed bread
1 celery stalk, diced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
1 pound brussels sprouts, quartered
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
1/2 cup cashews, toasted
3/4 cup chopped marjoram
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1 red onion, sliced and grilled or broiled
1 cup cranberry sauce
1/2 cup to 1 cup orange juice
1/2 cup crispy crumbled turkey skin (crisped in oil if necessary)
fresh cranberries, for garnish

Place an oven rack in the middle of the oven, and preheat to 300 degrees. On a sheet pan, spread out the bread. Toast bread in oven, stirring occasionally, until pale golden, 20 to 25 minutes. Set aside to cool completely.

Meanwhile, bring a pot of salted water to a boil, and blanch the celery, carrot and brussels sprouts, until just tender. Remove vegetables from the pot, and briefly place them in a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking, and drain. Set aside.

In a bowl, whisk together the red wine vinegar, honey and olive oil, and season to taste with salt and pepper. In a large bowl, combine the bread, vegetables, cashews, herbs and red onion. Toss in the vinaigrette, and season to taste with salt and pepper.

In a blender, combine the cranberry sauce and 1/2 cup orange juice. Blend, adding more orange juice if necessary, until the mixture is the consistency of a spreadable puree.

Spread the cranberry puree in a thin layer onto 6 serving plates. Top the puree with a serving of bread salad. Sprinkle turkey skin on top of each plate, and garnish with fresh cranberries.