Bi-Rite owner Sam Mogannam, who always uses a heritage-breed turkey, cooks the white and dark meats separately to prevent the breast from drying out before the tougher leg meat is fully cooked. The method is also successful with conventional birds, plus it cuts the turkey cooking time by two-thirds. Because of this turkey’s large size, salting at least 8 hours before cooking allows the seasoning to fully penetrate.
Instead of the more common bread-based dressing, Sam Mogannam’s mother, Mariette, always serves turkey with this hearty, savory Palestinian stuffing, traditionally used as a filling for grape leaves or halved zucchini.
To give this refreshing salad Palestinian flavor, Sam Mogannam seasons the dressing with ground sumac, a tangy Middle Eastern spice. While the color of golden beets contrasts nicely with dark red blood orange sections, any beet variety—from standard red ones to the white-and-pink striped chioggia—will be delicious.
Sam Mogannam’s wife, Anne Walker, usually makes this dessert with Arkansas Black apples—an heirloom variety—from Mogannam’s parents’ orchard near Sacramento. The dense, tart apples are harvested late in the season, making them a good Thanksgiving choice. Granny Smiths are an easier-to-find alternative.