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Willa Ford

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FOOD Michael Gilligan's very special family recipe MAPLE ROAST TURKEY & GRAVY ML: During the holiday season, when you're with your family, do you do the cooking? MG: The holidays are my wife Jeanne's thing; I'm so busy at work that she does all the cooking, apart from the gravy —that's my thing. We do American, as she is from Brooklyn, for Thanksgiving. She makes an awesome maple roast turkey. And we go traditional British for Christmas with turkey or sometimes roast goose, mince pies, etc. We always go with a sage and onion stuffing. ML: The coconut panna cotta dessert was excellent, how did you create it? MG: This was a recipe we took with us from the W, but we played around with it a little as I didn't want to serve it in a bowl or soufflé cup. The idea came to me one day looking out at the water over Key Biscayne and I decided to try and make it look like a wave --it's kinda fun. ML: As a sous chef at the Tides Reach Hotel in Devon, England you cooked for Princess Diana. Did she have any special requests? MG: I was a paean back in those days when we cooked for her. This story has taken on mythic properties. It was a throw out quote that I once bragged about cooking for royalty, now it's gone so far that it's almost like we dated for a while! ML: Is it true that Robert DeNiro was impressed with the quality of your work as a sous chef at The Ritz-Carlton New York that he asked you to work for him at both the Tribeca Grill and Montrachet? What did he like to order? MG: Actually it was Drew Nieporent —who I met first at an event at Lincoln Center— that asked me to go and try out there. It wasn't until later that I found out it was DeNiro's joint also. Mr. DeNiro used to like penne pasta for lunch with the garlic shaved really thin with a razor blade so it melted into the olive oil, just like they did in Goodfellas when they were in the slammer. I used a Japanese mandolin, easier on the fingers. ML: I also understand that your mum gave birth to you in the room your family lived in above the pub they owned —is this true? MG: This is almost true. I was born upstairs in the flat that the brewery had rented for my family when it ran the pub. It's not like I was born on the bar! I think I was about 4-years-old, the baby of the family, and I would sit in the kitchen with my mother as she cooked. She would give me pieces of dough to play with and I would make them into gingerbread man shapes. Soon I noticed that after she baked them they didn't taste sweet enough, so I sprinkled sugar on it before it went into the oven. I then started adding cherries for the eyes and some chocolate for hair. 3201 Rickenbacker Causeway. Lunch and dinner is served daily, brunch is offered on the weekends. Opened Sunday to Thursday (11 a.m - 11 p.m; bar opened till midnight); Friday and Saturday (11 a.m. - midnight and bar opened till 1 a.m.). 305-361-3818 Twitter: @RustyPelicanMI. ML INGREDIENTS 2 cups apple cider 1/3 cup real maple syrup 2 TBSP chopped fresh thyme 2 TBSP chopped fresh marjoram 2 ½ tsp grated lemon zest ¾ cup butter Salt & ground black pepper to taste 14 pounds whole turkey, neck and giblets reserved 2 cups chopped onion 1 cup chopped celery 1 cup coarsely chopped carrots 2 cups chicken stock 3 TBSP all-purpose flour 1 tsp chopped fresh thyme 1 bay leaf 2 TBSP apple brandy (optional) TURKEY Boil apple cider and maple syrup in a heavy saucepan over medium-high heat until reduced to 1/2 cup (about 20 minutes). Remove from heat and mix in ½ of the thyme and marjoram and all of the lemon zest. Add the butter, and whisk until melted. Add salt and ground pepper to taste. Cover and refrigerate until cold (syrup can be made up to 2 days ahead). Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Place oven rack in the lowest third of oven. Wash and dry turkey. Place in large roasting pan. Slide hand under skin of the breast to loosen. Rub ½ cup of the maple butter mix under the breast skin. If planning on stuffing turkey, do so now. Rub ¼ cup of the maple butter mixture over the outside of the turkey. With kitchen string, tie legs of turkey together loosely. Arrange the chopped onion, chopped celery, and chopped carrot around the turkey in the roasting pan. If desired, the neck and giblets may be added to the vegetables. Sprinkle the remaining thyme and marjoram over the vegetables, and pour the chicken stock into the pan. Roast turkey 30 minutes in the preheated oven. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F, and cover turkey loosely with foil. Continue to roast, about 3 to 4 hours unstuffed or 4 to 5 hours stuffed, until the internal temperature of the thigh reaches 180 degrees F and stuffing reaches 165 degrees F. Transfer turkey to a platter, and cover with foil. Reserve pan mixture for gravy. Allow turkey to sit about 25 minutes before removing stuffing and carving. GRAVY Strain pan juices into a measuring cup. Spoon the fat from juices. Add enough chicken stock to make 3 cups. Transfer liquid to a heavy saucepan and bring to a boil. In a small bowl, mix reserved maple butter mixture with flour to form a paste, and whisk into the broth. Stir in thyme, bay leaf, and apple brandy. Boil until reduced and slightly thickened. Season with salt and pepper to taste. MIAMI LIVING 75

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