On the last day of NATIONAL FIG WEEK, let’s take a look at the possibilities when we pair figs with the big bird – the TURKEY for Thanksgiving!  I know every woman in America has her own special way to do the bird, but if you’re looking to change it up – here’s a little spin on traditional Thanksgiving cooking.


serves 8


1 12-15 lb. turkey

1 gallon apple cider

5 C. chicken or vegetable stock

3 Tbs. balsamic vinegar

fig, pear and balsamic compote

1/2 C. olive oil

1 large red onion, diced

2 C. dried figs, chopped

1 Granny Smith apple, cored and chopped

1 ripe pear, cored and chopped

Grated zest and juice of 2 oranges

1/2 C. balsamic vinegar

2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. pepper


Two days before Thanksgiving, rinse and pat dry defrosted turkey.  Place in roasting pan and fill pan with as much apple cider as it will hold.  Cover and put in refrigerator, periodically rotating turkey during the two days so all parts soak in the cider.

On Thanksgiving Day, remove turkey from marinade and discard all but 2 cups of cider.  Set aside reserved cider to use for basting.

Rub compote mixture under skin of marinated turkey, especially covering breast meat.  Season turkey exterior and cavity with salt and pepper.  Place on rack in covered roasting pan.  Roast at 350 degrees F. for 4 – 4 1/2 hours, using pan juices and reserved cider for basting.  You don’t need to use all the reserved cider.

Uncover turkey the last 45 minutes of roasting.  Turkey is done when a meat thermometer inserted into the thigh registers 185 degrees F.  Make sure thermometer doesn’t touch the bone.  Remove turkey from oven and let rest, covered, while preparing sauce or gravy.

Combine pan juices with 5 cups chicken or vegetable stock and 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar.  Simmer until reduced to 2 cups liquid, about 15 minutes.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  For a thicker consistency, mix 1 tablespoon cornstarch with 1/2 cup stock and slowly whisk into stock.  Simmer until thick, about 5 more minutes.

Heat olive oil in medium saucepan.  Add red onion and cook over medium heat just until beginning to turn brown, about 8-10 minutes.

Add remaining ingredients and simmer, covered, until almost all liquid has evaporated, about 20 minutes.  Cool completely.

 If you are not hosting a Thanksgiving dinner for an army, you can use this same compote with turkey cutlets.  I’ve done that and cooked the cutlets in a skillet – it is still just as moist and tasty (there just are not as many leftovers).  🙂

Figs are fabulous!
Figs are fabulous!

I hope you have enjoyed NATIONAL FIG WEEK!  If you like these recipes, please leave me a comment below.  Thanks!  🙂

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