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Glazed Shallots Thanksgiving’s New Sleeper Hit

By on November 2, 2016

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I don’t remember exactly when glazed shallots entered into my family’s canon of Thanksgiving recipes–perhaps sometime during my early middle school years, when my dad clipped Molly O’Neill’s simple, fast recipe from The New York Times–but I do remember trying them for the first time. I was astounded at how good they were: buttery, meltingly tender, and caramelized. They were an instant hit and the first thing to disappear from the table. Ever since, these shallots have been at the center of our Thanksgiving spread.

They’re as impressive as they are easy to make, with perfect sweet-savory balance. They’re also ideal for Thanksgiving because they’re rich yet delicate, and pair so well with everything else on the plate (use the leftover sauce on your turkey if it’s dry) when you cut into them with a fork and knife. And, besides the shallots, you’ll no doubt already the ingredients on hand.

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You probably have all of the ingredients, except for shallots, on hand. Photo: Laura Murray

The only laborious part is peeling the shallots. Start with 1¼ lbs. of medium shallots, as uniform in size as possible. Try not to trim the root end too much because you want all the layers of the shallots to hold together. You can also blanch the shallots for 30 seconds in boiling water to make peeling easier.

Make sure all the shallots fit in a single layer in a large skillet, then pour in a cup of chicken stock, ½ cup dry white wine, 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, 1 Tbsp. sugar, ½ tsp. kosher salt, and a few cranks of black pepper (white pepper if you want to be fancy). The liquid should mostly cover the shallots, but it’s okay if they’re not fully submerged. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce to a simmer, and cook the shallots uncovered, shaking the skillet occasionally, until they’re completely tender and nearly collapsed. This only takes about 10 to 15 minutes. Raise the heat to medium and cook shallots, shaking to turn, until they start to brown all over and are coated in a thick syrup, then stir another tablespoon of butter until melted. You really want to serve them hot, so don’t try to make them in advance.

My mom always adds notes to the recipes she uses. On this one, she wrote, “Says it serves six, but you’ll find that never to be the case.” We can never have enough of these glazed shallots. They make one rotation around the table and then they’re gone. No one ever gets seconds. They’ll always be the dark horse at our Thanksgiving, and I’m pretty sure they will be at yours too.

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