Thanksgiving in the USA is always celebrated the fourth Thursday in November. Every year we have at least twenty people for a sit-down dinner. I cook the meal and the guests supply the appetizers, deserts, and wine. It’s a wonderful time to reminisce, over-indulge, and have fun. Stuffing is definitely a winter food for us. I make a huge batch and freeze the unbaked extra in serving-size containers. Throughout the winter I’ll serve it with pork or chicken.
Candied Sweet Potatoes
White Wine – Riesling
- 2 leeks including some green – chopped
- 2 large onion – chopped
- 15 baby carrots – chopped
- 4 tomatoes – chopped
- 1 tbsp. dried thyme
- 1 tbsp. dried marjoram
- 1 large bay leaf
- Bacon strips to cover breast
- Chicken stock
Cookie sheet – for stability
Place unopened turkey on a cloth lined cookie sheet and thaw in refrigerator 7 hours per pound or one day for every four pounds of frozen turkey.
If turkey’s not completely thawed, set in a large pot of cold water to complete. Dispose of packet inserted in cavity. Rinse well, then pat dry with paper towels.
Preheat oven to 325°F.
10 – 18 lbs. 2 – 2½ hrs.
18 – 22 lbs. 2½ – 3 hrs.
22 – 24 lbs. 3 – 3½ hrs.
Melt 1 stick of butter in a large frying pan. When the foam subsides, lay the turkey on its side breast down. Brown the breast until golden, first one side then the other. Be careful moving the turkey around, it’s heavy and awkward.
Set disposable pan on cookie sheet. Insert cooking rack. Add chopped vegetables. Place turkey on rack breast up. Lay bacon slices over breast to cover well. Pour in enough chicken broth to cover the pan bottom by 1 inch. Cover the turkey and pan edges with aluminum foil, crimping the sides well.
Remove from oven at the predetermined time. To test if the bird is done, use a paper towel or pot holder and shake hands with its leg. The leg should move freely. If you use a meat thermometer it should read 185° when inserted in the thigh. For an accurate reading, be sure not to touch bone. Tent with foil and allow to rest 30 – 45 minutes before carving.
- 1 package bread stuffing cubes plain or seasoned
- ½ pound Jimmy Dean Original Sausage in the tube
- 1 rib celery chopped
- ½ medium onion chopped
- 1 stick butter
- Chicken stock about 2 cups maybe a little more
- 1 tsp. dried sage
- 1 tsp. dried thyme
- 1 egg
The stuffing may be prepared a day or two in advance up to the baking point.
Fry sausage, breaking into small chunks until lightly brown.
Melt butter in a medium size skillet. When the foam subsides add the celery and onion. Sauté 3-4 minutes, be careful not to let it brown.
Empty bread cubes into a large bowl. Add sausage and vegetables with all their juices. Mix well.
Beat egg in a small bowl. Pour onto stuffing. Sprinkle sage and thyme across the top. Mix well.
Stir in chicken stock until mixture is very moist, but not soupy.
Spoon into baking dish, do not pack in, and cover tightly with foil. (This is your stopping point if you make this before Thanksgiving. Refrigerate the stuffing until you are ready to bake it.)
Remove stuffing from the refrigerator early in the day to allow it to come to room temperature.
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Bake the stuffing for a half hour. Remove foil and continue to bake until the top has browned.
- 1 small russet potato per person
- Chicken stock
- Sour cream
The Day Before:
Pour one inch chicken stock into saucepan. Peel and quarter the potatoes, then place in saucepan. Add tap water to cover by one inch. Put a lid on the pan and bring to a boil over medium heat, then lower temperature to a strong simmer. Cook approximately 25 minutes. Test for doneness by poking a fork into a potato. It should insert easily.
Drain potatoes. Mash well without adding other ingredients. Cool completely in a glass or ceramic bowl. Cover and refrigerate.
Remove potatoes from the refrigerator early in the day to allow them to come to room temperature. When you are ready to serve, microwave potatoes until hot. Stir in butter, sour cream, milk, and pepper to the consistency you prefer.
Candied Sweet Potatoes
- 32oz. can of sweet potatoes – my favorite is Royal Prince Candied Sweet Potatoes
- ½ cup brown sugar firmly packed
- 1 stick of butter
- 1 cup mini marshmallows
Preheat oven to 375°F.
Drain the potatoes in a colander. Cut large pieces in half. Lay potatoes into a 13×9 inch glass baking dish.
Sprinkle brown sugar across the top, then dot with butter.
Bake for 20 minutes.
Scatter marshmallows over the yams and bake for 15 minutes or until the marshmallows are brown.
- 4 mini carrots sliced on an angle
- ½ cup olive oil – possibly more
- ½ medium onion sliced
- 1 inch piece gingerroot peeled and cut into strips
- 1 head broccoli trimmed and cut into florets
- ½ small sweet red pepper cored, seeded and cut into strips
- ½ small yellow pepper cored, seeded and cut into strips
- 2 large garlic cloves pressed
- ½ tsp. red pepper flakes
- 2 green onions sliced on an angle
- 5 mini Bello mushrooms cleaned and sliced into thirds
- 1 tbsp. lime or lemon juice
Have all the ingredients prepped and on the counter before you begin cooking.
In a medium skillet, heat oil over medium high heat until it begins to shimmer. Add onion, carrot and gingerroot. Sauté until carrot is almost soft. Test by inserting a toothpick into the carrot. Remove as many gingerroot pieces as you can find. Don’t worry if some are left in the pan.
Add broccoli, red and yellow peppers, and garlic. Sprinkle on red pepper flakes. Stir constantly to insure broccoli is well coated with the oil. Add more oil if necessary. Squeeze on the lime or lemon juice. Sauté 2 – 4 minutes, but be sure the broccoli and peppers still have crunch to them.
Blend in green onions and mushrooms. Sauté until mushrooms are heated through. Serve quickly.
Serves 4 – 6 so adjust accordingly.
From the corn through the gravy you’ll see just how lazy I can be on holidays. 🙂
1 can of corn per 4 people – my favorite is Green Giant Niblets
Drain corn, then pour into micro wave safe bowl. Lay 2 or 3 pats of butter across the top. Micro wave for 3 minutes, stir and serve.
Follow package instructions
1 can of sauce per 6 people – my favorite is Ocean Spray Jellied
Lay the sauce into a serving bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerator until ready to serve.
1 jar of gravy for 4 people – my favorite is Heinz Home Style Gravy Roasted Turkey
Pour the gravy into a saucepan. Stir in a few tablespoons of the juice from the roasted turkey pan. Heat through and serve.