I figure that most people have their own ways of doing what I consider the “regulars” of Thanksgiving-the turkey, stuffing and cranberry sauce. But I figured we would include what we were doing this year, because it switches depending on who the main cook is. Plus it can be fun to see what others do and I would love to hear how you all prepare your Thanksgiving feasts, so please-throw me some ideas in the comments section!
One thing that Will does that I love is he rubs an herb and butter mixture under the skin of the turkey and over top. This year, it was really great because we were able to pick some fresh rosemary and thyme from his mom’s garden and there’s nothing better than fresh herbs! This really helps the skin to brown nicely and retain a really good flavor in the skin. With some stuffing and gravy, this makes an excellent way to enjoy turkey 🙂
Cooking Notes for Turkey: We didn’t stick much stuffing in our bird this year because it gets a bit messy. Otherwise, enjoy the buttered and fresh herbed organic turkey! We also had to remove the turkey for a bit towards the end to make room for all the casseroles to cook, but we stuck him back in again and he turned out perfectly!
Turkey (pictured above)
1 large (organic) turkey (ours was 14 pounds)
1/2 stick butter
Fresh rosemary and thyme
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Soften butter and chop fresh herbs. Mix herbs into butter, making a paste. Prepare turkey in roasting pan and loosen skin on first half of the bird. Rub butter mixture under skin, then use the rest to rub all over the outside of the turkey. Once all the butter is gone, stick the turkey in the oven and cook for 4-6 hours, watching for bird to cook through. In the last 45 minutes or so, tent the turkey with aluminum foil to help finish the browning on the outside.
Cooking Notes for Stuffing: Some of these measurements are estimates, so for things like sage and ground white pepper, you can adjust those to your liking.
1 pan of cornbread, crumbled (2 packages of cornbread)
10 slices of dried white bread, crumbled
2 cups of celery
1/2 large white onion
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup sage
1 tsp ground white pepper
Salt, to taste
A handful of dried cranberries
Crumble the breads into a large bowl. Chop celery and onion and combine with breadcrumbs. Add spices and mix with hands. Add chicken stock and continue to combine-at this point, taste test to make sure the flavor is to your liking. Once you have the spices to your liking, mix in egg until bread absorb it. Toss in the dried cranberries and mix one last time. Place in baking dishes and bake for 50-60 minutes, until golden brown.
Cooking Notes for Cranberry Sauce: Adjust everything to your liking-this is a totally free-for-all recipe.
1 package of cranberries
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
Lemon and orange zest, to taste
Chopped dried fruits, like apricots and mangos
Grated ginger, to taste
Mix ingredients and cook in a pot on medium heat. When cranberries begin to pop, that’s when they are almost ready. Store overnight, allowing sauce to thicken.