Wow, the year is going by fast. Thanksgiving is almost upon us. I thought I would post some of my favorite recipes that work for me. I make my turkey (always a Butterball) in a oven roasting bag and it turns out succulent every time! Just follow the directions on the roasting bag you will get great results! I season my turkey with salt and pepper, and sometimes rosemary. Stuffed with my mother’s recipe for stuffing. Accompanied with Parmesan Topped Broccoli, Cranberry sauce or relish – I have two recipes I really like and typically will make one recipe for Christmas and one for Thanksgiving. One of them is from a Martha Stewart cookbook and the other is my Grandmother’s recipe for cranberry relish (which only needs a food processor to make it – no cooking involved). I always have giblet gravy and of course mashed potatoes, glazed carrots, desserts vary.
Turkey and Giblet Gravy – Source: The Good Housekeeping Illustrated Cookbook Copyright 1989 This cookbook was a wedding gift from one of my sister in laws and I used this recipe my very first Thanksgiving. It has become my traditional recipe every year!
- 1 (15 lb) Turkey
- 1 Tbsp Canola Oil, to brush
- 1 packet Turkey Giblets (this is found both inside the carcass as well as in the pouch section where the neck used to be!)
- 1 stalk Celery
- 1/2 cup chopped Onion
- Salt, to taste
- Water, to cover
- 4 cups Turkey pan drippings
- 6 Tbsp All-Purpose Flour
Remove giblets and neck from inside turkey and reserve for gravy. Rinse bird with running cold water; drain well.
Spoon some stuffing lightly into neck cavity (do not pack). Fold neck skin over and fasten with 1 or two skewers.
With Bird breast side up lift wings up toward neck and fold under back of bird so they stay flat and keep neck skin in place.
Spoon remaining stuffing lightly into body cavity. Close by folding skin lightly over opening; skewer closed.
Tie legs together.
Place in Turkey Roasting bag and follow instructions for roasting times. (Takes less time in convection oven) The temperature of the bird should be 165 when the meat thermometer is inserted in the thickest part of the thigh (without touching the bone) otherwise it is not safe to eat!
While turkey is roasting, heat giblets, neck , celery, onion, 1/2 tsp salt and water to cover to boiling.
Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer for 1 hour (or more) till giblets are tender; Drain reserving broth; discard celery and onion. Chop neck meat and giblets. When turkey is done, remove rack from pan; pour pan drippings into a 4 cup measure; let drippings stand until fat separates from meat juice.
Skim 1/3 cup fat from drippings into 2 quart saucepan; skim off and discard any fat remaining on surface of drippings.
Add reserved broth to meat juice in cup to make 4 cups (add water if necessary)
Into fat in saucepan over medium heat, stir flour and 1 1/2 tsp salt.
Gradually stir in meat-juice mixture; cook stirring until thickened.
Add reserved chopped giblets and neck meat; cook until heated through.
Martha Stewart’s Cranberry Compote – adapted
Source The Martha Stewart Living Cookbook Copyright 2000 p 486
I double the recipe,(amounts are doubled) because the single recipe never seems enough for more than a meal. I also reduced the sugar amount because I found it plenty sweet with less sugar.
- 4 cups fresh cranberries
- zest of 1 orange
- 6 Tbsp fresh orange juice
- 1- 1 1/2 cups sugar (originally 2 cup)
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
Combine all the ingredients in a medium saucepan. Place over medium-high heat; cook, stirring occasionally, until the berries begin to pop but are still whole (7-10 minutes). Transfer to a bowl to cool. Good hot or cold.
My Grandma’s Cranberry Relish (no picture yet)
- 1 lb fresh cranberries
- 2 (14 oz) cans Pineapple chunks, with juice
- 2 Apples, washed and cored with peel
- 2 Oranges, washed with peel
- 1/2 cup Sugar
Blend ingredients in a blender or food processor. Best when prepared a day in advance or more. It keeps in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
My Mom’s Stuffing (for one 12 lbs bird plus a little extra)
- 3/4 cup chopped Onion
- 1 1/2 cups chopped Celery
- 1/3 cup Butter
- 1 cup Water
- 2 quarts Bread cubes (see note)
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1 tsp Celery Seed
- 2 Tbsp fresh chopped Parsley
- 1 1/2 tsp sage
- 1 tsp Thyme
- 1/2 tsp pepper
Combine first 3 ingredients together and cook until onion and celery are softened. Add water and bring to a boil. Cook for 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Add other ingredients and mix together to make the dressing
(NOTE: Bread recommendations: Rye, Pumpernickel, Whole Wheat and white bread) Yield: enough to stuff a 12 lb. Turkey.
Broccoli with Parmesan Crumb Topping
- 1 bunch broccoli, washed and cut into smaller pieces
- 1 inch water
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 Tbsp. butter
- 4 Tbsp. butter, melted
- 1/4 cup seasoned Progresso bread crumbs
- 1/4 cup grated or shredded Parmesan cheese
Put the broccoli in a covered pot with an inch of water and seasoned with salt. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to low, cover and steam for about 10 minutes until it is a nice dark green.
Drain the broccoli and transfer to a baking dish. Melt the butter and combine with bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle over the broccoli. Bake at 325-350 for 15 minutes until the crumb topping is golden brown and the cheese melts a little. Enjoy. If you wish sprinkle more freshly grated Parmesan cheese and sprinkle some lemon juice over the dish.
- Carrots, peeled and sliced into coins (however many you need to serve your crowd)
- Water to cover
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 Tbsp melted butter
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 4 Tbsp honey
Place the carrot slices in a pan. Cover with water and add salt. Bring to boil, reduce heat and cover. Cook for 15 minutes (test them at 10 minutes – depending on the size of the carrot slices they make be done early and we don’t want them to boil to mush!) Drain water. Add butter, nutmeg and honey. Stir and serve.
At Thanksgiving shortcuts are sometimes necessary and if the shortcut is really good, why not go with it? I like the frozen dinner rolls you can get in your local grocery store (Rhodes brand is my favorite) They are raw and just need to be baked. I like to dress them up with Sesame or Poppy seeds, or sprinkle with a Garlic Parmesan seasoning. If you buy the dough ones you can form them into different shapes as well. Here I made a “worm” and then tied it in a knot before brushing with egg white and sprinkling with poppy seeds and baking according to package directions.