Our Best Traditional Thanksgiving Menu
By: Shirley Harrington, Senior Food Editor
Remove giblets and neck from turkey; discard. Rinse turkey with cold water; pat dry.
Loosen skin from turkey breast without totally detaching skin. Stir together 2 tablespoons butter, salt, and pepper. Rub butter mixture evenly over turkey breast under skin. Carefully place sage leaves and thyme sprigs evenly on each side of breast under skin. Replace skin.
Place pear halves, celery ribs, onion halves, and garlic cloves inside cavity. Place turkey, breast side up, on a lightly greased wire rack in an aluminum foil-lined shallow roasting pan. Rub entire turkey evenly with remaining 2 tablespoons butter.
Bake at 325° for 2 hours and 45 minutes to 3 hours and 30 minutes or until a meat thermometer inserted into thigh registers 180°, basting turkey every 30 minutes with pan drippings. (Prevent overcooking turkey by checking for doneness after 2 hours.) Remove turkey from roasting pan, and let stand 20 minutes before slicing. Garnish, if desired.
*1 (14-pound) whole fresh turkey may be substituted.
Southern Living NOVEMBER 2004
Not cooking a whole turkey but still want homemade turkey gravy? This quick alternative recipe calls for sautéing turkey wings and necks with some veggies and then simmer the mixture with canned chicken broth. Finish it off with poultry seasoning, sage, chopped parsley and a little bit of flour.
1. Cook turkey pieces in hot oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat 6 to 8 minutes on each side or until lightly browned. Add onion and celery, and sauté 4 minutes. Gradually stir in chicken broth, stirring to loosen particles from bottom of skillet; stir in parsley. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, 30 minutes. Pour mixture through a wire-mesh strainer into a large bowl, discarding solids.
2. Melt butter in Dutch oven over medium heat; whisk in flour, and cook, whisking constantly, 1 to 2 minutes or until mixture is golden and smooth. Gradually whisk in broth mixture; increase heat to medium-high, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, and simmer, stirring occasionally, 15 to 20 minutes or to desired thickness. Stir in remaining ingredients.
Southern Living NOVEMBER 2007
Grand Prize Winner
Whisk together first 4 ingredients. Set dressing aside.
Peel pears, if desired; quarter pears. Brush with lemon juice.
Arrange lettuce on 4 plates. Arrange pear quarters over lettuce. Drizzle with dressing; sprinkle with cheese, bacon, and raspberries.
Southern Living DECEMBER 2000
Elizabeth sometimes uses a zester or channel knife to make designs on the outsides of oranges. Save the orange pulp to make delicious Grand Mimosas to enjoy while you are preparing this special dish.
1. Preheat oven to 425º. Place sweet potatoes on an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet. Bake at 425° for 45 minutes or until tender. Let stand 20 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350º.
2. Meanwhile, cut oranges in half crosswise. Scoop out pulp using a spoon, leaving peel intact. Reserve orange pulp for another use.
3. Peel sweet potatoes, and place potato pulp in a large bowl. Add sweetened condensed milk and next 8 ingredients. Beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth, stopping occasionally to remove any tough fibers, if necessary. Spoon about 1/2 cup mixture into each orange cup. Place orange cups in a 13- x 9-inch baking dish.
4. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes. Remove from oven, and top with pecans and then with marshmallows, pressing lightly to adhere. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until marshmallows are melted and golden brown.
Note: Orange cups and sweet potatoes can be made 1 day ahead. Chill scooped orange cups and baked sweet potatoes in separate zip-top plastic bags until ready to assemble.
Southern Living NOVEMBER 2008
Browned butter adds a heavenly toasted nut taste and aroma to traditional mashed potatoes.
1. Cook butter in a 2-qt. heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly, 6 to 8 minutes or just until butter begins to turn golden brown. Immediately remove pan from heat, and pour butter into a small bowl. (Butter will continue to darken if left in saucepan.) Remove and reserve 1 to 2 Tbsp. browned butter.
2. Bring potatoes, 2 tsp. salt, and water to cover to a boil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat; boil 20 minutes or until tender. Drain. Reduce heat to low. Return potatoes to Dutch oven, and cook, stirring occasionally, 3 to 5 minutes or until potatoes are dry.
3. Mash potatoes with a potato masher to desired consistency. Stir in remaining browned butter, buttermilk, milk, pepper, and remaining 1 tsp. salt, stirring just until blended.
4. Transfer to a serving dish. Drizzle with reserved 1 to 2 Tbsp. browned butter. Garnish, if desired.
Note: To make ahead, prepare recipe as directed through Step 3. Place in a lightly greased 2 1/2-qt. ovenproof serving dish; cover and chill up to 2 days. Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 35 to 40 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Drizzle with reserved brown butter, and garnish, if desired.
Southern Living OCTOBER 2007
Make a traditional cornbread dressing in the slow cooker so you'll have space in the oven for your other holiday dishes.
Stir together cornbread crumbs, stuffing mix, and next 8 ingredients in a large bowl.
Pour cornbread mixture into a lightly greased 5 1/2- or 6-quart slow cooker. Dot with butter. Cook, covered, on LOW 4 hours or until cooked through and set.
Note: For testing purposes only, we used Pepperidge Farm Herb Seasoned Stuffing mix. We also used 2 (7.5-ounce) packages Martha White Yellow Cornbread Mix prepared according to package directions in 8-inch square pans. The baked cornbread made 7 cups crumbs; just freeze the rest.
Southern Living NOVEMBER 2005
We loved the dash of dried crushed red pepper--it made the flavor lively, not hot.
1. Cook beans in boiling salted water to cover in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat 4 minutes or until crisp-tender; drain. Plunge into ice water to stop the cooking process; drain and set aside.
2. Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium-low heat until crisp; remove bacon, and drain on paper towels, reserving 1 1/2 Tbsp. drippings in skillet. Discard remaining drippings. Crumble bacon.
3. Sauté mushrooms and shallots in hot drippings over medium-high heat 5 minutes or until shallots are tender. Add green beans and crushed red pepper; sauté 1 to 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Stir in crumbled bacon, 1/2 tsp. black pepper, and 1/4 tsp. salt.
Asparagus With Mushrooms and Bacon: Substitute 2 lb. fresh asparagus for green beans. Snap off and discard tough ends of asparagus. Cut asparagus into 1 1/2- inch pieces. Proceed with recipe as directed, cooking asparagus pieces for 2 to 4 minutes.
Sugar Snaps With Mushrooms and Bacon: Substitute 1 1/2 lb. sugar snap peas, trimmed, for green beans. Proceed with recipe as directed.
Southern Living NOVEMBER 2006
You'll need about 1 lb. of cranberries. Most are sold in 12-oz. bags, so pick up two and freeze the extra.
1. Stir together sugar, port, and 3/4 cup water in a heavy 3-qt. saucepan until blended. Add cranberries; bring to a boil, and cook over medium-high heat, stirring often, 8 to 10 minutes or until cranberry skins begin to split. Remove from heat, and let cool 15 minutes.
2. Pulse cranberry mixture in a food processor 3 to 4 times or until cranberries are almost pureed; stir in orange liqueur. Cover and chill 8 hours before serving. Store in refrigerator in an airtight container up to 2 weeks. Serve chilled or at room temperature.
Note: For testing purposes only, we used Grand Marnier for orange liqueur.
Turkey Tenderloins With Cranberry Sauce: Preheat oven to 400°. Sprinkle 1 1/2 lb. turkey tenderloins with 1 tsp. each salt and freshly ground pepper. Place tenderloins in a lightly greased 15- x 10-inch jelly-roll pan. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until a meat thermometer inserted into thickest portion registers 170°. Brush tenderloins with Grandma Erma's Spirited Cranberry Sauce. Garnish with fresh sage or rosemary and currants, if desired. Makes 4 servings. Prep: 10 min., Bake: 25 min.
Make these Quick Yeast Rolls up to one month ahead. Wrap cooled rolls loosely in aluminum foil, place in a zip-top plastic freezer bag, and freeze. Heat foil-wrapped rolls in a 325° oven for 30 minutes or until warm.
1. Stir together yeast, 1/4 cup warm water, and 1 tsp. sugar in a 2-cup glass measuring cup; let stand 5 minutes.
2. Beat 2 Tbsp. sugar, softened butter, and salt at medium speed with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer until creamy. Add egg, milk, and yeast mixture, beating until blended. Gradually add flour, beating at low speed until smooth. Turn dough out onto a well-floured surface, and knead until smooth and elastic (2 to 3 minutes). Place in a well-greased bowl, turning to grease top.
3. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 30 minutes or until doubled in bulk.
4. Preheat oven to 400°. Punch dough down; turn dough out onto a floured surface. Divide dough into 24 pieces; shape into balls. Place in 2 greased 9-inch square pans. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 15 minutes.
5. Bake at 400° for 15 minutes or until golden. Brush tops with melted butter, and serve immediately.
Southern Living NOVEMBER 2008
Roll 1 piecrust to press out fold lines; cut out leaves with a leaf-shaped cutter. Brush leaves with lightly beaten egg, and place on a baking sheet; set aside.
Fit remaining piecrust into a 9-inch pieplate according to package directions; fold edges under and crimp.
Bake leaves at 350° for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden. Bake piecrust for 6 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove leaves and piecrust from oven; let cool. Increase oven temperature to 425°.
Combine 1/2 cup light brown sugar, chopped walnuts, butter, and vanilla extract; spread on the bottom of baked piecrust.
Beat pumpkin, cream cheese, 2 eggs, and remaining 3/4 cup brown sugar at medium speed with an electric mixer. Add flour, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, and nutmeg, beating until blended. Spoon pumpkin mixture over walnut mixture.
Bake at 425° for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350°, and bake 30 more minutes or until pie is set. Remove pie to a wire rack; cool. Arrange leaves on top of pie. Serve warm or chilled with whipped cream, if desired.
Southern Living NOVEMBER 2002
Roast Turkey With Sage and Thyme
Anytime Turkey Gravy
Pear Salad with Raspberry Cream
Sweet Potato Cups
Browned Butter Mashed Potatoes
Slow-Cooker Cornbread Dressing
Green Beans With Mushrooms and Bacon
Grandma Erma's Spirited Cranberry Sauce
Quick Yeast Rolls
Elegant Pumpkin-Walnut Layered Pie
Delicious, classic recipes are always in style for a Thanksgiving feast. Keep the preparation stress-free with a little advanced strategizing. Remember: a turkey can take several days to thaw, so check the package recommendations. Think about oven management. We have intentionally selected Slow-Cooker Cornbread Dressing to free the oven up for the turkey and rolls. Scan the recipes for steps and recipes that you can do ahead. Set the table several days ahead, and get the coolers out to hold additional ice. Bake the pies the day before. With a plan, you'll enjoy this day of giving thanks with ease. Serves 8 to 10.
By: Shirley Harrington, Senior Food Editor
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