November 13, 2013

My Thanksgiving Menu

Every Thanksgiving, I make the same menu with a few tweaks here and there. It's tradition after all. The only big change we've made these past couple of years is that we now buy our turkey from a local turkey farm instead of the grocery store. There's no telling what size we'll end up with since all of the turkeys are certified organicthat means no growth hormones and no picking the perfect size. I cooked a 30 pounder last year and luckily my roaster was able to handle it. I'm not much of a measurer. My grandmother and my mother both poured seasonings into their hands instead of measuring spoons and I do the same, so forgive my lack of detail.

I've included everything that gets set out on the big day. I hope you enjoy a few of these recipes.

Herb-Roasted Turkey

I first coat the turkey generously with olive oil and kosher salt. I use lots of sage and thyme tucked into the bird, placed under the skin, and sprinkled on top. Once this is done it goes into a 350 degree oven uncovered. Generally, you'll want to cook the turkey 20 minutes per pound, but my oven must be on steroids because it never takes that long. The 30 pounder I mentioned was done in 4 hours. Rely on a meat thermometer instead. (I use about 4-5 whole sage leaves inside the cavity and 3-4 under the skin. I also use 2-3 shredded or torn over the top. I sprinkle generous amounts of thyme on top as well. I use herbs from my garden that have been dried. the rule is to use more fresh herbs than dried.)

Pan Gravy

I don't over baste my turkey, but I do end up with a good amount of drippings regardless. While the turkey is cooking, I chop up some celery, carrots, and onions (I use 2 stalks of celery and 2 medium carrots roughly chopped. I use about a 1/2 pound of white boiling onions and 16 oz. of broth.) tossed into a pot of organic turkey broth. I have also used chicken broth in a pinch. I don't season anything until it all comes together. Once the turkey is done and resting, I then slowly add the broth to my drippings and put the pot on simmer while I add my spices. I use garlic powder and onion salt to taste. Once I'm happy with the amounts, I add a bit of watered down flour the consistency of pancake batter straight to the pan and stir vigorously so it doesn't clump. The grease from the drippings works in place of creating a roux.

Sage and Onion Stuffing

I first sauté finely chopped onions and a bit of celery in some olive oil then set them aside when they're done. I use dried white bread (about 1 loaf of French bread—any favorite will do), Bell's seasoning to taste—I use a lot, and more turkey broth to season and moisten the bread. I'll add small bits of torn sage as well but I don't overdo it because Bell's seasoning has a lot of sage in it. I add the sautéed vegetables to the bread and mix well. My stuffing goes straight into the turkey.

Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Maple Squash

Sorry, nothing terribly exciting here. I open up packages of frozen squash and add about 1-2 teaspoons of pure maple syrup to each.

Roasted Green Beans

Toss 1-1/2 pounds of trimmed green beans in 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and coat with about a teaspoon of kosher salt and a bit of freshly ground black pepper. Roast in a 425 degree oven for 12-15 minutes stirring once. You can add shallots, dried cranberries, or nuts to this recipe as well.

Boiled Onions (See above.)

Cranberry Sauce
Pumpkin Bread
Old-Fashioned Apple Pie
Spiced Nuts
Brown-n-serve Rolls



Wendy E Wrzos said...

Great post, Kim! Love the recipes - would it surprise you to know that I was going to write about my English take on a Thanksgiving dinner this week :-) Great minds...

Kimberly Merritt said...

I want to read it. I hope you still plan to write it. Thank you, Wendy.

Books and Manuals said...

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often..

rachelle madrigal

Kimberly Merritt said...

Welcome, Rachelle. Thank you for your kind words and please do come back and visit.

lee woo said...

I like your post a lot! You should write some more on this!Great job coming with such terrific post!


Kimberly Merritt said...

Thank you, lee woo. I'm due to write some more food posts. Glad you like the blog.

Cindy Dy said...

I have been researching every aspect of a possible career move. This post is very helpful and shows that you have a lot of knowledge on the topic. Do you have any others?


bewildered said...

Thank you for another wonderful write-up. i appreciate you writing this post and the rest of the website is extremely good.

sarah lee said...

I really enjoyed reading your article. I found this as an informative and interesting post, so i think it is very useful and knowledgeable. I would like to thank you for the effort you have made in writing this article.

andrea chiu said...

Good day. I was impressed with your article. Keep it up . You can also visit my site if you have time. Thank you and Bless you always.