I am very traditional when it comes to my Thanksgiving menu. Apparently I've trained my children to be also, because if I even mention the thought of changing up the menu, I get a reaction. So, we are all happy to have it stay very basic every year, with an extra side dish or dessert thrown in here and there. What is the menu? Well, since you asked...
Turkey (recipe follows)
Garlic Mashed Potatoes & Gravy
Rolls & Butter
(I no longer bother making the Green Salad since nobody seems to want it on Thanksgiving)
Pumpkin Pie with Whipped Cream
Mmmmmm. That made my mouth water, just writing out the menu. This is definitely one of my favorite meals of the year. Comfort food at it's finest.
If you've never made a turkey before, here's how I do it. It's really easy and I always get rave reviews.
First I gather the following ingredients:
- A bunch of celery
- A whole yellow onion (I like the sweet ones)
- A head of garlic
- Several sprigs of rosemary
- Several stems of thyme
- Several stems of sage leaves
- 2 cubes of butter
- Salt and Pepper (I use kosher salt)
Next, I chop up the celery and onion, peel the garlic cloves, cut 1 1/2 sticks of the butter into pieces, and break herbs into smaller pieces and toss it all into a mixing bowl with salt and pepper.
When that's all ready, I set it aside while I rinse the turkey in cold water and pat it dry. I put some of the mixture into the neck cavity of the turkey and secure the flap of neck skin with toothpicks.
I flip the bird over and use the rest of the mixture to stuff the inside. (Note: I usually roast a turkey that's somewhere around 25 pounds so it all fits. If you prepare a smaller turkey, just place any extra mixture around it in the pan.) Then I take the remaining 1/2 stick of butter, cut it into slices and tuck it under the skin. Next, I rub the turkey down with olive oil (you can also use vegetable oil), sprinkle with salt and pepper. This is what it looks like right before I put it into the oven:
I cover it with aluminum foil before putting in oven and remove the foil for about the last hour or so of cooking to brown the turkey.
Side Note: After preparing poultry, I spray down my counters, and sink with a bleach cleaner to make sure and kill any bacteria before I prepare any other food.
After roasting for about 5 1/4 hours at 325 degrees, and the turkey has reached 165 degrees internally, it comes out looking like this:
What are the traditions and recipes that are your family favorites? If you'd like to share, please leave us a comment.