It’s that time of year again, when family and friends all start planning their special Thanksgiving Day feast menu! This season we want to help you get the best meal with the best bang for your buck. Here is a full Thanksgiving menu filled with great recipes that will not break your bank. You’ll certainly be thankful after this meal! *
Simple Roast Turkey with Rich Turkey Gravy
This is the ultimate turkey lover’s turkey—no bells and whistles, just a succulent bird with crispy skin and plenty of delicious gravy. It’s also great for first-timers, since there’s no fussing with brines or glazes and no stuffing the cavity. Plus, it’s done in under 4 hours.
Yield Serves 12 (with leftovers)-Active Time 30 min -Total Time 3 ¾ hrs
- 1 (16-lb) turkey at room temperature 1 hour; any feathers and quills removed with tweezers or needle-nose pliers; and neck and giblets removed and reserved for another use if desired
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 3/4 teaspoons black pepper
- 2 cups water
- 7 to 8 cups turkey stock
- 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
Special equipment: 2 small metal skewers; kitchen string; a 17- by 14-inch flameproof roasting pan with a flat rack; an instant-read thermometer; a 2-qt glass measuring cup
- Put oven rack in lowest position and preheat oven to 450°F. Rinse turkey inside and out, then pat dry. Sprinkle turkey cavities and skin with salt and pepper. Fold neck skin under body and secure with metal skewers, then tie drumsticks together with kitchen string and tuck wings under body.
- Put turkey on rack in roasting pan. Add 1 cup water to pan and roast without basting, rotating pan halfway through roasting, until thermometer inserted into fleshy part of thighs (test both thighs; do not touch bones) registers 170°F, 2 ¼ to 2 ¾ hours.
- Carefully tilt turkey so any juices from inside large cavity run into roasting pan, then transfer turkey to a platter, reserving juices in roasting pan. Let turkey stand, uncovered, 30 minutes (temperature of thigh meat will rise to 180°F).
Make gravy while turkey stands:
- Pour pan juices through a fine-mesh sieve into measuring cup (do not clean roasting pan), then skim off and discard fat. (If using a fat separator, pour pan juices through sieve into separator and let stand until fat rises to top, 1 to 2 minutes. Carefully pour pan juices from separator into measure, discarding fat.)
- Straddle roasting pan across 2 burners, then add remaining cup water and deglaze roasting pan by boiling over high heat, stirring and scraping up brown bits, 1 minute. Pour through sieve into measuring cup containing pan juices. Add enough turkey stock to pan juices to bring total to 8 cups (if stock is congealed, heat to liquefy).
Melt butter in a 4-quart heavy pot and stir in flour. Cook roux over
moderate heat, whisking, 5 minutes. Add stock mixture in a stream, whisking constantly to prevent lumps, then bring to a boil, whisking occasionally. Stir in any turkey juices accumulated on platter and simmer 5 minutes. Season gravy with salt and pepper, then stir in cider vinegar (to taste).
Farmhouse Herbed Stuffing
The beauty of this American classic is its adaptability, as it can be endlessly enhanced. If you wish, use one of the variations below or experiment to create your own specialty. This recipe makes enough stuffing for the Classic (stuffed) Roast Turkey; serves eight people when baked as a side dish. If you’re making a larger turkey, you’ll want to scale up this recipe accordingly.
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
- 2 medium onions, cut into ¼-inch dice (about 3 cups)
- 6 stalks celery with leaves, cut into ¼-inch dice (about 2 ½ cups)
- 1 (14-ounce) package seasoned bread stuffing cubes
- 1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 teaspoon celery salt
- 1 teaspoon dried sage, crumbled
- 1 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme, crumbled
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 ¼ cups hot homemade turkey stock or canned turkey stock, plus ½ cup more if baking all of stuffing outside of turkey
- In 12-inch, heavy skillet over moderate heat, heat butter until hot but not smoking. Stir in onion and celery, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, 15 to 20 minutes. (Vegetables can be prepared up to 1 day ahead and refrigerated. Reheat before continuing: In 12-inch, heavy skillet over moderately high heat, sauté, stirring often, until heated through, about 5 minutes.)
- Transfer to large bowl and add stuffing cubes, parsley, celery salt, sage, rosemary, thyme, salt, and pepper. Stir in 1 1/4 cups hot stock.
- If stuffing interior of turkey: Use immediately to fill cavities and spread remainder in baking dish as directed in recipe.
If baking entire recipe as side dish: Preheat oven to 350°F and butter
3-quart casserole or 9- by 13-inch baking dish. Transfer stuffing to dish and drizzle with ½ cup hot stock. Cover with aluminum foil and bake until heated through, about 30 minutes. Uncover and bake until top is slightly crisp and golden, about 10 minutes longer. Serve immediately.
Brown Butter and Scallion Mashed Potatoes
It’s hard to improve upon the honest goodness of mashed potatoes, but here scallions and brown butter do the trick. The scallions provide sweetness, and the brown butter adds a beguiling nuttiness.
- 5 lb yellow-fleshed potatoes such as Yukon Gold, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 cup whole milk
- ½ cup sour cream
- 1 ½ sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter
- 2 bunches scallions, cut crosswise into ½-inch pieces
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
Special equipment: a potato masher or a food mill fitted with medium disk
- Cover potatoes with cold water by 2 inches in a 5- to 6-quart heavy pot and add 1 ½ teaspoons salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until potatoes are tender, 10 to 15 minutes.
- Drain potatoes in a colander, then return to pot and cook over moderate heat, shaking pot occasionally, until dry, 1 to 2 minutes. Mash hot potatoes with masher or force through food mill into another pot, then cover to keep warm.
- Bring milk with remaining 1 ½ teaspoons salt just to a boil in a 1-quart saucepan, then remove from heat and stir into potatoes until combined. Stir in sour cream, then cover and keep warm.
Cook butter in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat, stirring frequently and scraping up brown bits, until foam subsides and butter is golden brown, about 8 minutes. Add scallions and pepper and cook, stirring, until slightly softened, about 2 minutes. Fold butter mixture into mashed potatoes and season with salt.
Green Beans with Caramelized Shallots
- 2 pounds slender green beans, trimmed
- 1 pound medium shallots
- 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
- Cook string beans in boiling salted water until tender, about 4 minutes (or 6 minutes if using green beans). Drain. Transfer to bowl of ice water to cool. Drain well. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 day ahead. Wrap in several layers of paper towels. Seal in plastic bag and chill.
- Cut off and discard ends from shallots. Cut shallots lengthwise in half, then remove peel with paring knife. Melt butter with oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add shallots and sauté 1 minute. Reduce heat to medium-low; sauté until shallots are browned and tender, about 20 minutes. Sprinkle with thyme. Season to taste with salt and pepper. DO AHEAD Can be made 2 hours ahead. Cover loosely with foil and let stand at room temperature.
- Add green beans to shallots in skillet and stir over medium-high heat until heated through, about 6 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to bowl and serve.
- Pastry dough
- 15-oz can canned solid-pack pumpkin (about 2 cups)
- 1 cup heavy cream
- ½ cup whole milk
- 2 large eggs
- ¾ cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- Pinch of ground cloves
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Special equipment: pie weights or raw rice
Accompaniment: lightly whipped cream
- Make pastry dough as directed. Roll out dough into a 14-inch round on a lightly floured surface and fit into a 9-inch glass pie plate (4-cup capacity). Crimp edge decoratively and prick bottom all over. Chill 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 375°°F.
- Line shell with foil and fill with pie weights. Bake in middle of oven 20 minutes. Remove weights and foil and bake shell until pale golden, 6 to 10 minutes more. Cool in pan on a rack. Whisk together pumpkin, cream, milk, eggs, brown sugar, spices, and salt, then pour into shell.
Bake pie in middle of oven 45 to 50 minutes, or until filling is set but center still trembles slightly. (Filling will continue to set as pie cools.) Transfer to rack and cool completely.
*Portions of article & recipes reprinted from: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/menu/views/thanksgiving-on-a-dime