Thanksgiving is just one week away! The following recipes appear in my last book, Moms at Home: Holiday Traditions which is available on Amazon in print here and can be downloaded electronically at a huge discount here.
Easy Thanksgiving Recipes
In years past, I’ve traditionally spent Thanksgiving with my Mother’s side of the family, first at my Grandmother’s for many years, and now, I cook Thanksgiving Dinner for my family, my parents, my Grandmother and Aunt and Uncle.
I’ve primarily kept true to my Grandmother’s recipes while adding to or modifying them in some way. I continue to cook the same meat stuffing my Gram has always made but now also include a Cranberry Sausage and Apple Stuffing that even my Gram approves of.
I also reinvented the wheel a bit with my Turkey recipe, taking advantage of local Maple Syrup to infuse it with flavor. Even my Mother will admit, my turkey is always moist and delicious!
Mouth-Watering Maple Glazed Turkey
Do your chopping and make the maple butter the night before to save time the next morning!
30 Mins Prep
|1/3||Cup||Real Maple Syrup|
|2||Tbs||Fresh Thyme, Chopped|
|2||Tbs||Fresh Marjoram, Chopped|
|2.5||Tsp||Lemon Zest, Grated|
|14||Lbs||Whole Turkey, Innards Removed|
|2||Cups||Chicken Stock (Optional)|
|Salt & Pepper To Taste, Paprika for Color if Desired.|
Preheat oven to 375 Degrees. Mix the apple cider and real maple syrup in a heavy sauce pot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Let cook until it reduces to about ½ a cup or for approximately 20 minutes. Remove from heat. Add half of the thyme and marjoram, all of the lemon zest and the butter. Salt and pepper to taste. Whisk while the butter melts. Refrigerate until butter solidifies.
Wash turkey and pat dry. Put in a large roasting pan. Loosen the skin of the turkey breast and rub ½ cup of the maple butter mixture under the skin directly on the breast (make sure you don’t remove the skin). Stuff the turkey if you are planning to do so. Rub the remaining maple butter over the outside of the turkey. Don’t forget the legs and underneath. Tie legs together with kitchen string. Add 2 cups of chicken stock to the bottom of the pan (Optional).
Place turkey in the preheated oven and roast for about half an hour. Turn the oven down to 350 Degrees and cover loosely with foil. Roast for an additional 3 to 4 hours unstuffed or 4-5 hours stuffed or until the internal temperature of the thickest part of the thigh reaches 180 degrees. Let turkey rest for 25 minutes before carving.
Alternative Turkey Directions!
Classic Cranberry Sauce
Strain with cheesecloth if you prefer to have a more “jellied” cranberry sauce.
|1||12oz||Bag of Cranberries (Fresh)||
Mix all ingredients and bring to a boil. Continue to cook on medium-high for about 15 minutes. Stir often. Most of the liquid will reduce and the cranberries will pop. Refrigerate until cold. The sauce will last for nearly a week in the refrigerator.
Delish Cranberry, Sausage & Apple Stuffing
I found this recipe by accident and had to give it a try. I’ve never looked back! The cranberries and apples are refreshing and compliment turkey very nicely.
Makes 20 Servings.
|1||Lb||Sweet Italian Sausage w/o Casings|
|3||Cups||Onions, Coarsely Chopped|
|3||Med||Tart Apples, Peeled & Chopped|
|2||Tsp||Dried Rosemary, Crushed|
|12||Cups||Bread Cubes, Baked til Dry|
|1 1/3||Cups||Chicken Stock|
Salt and Pepper to Taste.
Crumble and fry sausage in a skillet over medium heat for 10 minutes. Drain. Place in a large bowl. In the same skillet, without washing, melt butter. Add onions, apples, celery and poultry seasoning. Cook until softened, about 10 minutes. Add rosemary, cranberries and sausage. Mix in dried bread cubes. Add the chicken stock.
To save time, you can omit the poultry seasoning and bread cubes and use 12 cups of Bell’s Stuffing Mix in its place.
Cook in Crockpot while turkey roasts and moisten occasionally with turkey drippings or use to stuff the turkey. You can also bake in muffin tins for individual portions for about 20 minutes.
Traditional Meat Stuffing
I suppose the way to get me to write this down and keep the recipe is to write a cookbook. I have called my Gram every year for the last 15 years asking for this recipe.
Makes 20 Servings. Great in the Crock Pot.
|3-6||Cups||Turkey Broth or Drippings|
|Salt & Pepper To Taste|
Cook pork, onions and celery in a large skillet. Drain and remove to crock pot. Add stuffing mix and enough broth to moisten the stuffing mix. Cook on low while the turkey is roasting. Add turkey drippings each time you baste your turkey or every hour and then every half an hour depending on how often you baste your turkey. If you don’t have enough drippings, you can add turkey broth or even water to keep the stuffing from drying out.
Great Giblet Gravy
This gravy is amazing, although you may not be thrilled with how it starts.
|1||Pkg||Turkey Giblets (neck, liver heart, gizzard)||
I simmer this all day while my turkey is roasting.
|Salt & Pepper to Taste.|
Remove giblets from turkey. Place in a heavy saucepan. Add turkey broth. Bring to a boil. Turn down to low and simmer while your turkey cooks. Add turkey drippings from the roasting turkey occasionally.
Just before you are ready to serve, remove the giblets from the pot. Mix the flour and water together well, making sure that you break up any clumps with a whisk. Slowly add the flour and water mixture to the broth, whisking constantly. Continue to whisk over medium heat until gravy thickens. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Must-Make Mashed Potatoes
Although my Dad is the potato King, I sometimes mix up these extra rich and creamy mashed potatoes for Turkey Day.
|10||Lbs||Red Potatoes, Peeled & Quartered||
Makes 20 Servings. You can use milk to cut out calories but you will loose some creaminess.
|3||Tsp||Garlic Powder, Optional|
|Salt & Pepper to Taste.|
Cover potatoes with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-high and continue boiling for about 20 minutes. The potatoes are done when you can easily stab them with a fork. Drain.
Return to pot or place in a serving bowl. Mash lightly with a potato masher. Add butter, cream, garlic and salt and pepper. Now, beat with an electric mixer until well blended and fluffy. This really ensures a creamy, smooth mashed potato that you won’t soon forget!!
Simply Sweet Potatoes
Only about half of my family gathering digs into the sweet potatoes, but, for those of us that do, it’s usually more than once!
|4||Cups||Sweet Potato, Peeled & Cubed||
Makes one 9×13 Casserole. Plenty for up to 20 guests!
Preheat oven to 350 Degrees.
Place sweet potatoes in a large part. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until potatoes are tender or for about 20 minutes. Drain.
In a large bowl, mash the cooked potatoes with the white sugar, milk, eggs, salt, vanilla and cinnamon. Pour evenly into a greased 13×9 baking dish.
In a separate bowl, mix brown sugar, pecans, and flour. Pour melted butter over the pecan mixture; mix until coarse crumbs form. Sprinkle over sweet potato mixture.
Bake for about one hour or until the Pecan topping hardens.
Crazy Carrots & Turnip
In full disclosure, I have to admit that I’m no fan of this side. But, everyone else in my family, including my kids, loves it!
|2||Lbs||Carrots, Washed, Peeled and Diced||
|2||Lbs||Turnips, Washed, Peeled and Diced|
|Salt & Pepper to Taste.|
The carrots and turnip pieces should be close in size so that they quick at the same pace. Place in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil then turn the heat down and summer for 10 to 20 minutes or until tender. Drain well. Put the vegetables into a large bowl. Mash with a potato masher. Add milk, butter, salt and pepper. Mix well. For smoother carrots and turnip, beat on medium speed with a hand mixer until fluffy.
Note: For an alternative Carrot Recipe, see Maple Glazed Carrots here.
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