Thursday, November 15, 2007

Gobble Gobble (some good stuff!)

I LOVE Thanksgiving. It is one of my favorite holidays. I love the foods, the smells, and everything behind the sentiment of being Thankful, because honestly, we have a LOT to be thankful for.

And along those lines of being thankful, I am ever so thankful for my family, and for the ability to feed them a wonderful Thanksgiving meal. Today, I'm joining in with Karla at Looking Towards Heaven, and many of you, to share my Thanksgiving menu, along with a few recipes and tips. Mind you, I do not always use "recipes" with exact measurements, so a few of my recipes are "a little of this, or a lot of that, or a pinch, or a handful" -- but I trust you will be able to pull it off without any problems! Make sure you check out all the people participating back at Karla's blog!!

Our Delicious Menu
The most tender, delicious marinated roasted turkey ever (yes, it requires more work, but it's so worth it!!!)
White wine Gravy
Cornbread Stuffing with sausage, dried cranberries, chopped apple and pecans
Sweet Potato Casserole
Mashed Parmesan Potatoes
Roasted Broccoli
dinner rolls (Bob Evans frozen ones - YUM)
cranberry sauce
Pumpkin pie
Apple pie
Pumpkin roll

We may add or change a few things here or there, but for the most part, this is our menu.

Roasted Turkey Marinade
Let me start by saying that while this recipe calls for a little more effort than dropping the bird in a bag, it is well worth it. I taught my mother-in-law, who used the bag method all her life, how to cook her turkey with this method, and now, she gets rave reviews from everyone when she serves it. Basting is key, but it's only once an hour, or once every half hour if you're inspired... but you can do it while you fellowship with your family or watch the games and parades all day long.

1 turkey
1/2 ruby red grapefruit
1/2 orange
1/2 lemon
garlic powder
Chicken or turkey stock (you can use the giblets, neck, etc. to make your own stock, or just use the boxed stock in the store)

The night before, place your turkey in the roasting pan, and rub the turkey with the grapefruit, orange and lemon juices by squeezing the juices over the bre@st of the turkey. This will make it ever so tender when you bake it the next day. Once you've squeezed all the juices out of the fruit, rub the fruit on the turkey. Pulp is a good thing.

Then, sprinkle the garlic powder and cumin and paprika all over the turkey. I usually coat it really well, then go over it and pat it down with my hands.

Cover the turkey with saran wrap, and refrigerate all night.

Roasting the Turkey
The following morning, preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and drain off the extra juices from the pan. Pour enough stock into the pan so that it comes up 1/4 way on the turkey. Cook the turkey in a 350 degree oven. Baste once every hour or half hour until the temperature of the turkey is 170 degrees. If the turkey begins to brown too much, just tent it with foil. If the liquid evaporates too quickly, just add more. Basting the turkey is essential!!! Once the turkey is done, take it out of the oven and allow it to rest on the stove top or counter for at least 20 minutes so that the juices go back into the meat, and don't run out when you carve it. Keep the turkey covered with foil until you slice it.

Easy carving tip: When you're ready to carve your turkey, cut out each side of the bre@st away from the bone. Place the entire breast on a cutting board, and slice it against the grain.

Easy Gravy
Pour your pan drippings into a sauce pan. Add 1/2 cup white cooking wine. Bring to a boil. Make a "slurry" of cornstarch and cold water (about 1/2 cup water to 6 tablespoons of cornstarch, possibly more, possibly less -- it should be the consistency of heavy cream). Whisk it into the saucepan a little at a time while boiling. Do not stop stirring, or you will have lumpy gravy. Continue adding the cornstarch slurry until you reach the desired thickness you want. Season it with salt as desired.

Cornbread Stuffing with cranberries, apple and pecans
This stuffing is such a nice balance of sweet and savory. You'll be surprised at how easy it is to make, and how delicious it is!

2 7 oz. packages Pepperidge Farm stuffing mix
1 medium sweet or mayan onion, finely chopped
3/4 c. finely chopped celery
3/4 cup finely chopped carrot
6-8 links raw breakfast sausage, chopped/diced
1 stick butter
1 and 1/2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon cumin
salt to taste
3/4 cup dried cranberries
1/2 can whole cranberry sauce
1-2 granny smith apple, peeled and chopped in small pieces
3/4 cup pecan pieces
3-4 cups (approx) chicken or turkey stock

In a large (family-sized pan) brown onion, carrot, celery, sausage, garlic and cumin in 1 stick butter. Add stuffing mix, dried cranberries, cranberry sauce, apples and pecans. Add 2 cups stock and stir. Taste for salt and add accordingly. Transfer stuffing to a large casserole dish sprayed with Pam. Pour 1 cup stock over. (Can make to here and refrigerate.)

Bake at 350 degrees covered with foil for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake 30 minutes more.

Roasted Broccoli
1 broccoli crown per 2 people
1/2 cup olive oil (more if you have more than 4 crowns)
6 cloves of crushed garlic
coarse sea salt

In a medium bowl, mix the olive oil with the crushed garlic and set aside. Cut off much of the stems and divide the crowns into chunks. Dip each chunk into the garlic and oil mixture, making sure that chunks of the garlic get onto each crown. Place the garlicky crown onto a cookie sheet lined with foil. When you've done this to all the broccoli, sprinkle it with coarse salt and place in a 350 degree oven for about 25 minutes. Check the broccoli by sliding a sharp knife into one of the spears. If it is tender, it is done. If not, continue to cook until knife tender. Do not be concerned if the broccoli starts to brown on top. That's what gives it a wonderful flavor, along with the toasted garlic and salt.

That's all the recipes and tips I have to share today. If you want to try any of these recipes, but have questions, feel free to ask away... just make sure I have your email to reply to (blogger people, see this). Also, let me know what you try, and how you liked it!


Susanne said...

Gibee, that turkey sounds wonderful! I might just give it a try for Christmas seeing our Thanksgiving is come and gone last month.

Amy W said...

Oh, my that marinade sounds incredibly yummy. We may have to try this at some point.
We roast our turkey on Thanksgiving day then on the day after- my hubby's parents come over and we fry a turkey . . . .
I'll be sharing this recipe with my Hubby.
Oh and I'll also tell him about adding the parmesan to the potatoes.

Mommy Cracked said...

Stuffing is my favorite part of Thanksgiving and your recipe sounds delicious. The turkey sounds wonderful, too.

jennwa said...

Everything sounds so good. I would love some turkey and stuffing right now. Yum.

Pam said...

I just might chuck my plans for Thanksgiving just to join y'all for that mouthwatering menu you shared. Yummy!!!

Enjoy . . . not that there's a chance you won't.

Jenn said...

The turkey marinade sounds great and the pictures made me hungry. I can not wait to be in charge of Thanksgiving to try this marinade. I must admit that if my parents do not smoke or fry the turkey - the turkey is pretty dry - needs lots of gravy! :o)

ValleyGirl said...

Mmmmmm, that sounds awesome!!!! So what time did you say we should be there again?! ;)

Hope you have a wonderful holiday, surrounded by family and friends!

Shalee said...

We're basters too. It really does add extra yummy goodness to the bird.

Oh my lands I'm looking forward to Thanksgiving even if it means that I know there will be entirely too much food on the table. We are blessed beyond belief indeed!

Queen of My Domain said...

Your roasted broccolit sounds wonderful. I will definetely have to make this sometime.

{Karla} said...

Gibee!!! This all sounds amazing!!!

I am determined to try doing my turkey like this - it sounds so good. And this stuffing recipe has some more yummies in it than mine, so I plan on adding those into mine as well.

Thank you for joining the fun!!


Jen said...

Your stuffing sounds divine. It all sounds so great...I visited your Homemade day and loved it all.

An Ordinary Mom said...

Pumpkin Pie *AND* Pumpkin Roll ... set an extra place for me!

Molly said...

mmmm......that sounds delicious.
I'm a horrible cook, but I will give it a try.

Becky said...

Your turkey sounds great! I'm going to give it a try!
Thanks for sharing.
Have a Happy Thanksgiving.

Gina said...

GinaI'm back again to grab the turkey marinade recipe!! I've been thinking about it since I read it and have decided to give it a try... I'll let you know how it turns out~ thanks for sharing it with us!