*Insert pun about cracking open thanksgiving
So last year I cooked a thanksgiving dinner for 25 people. And did a trial run of the meal with a group of maybe 11. But for some reason, didn’t post any of it. But as people are starting to think about cooking this year, I thought I’d throw in my 2 cents and supply readers with some links to recipes I used for my menu.
Snacko Backo Shredded Brussels Sprouts Salad. A hit for any t-day or potluck. Always great to have something green, fresh and crunchy in the meal. New thing: now using a slicing disk attachment on the food processor, makes shredding those puppies way faster.
Turkey! Did two eleven-pounders for 25 people. Spatchcocked the bird. Dry brined following Serious Eats recipe. On my test run I took out the spine myself with a pair of poultry sheers (above pic), but way easier, as I learned to just ask your butcher to butterfly it. Serious Eats has a very long explanation of why this method is the best and how to do it. Basically, it only takes 1.5 hours to cook your bird and comes out fall of the bone tender. I really believe too, that carving the bird right is what makes for great presentation. If you are not sure about how to do this, serious eats also has a video (scroll down to bottom of that link) for your spatchcocked bird. They also have how-to carve a regular turkey. Knowing how to carve a turkey is an amazing skill because it directly translates on how to butcher/carve any chicken/bird.
Gravy. Serious Eats. I chose this recipe because can make it ahead and don’t have to wait until post-turkey to assemble. Plus it’s very tasty. And I am not even a huge gravy person. The secret to this recipe is soy sauce and a dash of maramite to give it that umami, or so they say. They also have recipes on there for the post-turkey kind.
Stuffing. Again did Serious Eats. Liked, but didn’t love the breakfast sausage in it. Next time would do sweet italian or another, more mild flavored one.
Mom’s Cranberry Chutney. Always and forever.
Sweet Potatoes. Last year did mashed with a homemade brown butter fluff- a Food 52 recipe. So good, will make again this year.
Now, I didn’t make this last year. But growing up my mother always made, what we lovingly referred to as Broccoli Mush. I can’t believe this recipe is on Serious Eats, but here ya go. It’s a Silver Palate recipe, actually called Pureed Broccoli with Creme Fraiche. Last time I made this, I really fucked it up. As I recall, 2 bunches of brocc was no where near the five pounds the recipe suggests. I used more bunches to get to five pounds and ended up with an absolutely absurd amount of broccoli. Next time I make, I will report back on proper quantities. But I’d suggest sticking with the 2 bunches and disregarding the 5 pound idea. I’m not sure Broccoli Mush is an impress-your-guests type of dish but had to include for its taste-like-home factor.
Apple Crisp. Another family tradition. No holiday meal is complete without it.