I hope you had a great Thanksgiving! Ours has been great this year, and I thought I’d share a few of the recipes we used. The first is a stuffing recipe that my brother-in-law found a few years ago, and it immediately became my favorite stuffing recipe because I love the sweet and savory effect that the cherries and maple syrup add to the sausage. I even love the sage in it, and I normally don’t like sage. We make it every Thanksgiving, now.
The second is a recipe that my sister got from a friend a few years ago, and I recently discovered it’s a Martha Stewart recipe. It’s a nice change from the usual sugary sweet potato recipes that you see at Thanksgiving (although I love those, too). I also included a few links to other great sweet potato recipes I’ve used.
And finally, the last is our turkey recipe. Or rather, Corwin’s mom’s turkey recipe. The first time we made a turkey, she gave us some great advice on how to make sure the turkey comes out wonderfully moist (key tips: cook the turkey breast in its own juices and cook it low and slow; it might be less pretty but it’s worth it). We’ve had some learning mishaps along the way (FYI if your pan just barely fits the turkey, you’ll almost definitely flood the oven with turkey juices halfway through cooking), but every year the turkey has tasted amazing. Yum!
Sausage Stuffing with Cherries
- I make this recipe almost exactly as written, but I like to add extra cherries and I’ll increase the chopped veggies if I end up having a little more than I need after chopping.
- You probably only need one onion for this recipe. I don’t chop onions very often (the onion tears get to me), so I bought two onions thinking they’d make about three cups when chopped. As it turned out, one large onion made four cups of chopped onions.
Herb-Roasted Sweet Potatoes
- If you make this recipe at the same time as the stuffing recipe above, cut the potatoes 1/2 inch thick and roast them at 350 degrees for the last 45 minutes that the stuffing is baking so that both dishes can come out warm together.
- We love to grill sweet potato medallions and dip them in sour cream to eat. If you get sick of this recipe before you finish your leftovers, consider a similar idea: dip your leftovers in sour cream as you’re eating them.
More Sweet Potato Recipes
If you’re looking for a different flavor for your sweet potatoes, give these other favorite recipes a try:
- Sweet Potato Casserole (an all-time favorite in our family)
- Vanilla Fig Balsamic Butternut Squash (also great with sweet potatoes)
- Rosemary Roasted Butternut Squash (also great with sweet potatoes)
Wonderfully Moist Turkey
- Cooking spray
- 2+ C Sauvignon blanc wine (replace with water and extra spices if you prefer not to cook with alcohol)
- A little bit of coarse ground pepper
- Large turkey roaster with a lid and rack that fits in it
- 2 pairs of latex gloves (the yellow kind with long wrists that you might use for dishwashing; 1 pair for handling the raw turkey and 1 pair for handling the hot cooked turkey)
- Coffee mug
- 2 casserole dishes
- Aluminum foil
- Buy the turkey at least a week before the meal.
- Put the frozen turkey into the fridge to thaw about a week before the meal.
- Spray the roaster and rack (Definitely include the rack if it will fit! It keeps the turkey from burning onto the bottom, but the breast still sits in the juice.) with cooking spray. This helps with cleaning up later.
- Take the turkey out of the plastic wrapper after it has thawed in the refrigerator. Do this in the sink to avoid juice dripping on your counters.
- Reach in both ends of the turkey to pull out the things that have been put there. Usually it’s a bag of giblets, etc. in one end and the neck in the other end. Pull out anything that’s loose. Latex gloves may help with this if it’s still really cold inside the turkey. Keep the neck and giblets if you’d like to use them to make your gravy.
- Put your turkey in the roaster. Make sure the breast side is down. This is key.
- Pour the wine over the turkey (a little over 2 C is great for a 20 lb turkey), then sprinkle the spices over it.
- If your lid fits, use it to cover the turkey. If it doesn’t, cover the turkey with foil.
- Put the turkey in the oven at 250 degrees and let it cook overnight for a large turkey or through the morning for a small turkey. When we’ve cooked a 20 lb turkey, we put it in around 11pm and it was ready around 7:30am. When we’ve cooked a 12 lb turkey, we put it in around 6am and it was ready around noon. If you put the turkey in at 6am, you can complete steps 1-8 the night before if your pan with the turkey in it fits in your refrigerator (cover it with foil to seal in moisture if it won’t fit with the lid on). If you prep the night before, put the pan in the oven without preheating first, as a cold pan can crack if the oven is already hot.
- Take the turkey out of the oven and let it sit with the cover on for about 15-20 minutes to allow the juices to set in the meat.
- To make deboning the turkey easier, use a coffee mug to scoop the turkey juice into a separate dish and set it aside to use for the gravy. To remove excess fat, pour the juice through a metal strainer. If there isn’t enough space in the pan to scoop the juice out, start deboning until there is enough space.
- Debone the turkey using your hands in gloves to help with the heat (if you don’t have gloves, use a utensil like tongs or a long fork to help with the hot parts). Put the meat into two casserole dishes, pour some of the turkey juice over it to keep it moist, and cover the dishes with foil as soon as you’re done.
- If you’re baking other dishes after you finish your turkey, put it back in the oven for 15-20 minutes at 350-400 degrees to reheat it right before serving.