It seems that November is suddenly over, so I thought I would at least wish everyone a very happy Thanksgiving and show you what I do every year for dinner. My family is coming up from Boise, so I'll be in the the kitchen cooking away, I can't wait! I do have several posts I need to get typed up, so December should be full of yummy new recipes. Now on for my family's traditional Thanksgiving dinner...
Making a turkey can seem very daunting, and I was horrified when I threw my first Thanksgiving for 12 people when I was 19 years old! All I can say is take a deep breath, read how EASY it is to cook the perfect turkey, then sit back, relax, and enjoy the delicious aroma that will put you into an immediate happy place.
I use the most magical cooking tool ever, the Reynolds Oven Bag! I don’t have time to baste the turkey every 15 minutes. I have cooked over 20 turkeys in Reynolds Bags and they have turned out perfect and juicy every single time.
The stuffing recipe is from my grandmother and I always serve my delicious mashed potatoes and a few other side dishes that guests bring. Enjoy!
Turkey and Stuffing
1 Large Turkey (I usually get a 20 pound turkey to serve 10-12 people with left over’s)
2 Yellow Onions, diced
2 Large Carrots, cleaned, peeled, and shredded
4 Stalks Celery, diced
1 Stick Butter, melted
2 Loaves White Bread, cut into ½ inch cubes
1 Box ‘Jiffy Mix’ Corn Bread, baked as a ‘Johnny Cake”, cut into ½ inch cubes
4 Extra Large Eggs, lightly whipped
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 Tablespoons Salt
1 Tablespoon Pepper
Turkey Seasoning, such as Herbs de Provence (optional)
Reynolds Turkey Sized Oven Bag
Make sure to unthaw your turkey, it takes about 5-6 DAYS to unthaw your 20 pound bird in the fridge, so plan ahead. Remove turkey from plastic and take out all innards inside the cavity and throw away. Clean bird thoroughly, especially the cavity of the turkey, and remove any feathers that might be hanging out under the wings or legs of the bird. Pat your turkey dry with paper towels, inside and out, set aside.
For the stuffing, sauté onions in a large sauté pan with 3 Tablespoons olive oil for about 3 minutes over medium high heat, then add celery and continue cooking until onions are transparent and celery is just slightly softened, about 4 more minutes, remove from heat.
In a very large bowl add the diced bread, cornbread, eggs and melted butter, stir until well combined (bread should stick together slightly. Next add onion/celery mixture and salt and pepper, mix thoroughly. Taste stuffing, it should be well flavored, add more salt if necessary.
Generously salt and pepper the inside of the turkey cavity and then place stuffing mixture into the cavity and under the backside of the bird, secure flap of skin with skewer or toothpicks. Now drizzle olive oil all over the turkey and rub in with your hands to ensure every part is covered. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. If desired sprinkle with a dried turkey herb mixture (such as herbs de Provence). Put turkey into bag, place on large cookie sheet or roasting pan and cook as directed on Reynolds bag package.
When turkey is done cooking, cut corner of bag open and pour juices from turkey into large saucepan, let turkey rest while you make the gravy. When gravy is complete, move turkey to serving platter and enjoy!
Drippings from Turkey
¼ Cup Flour
½ Cup Milk
Salt & Pepper
Take large saucepan with turkey juices and place over high heat, add 1-2 quarts of chicken stock to make the amount of gravy necessary for your party. To thicken gravy, mix flour and milk together with whisk until well combined, pour into stock, bring to a boil while continually whisking. Gravy will thicken once it has come to a boil. If gravy is not thick enough add more flour/milk mixture. When gravy reaches desired consistency, flavor with generous amounts of salt and pepper (don’t be shy here, or your gravy will be bland!)