My first time…cooking an entire Thanksgiving meal
Hands down, my favorite holiday is Thanksgiving. There is something about going home, and surrounding yourself with family and friends. Unfortunately I was unable to go home due to work but I promised myself that I would not miss out on a wonderful Thanksgiving meal!
I am terrible at timing but did my best to plan out how everything would be done at just the same time. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees and begin by combining the following dry ingredients for the turkey in a medium-sized mixing bowl:
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 2 teaspoons seasoned salt (I used Lowry’s)
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon ground red pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
Next, clean the turkey by removing the neck from the body cavity and the giblets from the neck cavity. Rinse the turkey and pat dry, making sure that the cavity has no remaining liquid.
Gently slide your fingers between the bird’s skin and body– evenly spread 1/3 of the spices under the skin
Then rub the outside of the bird with 2 tablespoons softened butter, and apply the remaining spices to the skin of the turkey
Insert a meat thermometer into the meatiest part of the thigh and create a foil tent to cover your turkey and help it retain the most moisture possible. The turkey will be done when the meat thermometer registers 180 degrees internal temperature– which is about 3 to 3.5 hours. In the meantime you can work away at your side dishes.
Next up, I cleaned about 3 pounds of russet potatoes
Peel potatoes to prepare for the mashin’
Quarter the large potatoes and halve the smaller ones. Place a large pot on the stove with potatoes and water. Bring to a boil and let them cook for about 15 minutes. You will know the potatoes are ready if when stabbed with a fork they slide right off!
Once the potatoes are ready, drain the water from the pot and combine the following ingredients with the potatoes
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1/4 cup sour cream (at room temperature)
- 1/4 cup french onion sour cream (at room temperature)
- 2 tablespoons half and half (at room temperature)
- 2 tablespoons finely minced fresh garlic
Don’t forget to mash everything together, add salt and pepper to taste
Next up, time for the stuffing. Although I don’t actually stuff my turkey, I do like to have stuffing on the side and I opted to take a shortcut on this step. I purchased Trader Joe’s Cornbread Stuffing. You simply added butter, water and seasoning packets to a pot. Bring to a boil
Once boiling, add cornbread cubes, stir gently to absorb all of the seasoning. Remove from heat and cover for 10 minutes or until ready to serve
Remove the turkey tent for the last hour of cooking, closely watching the internal temperature. When the turkey is done, remove from the oven, and let sit for 15 to 20 minutes before carving.
Dish up some….
Load up your plate and enjoy!!
While this was a very large meal to prepare, all went well, and everything delicious. I really surprised myself with the meal but now know I can tackle timing, improvisation, and roll with the punches in the kitchen!!!
Hope that you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving and were able to take a moment to reflect on all the blessings in our lives!!