Thanksgiving is a national holiday celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November. It is now a day when Americans give thanks for everything in their lives, eat a huge meal surrounded by family and friends, and watch some football.
These are some holiday foods that would make a perfect addition to your dinner table this Thanksgiving:
Ingredients: 12-ounce cranberries, 1 cup of sugar, 1 strip orange or lemon zest, 2 tablespoons of water
Empty a 12-ounce bag of fresh or frozen cranberries into a saucepan and transfer 1/2 cup to a small bowl. Add 1 cup sugar, 1 strip orange or lemon zest and 2 tablespoons water to the pan and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves and the cranberries are soft, about 10 minutes. Increase the heat to medium and cook until the cranberries burst, about 12 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and stir in the reserved cranberries. Add sugar, salt and pepper to taste and cool to room temperature before serving.
Ingredients: 4 pounds golden, peeled and cut potatoes, 1 bay leaf, salt and pepper, 2 cups of heavy cream, 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, 2 tablespoons chopped chives
Put the potatoes into a large pot, add the bay leaf, 2 tablespoons salt, and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook until the potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes. Drain them well and remove the bay leaf. Meanwhile, heat the cream and butter in a small saucepan. Put the potatoes through a ricer or food mill into a bowl. Add the hot cream and season with salt and pepper. Mix together with a spoon and add the chives.
Ingredients: 2 hot Italian sausages, 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 1 cup chopped carrot, 1 cup chopped celery, 1 cup chopped onion, salt, black pepper, ½ bunch fresh sage, leaves chopped, 4 large chorn muffins, 3 large eggs, ½ cup, chicken stock, plus more if needed, nonstick spray
Heat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Remove the casings from the sausages. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat and add the sausage meat. Cook, breaking up the meat into small pieces, until browned and cooked through, about 5 minutes. Drain on a paper towel lined plate and set aside to cool while you cook the vegetables. Wipe out any excess fat from the pan with paper towels.
Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in the same skillet over medium-high heat. Add the carrots, celery, and onion. Season with salt and pepper and add the sage. Cook until the vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes. Set aside to cool a bit.
Crumble the corn muffins into a large bowl. Put in the cooled sausage and vegetables. Add the eggs and 1/4 cup chicken stock. Using your hands, mix well adding more stock if the stuffing is too dry. Spray a 2-quart oven-proof baking dish with cooking spray. Put the stuffing into the dish and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until the top is browned and crispy.
Sweet Potato Casserole
Ingredients: 2 ½ pounds sweet potatoes, 1 orange, zested and juiced, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1 tablespoon honey, ½ cup milk, ½ cup diced dried apricots. Topping: ½ cup oatmeal, ¼ cup firmly packed brown sugar, 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 2 tablespoons butter, cut into pea-sized pieces, ½ cup chopped walnuts
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Put the sweet potatoes on a sheet tray and roast for 35 to 40 minutes. The sweet potatoes might still be a little hard in the center- no problem!
While the sweet potatoes are baking make the topping. In a food processor, combine the oatmeal, brown sugar, olive oil, butter, and walnuts and pulse until mixture comes together.
When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, peel them and cut them into 1-inch chunks. Discard the skins. Put the potatoes into a large dish and add the remaining ingredients. Mash together with a potato masher until well combined.
Transfer the mixture to a 2-quart casserole dish. Crumble the topping mixture over the potatoes. Bake until the mixture hot all the way through and the topping is brown and crispy, about 30 minutes.
Green Bean Casserole
Ingredients: topping, 2 medium onions, thinly sliced, ¼ cup all purpose flour, 2 tablespoons panko breadcrumbs, 1 teaspoon salt. Beans and salt: 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon salt, divided, 1 pound fresh green beans, 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, 12 oz mushrooms, ½ teaspoon black pepper, 2 cloves garlic minced, ¼ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg, 2 tablespoons all purpose flour, 1 cup chicken broth, 1 cup half-and-half
Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F.
Combine the onions, flour, panko and salt in a large mixing bowl and toss to combine. Coat a sheet pan with nonstick cooking spray and evenly spread the onions on the pan. Place the pan on the middle rack of the oven and bake until golden brown, approximately 30 minutes. Toss the onions 2 to 3 times during cooking. Once done, remove from the oven and set aside until ready to use. Turn the oven down to 400 degrees F.
While the onions are cooking, prepare the beans. Bring a gallon of water and 2 tablespoons of salt to a boil in an 8-quart saucepan. Add the beans and blanch for 5 minutes. Drain in a colander and immediately plunge the beans into a large bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Drain and set aside.
Melt the butter in a 12-inch cast iron skillet set over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms, 1 teaspoon salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms begin to give up some of their liquid, approximately 4 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and nutmeg and continue to cook for another 1 to 2 minutes. Sprinkle the flour over the mixture and stir to combine. Cook for 1 minute. Add the broth and simmer for 1 minute. Decrease the heat to medium-low and add the half-and-half. Cook until the mixture thickens, stirring occasionally, approximately 6 to 8 minutes.
Remove from the heat and stir in 1/4 of the onions and all of the green beans. Top with the remaining onions. Place into the oven and bake until bubbly, approximately 15 minutes. Remove and serve immediately.
1. Thawing a frozen turkey requires patience. The safest method is to thaw turkey in the refrigerator. Be sure to plan ahead — it takes approximately 4-5 days for a 20-pound turkey to fully defrost.
2. For crisper skin, unwrap the turkey the day before roasting and leave it uncovered in the refrigerator overnight.
3. Cooking times will differ depending on whether your bird was purchased fresh or frozen. Plan on 20 minutes per pound in a 350 degree F oven for a defrosted turkey and 10 to 15 minutes per pound for fresh.
4. A turkey will cook more evenly if it is not densely stuffed. Consider adding flavor by loosely filling the cavity with aromatic vegetables — carrots, celery, onion or garlic work nicely — or by carefully tucking fresh herbs underneath the breast skin. For the stuffing lovers, cook the dressing in a casserole dish on the side.
5. Before roasting, coat the outside of the turkey with vegetable or olive oil, season with salt and pepper and tightly cover the breast with aluminum foil to prevent over-browning (it will be removed in step 7).
6. Once you get the turkey in the oven, resist the temptation to open the oven door and admire your handiwork. When the oven temperature fluctuates, you're only increasing the likelihood of a dry bird. About 45 minutes before you think the turkey is done, remove the foil from the breast to allow it to brown.
7. Remove the turkey from the oven and use an instant-read thermometer to determine temperature; it should read 165 degrees F at the thigh when it's done. If you stuff your turkey, check the internal temperature of the stuffing as well; it should be at least 165 degrees.
8. Tent the bird with foil and let rest for about 25 minutes before carving. If you need more time to make gravy, heat up side dishes, etc., you can let the turkey set for up to an hour without losing too much heat.
9. Remember to carve your turkey with a very sharp or electric knife.
10. Before you get started with the cooking, browse our best turkey recipes to find the perfect bird for your Thanksgiving feast.