As we enter this week of Thanksgiving, preparations are already underway to cook and feed family and friends all over the country. The Thanksgiving meal is the one we seem to care about the most. With so much happening, why not let us help you. Here are the dishes and ingredients we consider to be “The Perfect Thanksgiving Meal”.
Print this off, take your list to the store, and you’ll be well on your way to enjoying a delicious Thanksgiving dinner.
1 (18 pound) whole turkey, neck and giblets removed
2 cups kosher salt
1/2 cup butter, melted
2 large onions, peeled and chopped
4 carrots, peeled and chopped
4 stalks celery, chopped
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
1 cup dry white wine
Rub the turkey inside and out with the kosher salt. Place the bird in a large stock pot, and cover with cold water. Place in the refrigerator, and allow the turkey to soak in the salt and water mixture 12 hours, or overnight.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Thoroughly rinse the turkey, and discard the brine mixture.
Brush the turkey with 1/2 the melted butter. Place breast side down on a roasting rack in a shallow roasting pan. Stuff the turkey cavity with 1 onion, 1/2 the carrots, 1/2 the celery, 1 sprig of thyme, and the bay leaf. Scatter the remaining vegetables and thyme around the bottom of the roasting pan, and cover with the white wine.
Roast uncovered 3 1/2 to 4 hours in the preheated oven, until the internal temperature of the thigh reaches 180 degrees F (85 degrees C). Carefully turn the turkey breast side up about 2/3 through the roasting time, and brush with the remaining butter. Allow the bird to stand about 30 minutes before carving.
3/4 pounds bacon, cut into chunks
2 large onions, chopped
4 ribs celery, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
2 cups chopped pecans
2 (16-ounce) bags dried corn bread stuffing mix
4 cups chicken broth
1/2 stick butter
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Cook bacon in a heavy skillet until crisp. Turn heat down and add onions and celery; saute until tender, about 6 minutes. Add the thyme and sage and saute until fragrant. Stir in pecans.
In a large bowl, add the cornbread mix, bacon and vegetables, and stir in the chicken broth. Add to a 13 by 9 by 2-inch casserole dish. Add butter slices to the top of the casserole and cover with foil. Bake for 30 minutes then remove foil and cook until top is crisp, about 15 more minutes.
2 ½ pounds potatoes (about 6 large potatoes), preferably a combination of russet (baking) potatoes and large Yukon Golds, or all Yukon Golds
4 tablespoons butter, more for dotting
⅓ cup whole milk
In a large pot, bring a gallon of water and 2 tablespoons salt to a boil over high heat. Peel and quarter potatoes and keep in cold water until ready to cook. (This can be done up to 4 hours in advance.) Add potatoes to boiling water and boil about 15 to 20 minutes, until soft; a knife should go in with almost no resistance. (It is better to overcook than to undercook.)
In a saucepan or a microwave oven, heat butter and milk together until butter melts and mixture steams. Drain potatoes well and return to pot. Using an extruding masher or a ricer, mash hot potatoes until smooth. Lightly mix in about half of hot butter mixture, just until blended. Taste for salt and add more butter mixture until seasoned to your liking.
Stop here for fluffy potatoes. For creamy potatoes, keep stirring potato mixture, using a sturdy spoon to press it against sides and bottom of pot. Mix until dense and thick. For whipped potatoes, use a stand mixer to mash hot potatoes just until smooth, about 30 seconds. Add all the butter mixture and salt to taste, pulsing machine in short bursts at medium speed. When light and creamy, stop mixing immediately. (Potatoes can quickly become sticky.)
To keep hot until ready to serve, transfer to serving bowl, dot top with butter, cover tightly and keep in a warm place, like the back of the stove. Potatoes will stay hot for at least 30 minutes. To keep longer, place covered bowl in a pan holding about an inch of gently simmering water. Before serving, mix well.
Serves: Makes 15 (1/4-cup) servings.
2 packages McCormick® Turkey Gravy Mix
1/4 cup flour
3 cups water
1 cup turkey pan drippings Substitutions
1 cup chopped cooked turkey giblets, (optional)
Mix Gravy Mix and flour in large saucepan. Gradually stir in water and turkey drippings with wire whisk until smooth. Stir in chopped turkey giblets, if desired.
Stirring frequently, cook on medium-high heat until gravy comes to boil. Reduce heat to low; simmer 5 minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally. (Gravy will continue to thicken upon standing.)
kosher salt and black pepper
2pounds green beans, trimmed
6 slices bacon
2 shallots, sliced
2tablespoons cider vinegar
2tablespoons whole-grain mustard
2tablespoons olive oil
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add 1 tablespoon salt. Add the green beans and cook until just tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Drain and run under cold water to cool; transfer to a serving bowl.
Meanwhile, in a medium skillet, cook the bacon over medium heat until crisp, 6 to 8 minutes; transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. Let cool, then break into pieces.
Discard all but 2 tablespoons of the bacon drippings from the skillet and return to medium heat. Add the shallots and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Stir in the vinegar, mustard, oil, ¾ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Add to the green beans, along with the bacon, and toss to combine.
2 pounds frozen corn kernels, 4 15.5 cans corn kernels (drained), or kernels from 5 to 6 ears of fresh sweet corn
1 tablespoon sugar, optional
1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
1 cup milk, whole or 2%
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
8 ounces cream cheese
Black pepper, to taste
Measuring cups and spoons
3.5-quart to 6.5-quart slow cooker
Combine the corn, sugar, and salt in the slow cooker.
Pour the milk over the top of the corn.
Dot the surface with butter and cream cheese. Cut the butter and cream cheese into small pieces, then scatter them over the surface of the corn. Do not mix them in.
Cover and cook on high for 2 to 3 hours, or on low for 4 to 6 hours. If you’re around while this is cooking, stir the corn once during the second half of cooking to prevent a crust from forming around the edge and fold the partially melted cream cheese and butter into the corn. This helps prevent a crust from forming around the edge, but it’s not strictly necessary.
Stir the corn thoroughly at the end of cooking. When you first stir the corn, the cream cheese, milk, and butter might look fairly thin and a bit curdled. Continue to gently stir until they come together into a creamy sauce. Taste the creamed corn and add additional salt or sugar, as well as fresh black pepper, to taste.
Adjust the consistency of the creamed corn: Let the corn stand for a few minutes, either with the heat off or on the “warm” setting, to give the sauce time to set. Stir again to check the consistency. If it seems thicker than you’d like, stir in some milk. If it’s thinner than you’d like, let the creamed corn stand for a few more minutes before serving; it will continue to thicken as it stands.
Serve the creamed corn: Transfer the creamed corn to a serving bowl, or you can serve it directly from the slow cooker. For buffets, leave the slow cooker on the “warm” setting to keep the creamed corn warm; check the corn occasionally and stir in more milk if it seems to get too thick.
6 large eggs
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 1/2 tablespoons sweet pickle relish
1 teaspoon prepared mustard
1/8 teaspoon salt
Dash of pepper
Place eggs in a single layer in a saucepan; add water to depth of 3 inches. Bring to a boil; cover, remove from heat, and let stand 15 minutes.
Drain immediately and fill the saucepan with cold water and ice. Tap each egg firmly on the counter until cracks form all over the shell. Peel under cold running water.
Slice eggs in half lengthwise, and carefully remove yolks. Mash yolks with mayonnaise. Add relish, mustard, salt, and pepper; stir well. Spoon yolk mixture into egg whites. Garnish, if desired.
1/2 cup ruby port
Three 1-by-3-inch strips of orange zest, cut into thin matchsticks
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
12 ounces fresh cranberries
3/4 cup sugar
In a medium saucepan, combine the port with the orange zest and orange juice and bring to a boil. Add the cranberries and sugar and simmer over moderately low heat until the sauce is jamlike, about 25 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and serve warm or at room temperature.
Make this one easy. Pick up a package or two of your favorite rolls
1 cup Karo® Light OR Dark Corn Syrup
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon Spice Islands® Pure Vanilla Extract
1-1/2 cups (6 ounces) pecans
1 (9-inch) unbaked OR frozen** deep-dish pie crust
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Mix corn syrup, eggs, sugar, butter and vanilla using a spoon. Stir in pecans. Pour filling into pie crust.
Bake on center rack of oven for 60 to 70 minutes (see tips for doneness, below). Cool for 2 hours on wire rack before serving.
**To use prepared frozen pie crust: Place cookie sheet in oven and preheat oven as directed. Pour filling into frozen crust and bake on preheated cookie sheet.
RECIPE TIPS: Pie is done when center reaches 200°F. Tap center surface of pie lightly – it should spring back when done. For easy clean up, spray pie pan with cooking spray before placing pie crust in pan. If pie crust is overbrowning, cover edges with foil.
NUTRITION TIP: To reduce calories, substitute new Karo® Lite Syrup for the Karo® Light or Dark Corn Syrup.
High Altitude Adjustments: Reduce sugar to 2/3 cup and increase butter to 3 tablespoons. Reduce oven temperature to 325°F.
VARIATION: coarsely chopped walnuts may be substituted for pecans to make a walnut pie.