Thanksgiving is Coming!

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and you are hosting. If you don’t have your menu planned and your recipes selected, no need to panic. Hopefully, you’re turkey is thawed. Deep breath – we’ve got this.

Growing up, our house was the place to be. My parents hosted a sit down, turkey with all the trimmings Thanksgiving supper for around 20 people. They were amazing. Dad was up long before the chickens to get his turkey in the oven. By three in the afternoon Thanksgiving day, the house was bursting with people and the spread was incredible. There was the turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, fruit cocktail salad, warm bread, gravy and a giant bowl of olives. The desserts were pumpkin pie, custard flan and a pecan pie. We didn’t have appetizers, unless you counted the bowls of salted nuts that were put out as guests arrived. That was okay, we had more than enough to eat.

When Hubby and I lived in another state, our house was the place to be. We hosted Thanksgiving from top to bottom for about 16 people. Unlike the Thanksgivings of my childhood, ours included some appetizers. A Crudités Platter; Charcuterie Board and an assortment of Deviled Egg Trays were served on cocktail tables in the living room for guests to nipple on until the main event. A traditional Fruit Cocktail Salad, infamous Pink Stuff and a nice Green Salad were served buffet style at one end of the formal dining room, while the turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes and a green bean casserole were at the other end. The only part of the meal we didn’t make ourselves were the desserts. We lived in Las Vegas, with some of the best pastry shops and bakeries on the planet.

Since returning to California, Thanksgiving has become a potluck affair. Whoever is hosting is in charge of the main event, and the guests provide all the supporting characters – appetizers, salads, desserts. That way if someone flakes or arrives late, dinner still comes off without a hitch.

This meal was designed to be served early – as a lunch that lingers late into the afternoon or early evening. You can always adjust, just give the turkey plenty of time.

Most of all, remember to give Thanks. Thanks for the opportunity to gather as a family – whatever that family dynamic might mean. Thanks for the roof over your head, for the food on the table, for good health. We have so much more to be thankful for than most of us realize. Thanks be.

Thanksgiving Main Menu
Overnight Slow Roasted Turkey
Instant Pot Red Skin Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Slow Cooker Sage Pork Stuffing
Browned Butter Young Peas
Turkey Gravy
Dinner Rolls

Overnight Slow Roasted Turkey
14 lb Turkey (or larger)
1 cup Butter, soft
1-1/2 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Smoked Paprika
1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1 teaspoon dried Thyme
1-1/2 teaspoon dried Sage
1 teaspoon Black Pepper
1 teaspoon Onion Powder
1 bunch fresh Sage

Note: Smaller birds will dry out. This method may be used, starting in the morning with a reduced cooking time.

Set oven to 180 degrees or the lowest setting possible, anything at or below 200-degrees is fine. Pull the turkey out of the refrigerator, said aside.

Season butter with salt, paprika, garlic powder, thyme, dried sage, salt, pepper and onion powder. Work seasoning into the soft butter. Rub the outside of the bird with the seasoned butter. Place sage into the cavity. Set a rack in a roasting pan, fill the pan with about a quart of water, arrange the turkey breast-side up on the rack. Wrap the pan tightly in aluminum foil.

Roast the turkey overnight (about 10 hours total for a 14 pound bird). No need to baste; the low temperature and moisture from the water will cook it gently.

Remove the foil; check the turkey’s temperature with an instant-read thermometer. The end goal is a temperature of 160-degrees in the breast and 170-degrees in the thigh. Continue to roast at a low temperature until it is getting close to these numbers. Once the goal is reached, remove turkey from the oven, remove foil.

Increase oven temperature to 475-degrees. Once temperature is reached, roast the turkey until the skin has browned about 15-30 minutes.

Remove from oven; tent to keep warm. Let the turkey rest for 20-30 minutes.

Carve and serve!

Instant Pot Red Skin Garlic Mashed Potatoes
5 lbs Red Potatoes
2 teaspoon Salt (plus more, to taste)
2 cup chicken Stock
4 Garlic Cloves
1-1/2 cup Half-and-Half
8 tablespoon Butter
Black Pepper to taste

Scrub potato skins, cut into 1-inch cubes. Spread potatoes out an season with salt. Place seasoned potatoes in the insert of the Instant Pot. Pour chicken stock into the pot.

Lock lid in place, select Pressure Cook, Manual, High, 8 Minutes. Press start.

When time is up, use quick release to release pressure.

While the pressure is releasing, place Half-and-Half in a 4-cup glass measuring cup. Peel and mince garlic, add to the Half-and-Half. Dice butter, add to the mixture. Heat in the microwave for about 60 seconds, until warm and the butter has begun to melt.

Once the pressure is released, unlock Instant Pot. Drain the potatoes, reserving any cooking liquid Return potatoes to the insert. Pour the warmed Half-and-Half mixture over the potatoes. With a masher, mash potatoes to desired consistency.

Season with salt and pepper to taste. Potatoes can be held on warm in the Instant Pot until ready to serve. To serve, transfer to a serving bowl, serve and enjoy.

Slow Cooker Sage Pork Stuffing
1 medium Yellow Onion
2 Celery Ribs
1 lb bulk Sage Pork Sausage
1-1/2 cups Turkey Broth
1/2 teaspoon Poultry Seasoning
1/2 teaspoon dried Oregano
1/2 teaspoon Rubbed Sage
1/2 teaspoon dried Thyme
1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper
8 cups Seasoned Stuffing Bread Cubes
Fresh Parsley, garnish

Peel onion, dice and set aside. Clean celery, dice and set aside.

Warm a skillet over medium heat. Add pork sausage, crumbled, chopped onion and celery. Cook until sausage is cooked through, breaking into small pieces as it cooks. Set aside.

Bring broth to a boil in a kettle. Keep warm.

Place bread cubes in a large heat-proof bowl. Add sausage mixture. Sprinkle with poultry seasoning, rubbed sage, thyme and black pepper. Toss to mix. Pour warmed broth over bread mixture, stir to moisten.

Spray a 5-quart slow cooker with cooking spray. Transfer stuffing mixture to the slow cooker. Cover, cook on LOW until heated through and edges are lightly browned, about 2 hours.

When ready to serve, spoon stuffing into a serving bowl. Snip parsley and garnish stuffing just before serving.

Browned Butter Peas
14 oz bag frozen Young Peas
1 Shallot
4 tablespoons Butter
Salt to taste

Place peas in a colander. Place under cold water to thaw. Let drain.

Peel and finely mince shallots, set aside.

In a skillet, melt butter over low heat. Cook until butter begins to brown. Add shallots, fry for a few minutes to flavor the butter. Add peas, stirring together until the peas are buttery and warm.

Season with a pinch of salt. Transfer to a serving bowl and enjoy.

Turkey Gravy
4 tablespoons Vegetable Oil
4 tablespoons Butter
1/2 cup Flour
3-1/2 cups Turkey or Chicken Broth
1/2 teaspoon Dried Thyme
1/2 teaspoon Rubbed Sage
1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper

In a heavy bottom sauce pan, melt butter with oil over medium heat. Sprinkle with flour. Lower heat to medium-low and cook until a golden brown, about 20 minutes, stirring frequently.

Note: If the mixture burns, start over.

Add broth slowly, whisking constantly. Season with thyme, sage and black pepper. Let simmer until gravy consistency is reached, about 10 minutes longer. If too thick, add more broth.

Transfer to a gravy boat to serve.

Author: Rosemarie's Kitchen

I'm a wife, mother, grandmother and avid home cook.I believe in eating healthy whenever possible, while still managing to indulge in life's pleasures.

8 thoughts on “Thanksgiving is Coming!”

    1. Those all sound great. Your gravy sounds like the one my mom used to make. I prepped a lot of my food yesterday, our family is smaller now so I have a Thanksgiving casserole I make with a smoked Turkey. Today is baking day with my daughter. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family ☺️

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: