Let’s Talk Turkey….

Thanksgiving is just around the corner and while I’ll serve all the usual favorites my family looks forward to, I still haven’t decided on the main course. Oh yes, it’ll be turkey alright (plus a ham. Eck.) but how to serve it? My table will be set with mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole, corn on the cob, turkey gravy, salad, homemade cranberry sauce, hot yeast rolls and deviled eggs. I’d love to herb and garlic roast a variety of new, fingerling, and sweet potatoes but Clay loves mashed potatoes with his turkey gravy. I’d love to saute asparagus or fresh green beans but our youngest daughter would be heartbroken without her greenbean casserole. The boys love buttery corn on the cob and deviled eggs are simply criminal to leave out. What I will not have though, is pumpkin pie! Nope, No Way, Nada!

I don’t hate it but I wouldn’t order it in a restaurant either. I love, love, love pecan pie! Here’s the pickle and a mystery…. Clay, nor any of our kids that are coming this year, like nuts. Every one of them, on the other hand, LOVES pumpkin pie. That being said, I make 2 Dixie pies ( A bourbon pecan pie with chocolate chips) and 2 pumpkin pies. Here’s where the mystery comes in… every year, nothing but crumbs remain of the Dixie pies and 1 1/2 pumpkin pies end up in the trash! How is this happening? So, this year, I’ll make 2 Dixie pies, 2 Buttermilk pies and some pumpkin cranberry bread with FREAKING NUTS IN IT!

So let’s talk Turkey… If you are wondering how I like turkey, roasted, smoked, deep fried, the answer is YES! I love it all, so how shall I serve it this year? Here’s are the options:

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Herb Butter Roasted Turkey

1 tablespoon each, finely chopped fresh rosemary, sage, and thyme

2-3 cloves garlic smashed

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

1 Stick unsalted butter

1 Orange cut in half

1 medium Onion halved
Work herbs and garlic into barely softened butter. Loosen skin: Working from the neck end, slide fingers under skin until you reach the end of the breast, being careful not to tear the skin; rub herb butter under the skin leaving just enough to coat the cavity. Place orange and onion halves into cavity and roast according to weight / time on package.

This Turkey, I’ll serve with Clays absolute favorite part of the meal, cornbread dressing. There will be none of that soggy bread dressing mess. Oh no, not on my southern table but for those who aren’t fond of dressing at all (weirdo’s) I’ll make a rice variation as well.

Southern Cornbread Dressing

1 package White Cornbread mix1 1/3 cup milk6 eggs, divided

Cooking Spray

1 cup chopped onion

1 cup chopped celery

2/3 cup butter

2 1/2 cups chicken broth

1 teaspoon pepper poultry seasoning, sage, salt, pepper to taste

PREPARE cornbread mixes according to package instructions using milk and 2 egg. Bake according to package instructions. Cool completely in pan on wire rack.

HEAT oven to 350°F. Coat 13 x 9″ baking pan with no-stick cooking spray. Saute’ onion and celery in butter in small skillet over medium heat until tender, about 5 minutes.WHISK 4 eggs in large bowl. Stir in chicken broth, pepper, salt, poultry seasoning, sage and onion mixture. Crumble cornbread into broth mixture. Stir until evenly moistened. Spoon into prepared pan. Bake 50 min or until golden brown.

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Country Rice dressing

5 c. Cooked Long grain rice

1 lb bulk breakfast sausage

3 c. Sliced fresh mushrooms

1/2 c. Diced onion

1 clove minced garlic

1/2 c. Shredded carrot

1/2 c. Diced celery

1/2 c. Dried cranberries

1/2 c. Sliced green onion with chive

1/2 – 2/3 c Chicken broth

In a large skillet, brown the sausage. Add the carrots, diced onion, garlic, celery and mushrooms and cook until tender. Drain any excess liquid. To the skillet, add the rice with Chicken broth to keep moist, stirring to heat through. Season with salt & pepper to taste. Toss in cranberries and green onion. Serve

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Uncle Wiltons Cajun Fried Turkey

1 c. Diced Celery

1 c. Diced Onion

1 c. Diced Bell Pepper

2 cloves Garlic minced

Salt, Pepper, Cayenne

Mix ingredients throughly in a bowl and set aside. Gently push back the skin from the turkey breast. Using a filet knife, cut deep pockets into the center of each breast. Stuff the the pockets as full as you can with the above mixture. Your bird should look like Dolly Parton! Gently pull the skin back over to cover your pockets. Deep fry your Turkey as usual. Once the Turkey is sliced, this area, Uncle Wilton calls ” the honey hole.” The rich flavor permeates every bite! I would serve this version in cajun thanksgiving style with Dirty Rice and black eyed peas.

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Dirty Rice

1 1/2 cup long-grain rice

chicken broth

2 cups water

3 Tbsp olive oil

1/2 pound ground pork

1/2 cup cooked chicken livers

3 slices of bacon, chopped

1/2 onion, chopped

2 celery stalks, chopped

1/2 green bell pepper chopped

1 Tbsp Cajun seasoning

2 green onions, chopped

Salt Pepper Cayenne to taste

Cook the rice according to the package instructions, but use chicken broth the cooking liquid.
Turn the rice out onto a sheet pan and drizzle 1 tablespoon of olive oil over it. Mix to combine and let cool.
Mash the chicken livers
In a large pan, put 1 tablespoon of oil plus the bacon and cook over medium-low heat until the bacon is crispy.
Add the ground pork and increase the heat to high and cook until well browned. As soon as the pork starts to brown, add the final tablespoon of oil and add the celery, bell pepper and onions.
Brown them all over medium-high heat. You may notice the bottom of the pan getting crusty. Keep it from burning by lowering the heat if needed. Add the minced liver and cook for a few minutes more. Add 1 cup of chicken broth and deglaze the pan by scraping the bottom.
Add the seasoning and turn the heat to high. Boil away most of the chicken stock and then add the cooked rice. Toss to combine.
Turn off the heat and add the green onions. Toss once more to combine and serve hot.

What will your feast look like this year and what are you most thankful for? Friends, I am so abundantly blessed, even in these crazy times. Among my many blessings, I am grateful for you.
Always with love – Laura💕

46 comments

  1. What time should I be there? I’ll bring a pumpkin cheesecake!

    No feast here. I’m alone and rarely celebrate anything. I made 2 different efforts to order “splurge” foods (first order included a fancy mini cake; 2nd try was baguettes & brie as dinner) but Life said no to both.

    I’m going to donate platelets that day then treat all the kitties (pets, strats, and ferals) to canned turkey cat food that night (they usually get a mix of wet and dry foods). A friend is going to bring me leftover turkey on Friday.

    Happy Thansgiving!!

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    • Oooh that sounds marvelous, pumpkin cheesecake! We’ll be just us this year with our daughter and 2 grandchildren but it’s a huge celebration for us as it’s the first time that we wontbe alone for the holidays since we moved to Missouri. Just having family to celebrate with has already made the holidays festive for us. A smaller feast will fill our table this year but our hearts will be full.
      Happy Thanksgiving!!

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  2. Well, now you have made me really hungry! I love turkey no matter how it’s cooked but I think my favorite is smoked. We’ll have a turkey breast either smoked or roasted, southern cornbread dressing, and all the fixings, just in smaller quantities than usual. My favorite pie is pecan but this year it will be apple (my husband’s favorite). Happy Thanksgiving!

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  3. Dixie pie and pecan pie are my absolute favorites! I guess I’ll be making those in a couple of weeks. Your rice dressing looks yummy too.

    I’ve passed the cooking baton to my daughter, Kelly, now so I don’t have to do much. Just like you, we have our traditional dishes, or it just wouldn’t be Thanksgiving. Hope you and Clay have a blessed one. ❤

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    • Awww….thank you so much!
      Egads! I had to cook for a crowd like that for a week this last summer! It was so much work but the lively laughter and camaraderie made for many lasting memories.

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  4. Okay, you are making me hungry. I love pecan pies too and every year my aunt makes them to pass out to family members. We will be headed up to the mountains for Thanksgiving and on our way we’ll be stopping off at my aunts for some of her yummy pecan pie. Love the holidays.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh It’s my favorite! 💕 Heading to the mountains….that sounds wonderful! I’ll be looking forward to reading about this adventure! I immediately thought of “over the river and through the woods” when you mentioned the mountains. Haha I envisioned wood smoke, cable knit sweaters and flannel.
      Look at you insiring me even in a comment! Stopping for pie….reminded me of all the adults in my childhood, how they’d get together for coffee and pie. It was a thing back then and the woes of the world were solved over coffee and pie. That’ll be my next post!!!! Woot! Thank you! 😊💕

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    • Right now, I’m dieting. Can you believe it? I’m thinking I might be either mad or brilliant….don’t know. Here I’m are starving, right before what is always a feast. Wouldn’t it be better to diet after the holidays? Christmas is right on Thanksgivings heels! Now if by dieting, I only gain back to my starting point instead of exceeding it, would I then be a genius or what? Sadly though, I think I’m gaining just by reading over my planned recipes! Lol

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