Hello, Thanksgiving is right around the corner. I thought it would be fun to share my foolproof Thanksgiving spread. This menu feeds between 8 and 10 guests. So you really do get your money's worth.
I bought a frozen turkey instead of a fresh turkey. Frozen turkeys are traditionally a little more affordable if you're using a frozen turkey. It's really important to get it out of the freezer and into the refrigerator two to three days before Thanksgiving.
It really does take that long to thaw out. You never want to get to Thanksgiving Day and discover that you haven't thought your turkey and you have to cook it from frozen.
Season Up Your Turkey
I have simply bent the wings back behind its body to create sort of this position. And I've also trusted the legs just to hold them together. Of course, there are lots of different ways you can season up your turkey, but I'm keeping things really simple with this menu.
- Just a little brush of salted butter with a pastry brush all over. And it's as simple as that.
- Now that our turkey is completely buttered, the last step before we get it into the oven will be dispensing it with foil.
- I've gone ahead and buttered the underside of my foil to prevent it from sticking to the skin of my turkey.
- There's nothing worse than going to remove your foil during the cooking process and discovering that it's sticking to the skin and part of the skin comes off.
Now that my turkey is spoiled, I'm going to pop it into my preheated oven at three hundred and 25 degrees Fahrenheit for between one and a half and two hours. I'm going to remove my turkey from the oven and give it a quick baste with a little more salted butter and allow it to cook for the rest of the time uncovered so it gets a nice dark golden skin.
For a turkey of this size. You're typically looking at a cooking time of between three and a half to four hours. But the only safe way to know your turkey is completely cooked through is with a meat thermometer.
It should register one hundred and sixty-five degrees in the breast before it comes out of the oven. Then you'll just want to tender it and let it rest for another 15 minutes before carving it. You don't want to carve it immediately. You really need to give it that resting time to let all those juices incorporate.
Now that we're done with all that turkey talk, we can turn our attention to our stuffing, as far as I'm concerned, the best part of any Thanksgiving feast. If you've been eating a story about stuffing all of your life, you were in for a real treat because there is nothing quite like homemade.
Of course, I will admit it is a little more expensive than store-bought stuffing, but worth each and every penny. I have a nice big skillet on the stove and I'm just going to
- heat it up over medium-high to that. I am going to add some butter.
- Once it's melted, I'm going to go ahead and add some onion and some celery.
Now I'm going to let those cook away for between five and six minutes. You'll see the celery will turn nice and bright green. Things will start to smell amazing. And that means it is time to add the rest of your amazing flavor to this.
First up, of course, we've got some garlic headed in here. And then I've got some gorgeous fresh herbs. I've got some chopped fresh parsley, had it in here, some sage, which is very, very classic and stuffing. And finally some fresh thyme leaves, beautiful or beiges, flavor. Now, if you're new to cooking with fresh herbs, I always recommend them.
But if you're looking for a slightly more affordable alternative, you can also opt for some dried herbs. You want to cut all of your volumes in half, though, because dried herbs pack quite a bit more punch than a fresher will.
Let all this yumminess cook up, stirring it constantly for another one to two minutes. Then we're going to go ahead and add our broth to this. Now, I'm using chicken broth today, but if you have any vegetarian guests joining you for dinner.
This is the perfect place to swap in some vegetable broth. You will make some vegetarians very, very happy. It's also another great reason to not put your stuffing in your turkey.
Then the vegetarians can enjoy it, too. We'll season this up with some salt and pepper. And then once my broth mixture is boiling, I'm going to reduce my heat to medium and let it cook away.
And then after about 10 minutes of simmering, your nose will be rewarded because your whole kitchen is when you smell delicious.
We can turn our heat off completely and pile in our bread. Today I'm using just a loaf of white sandwich bread that I cut into cubes and left out overnight to allow it to dry out completely. It's super important that your bread be really dry when it goes into your pan so that it can absorb all of that tasty flavor.
If you use bread that's too moist, you'll end up with really soggy stuffing. Now, if you don't want to deal with this step, most bakeries actually sell dry bread cubes like this for use as croutons. It's a great option. And usually, you can buy an entire bag of those bread cubes for only about two dollars. Either way, you just want to make sure your stuffing as well.
And as soon as it's absorbed all of that tasty liquid, you can transfer it to a serving dish, cover it in some foil, and then we can reheat it in the oven for about 30 minutes right before serving. I feel like we've already won Thanksgiving.