Wednesday, November 11, 2009

It ain't Thanksgiving if you don't have turkey

I was going to make this glorious Thanksgiving feast when my friend told me she's not too into Thanksgiving food - she's gonna make tacos instead of come over. TACOS? Really? The only time I didn't eat Turkey on Thanksgiving was when we went to Disney World in 2003 and we decided to get Chinese. That took our guests from seven back down to the three of us (which means two with Lil B). I was a little relieved because that meant I could just roast a turkey the way my mom did -- turkey breast in the cockpot with salt, pepper and water for 8 hours (it falls right off the bone). Before I knew that my feast was down to three people, I had signed up at Allyson's Kitchen for a Thanksgiving Feast class so I could learn how to roast a turkey. I was dreading the class because the wind was out of my sails -- TACOS? Really? Humph.  I'm glad I went. I learned something I was always afraid to do -- debone poultry.

[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="269" caption="Homemade Turkey dinner"]Homemade Turkey dinner[/caption]

Did you know that if you debone a turkey, it only takes 45 mins to one hour to roast at 425 degrees? Makes sense. Our instructor deboned a turkey and then had us debone half of a turkey (with his help and a partner), season it and double wrap in foil to roast in the oven. The foil captures the juice so you could put it in the gravy (one stick of butter, 1/4 cup of flour melted on low to make a rue that resembles peanut butter, throw in your stock and a splash of brandy -- it was yummy). I've always been afraid of making my own stock but I'm certain this is the year I will do it. Homemade stock seems to be a cake walk. We also made cornbread stuffing which I have never made before -- I always watched my grandma stuff her turkey with her Polish stuff recipe. I am a convert. We will have cornbread stuff this year. We also made green bean casserole with homemade fried onions on top (yum) and pecan sweet potato pie.  Good thing I didn't eat dinner.

I'm making my feast even if it's just us. Thank you, Allyson's for inspiring me to cook awesome food.

Here is a simple cranberry sauce the chef told us to try. Mix a can of whole cranberries, a jar of orange marmalade, 1/4 cup of red wine and a dash of cinnamon. Simmer until warm. You'll never eat the canned jelly stuff again.


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