Preparing for our Thanksgiving feast

gravy

Do you see that cool swirl from the steam off the gravy? No photoshop tricks here. I didn’t even know this happened until after I was reviewing the photos!

Here are links to the recipes I’ll be using for our Thanksgiving feast this year.

My meal will include:

turkey with gravy (for the gravy, the link will take you to the gravy I made from a roast chicken — same process for turkey gravy)

stuffing To save oven space for the bird, I now make the stuffing in a crock pot.

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vegetables

veggies

sweet potatoes

sweet potatoes

smashed potatoes

mashed potatoes

rolls

cranberry sauce

cranberry sauce

apple pie (I will post the recipe for the pie pictured below very soon. Can’t believe I haven’t posted it yet!)

apple pie

pumpkin pie (I am not a huge pumpkin pie fan, though my husband and oldest son love it, so I use a can of organic pumpkin and follow the typical pumpkin pie recipe — pumpkin, evaporated milk, eggs, sugar, salt, cinnamon, ginger, cloves.)

pumpkin pie

chocolate pie (my daughter and youngest son will not eat apple or pumpkin pie … and I don’t mind one bit adding a chocolate pie to the menu!)

chocolate pie

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Here is a link to shortcuts I take to make my Thanksgiving meal easy and less work the day of the feast.

Thanksgiving prep

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To start the day I’ll serve baked French toast. Such a holiday favorite of mine!

baked french toast

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What items are on your Thanksgiving meal menu?

roast chicken with gravy

It’s fall. My favorite season.

For the first time in many years, fall weather came in, as preferred, the day after Labor Day. I appreciate that timely arrival of cool crisp weather. I’m not a fan of 100 degree days in September, or at anytime, actually.

Today was a nice 66 degree day. Perfect day for a lovely roasted chicken dinner.

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When I roast chicken, I think ahead to the gravy. Must have gravy with roast chicken! And the best gravy is gravy that has terrific flavor. By cooking the chicken in tons of flavor — carrots, onion, celery, garlic, salt, pepper, honey — the gravy will be loaded with everything it needs to make you savor each bite. And I don’t mean to boast, but I make some seriously terrific non-lumpy flavorful gravy.

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Roast Chicken With Gravy

Into a roasting pan (or similar deep oval baking pan), put in a chopped onion, chopped celery, a large peeled and sliced carrot, and as many garlic cloves as you like (I used about 6).

Pour in one cup of chicken broth.

Place a rinsed and dried roasting chicken on top of the chopped vegetables.

On top of the chicken, sprinkle a generous amount of salt and pepper and garlic powder.

Then pour some honey on top of that. Cover with a foil tent, and place into a hot oven.

Now is a good time to add some baking potatoes to the oven as well.

A few times during cooking, possibly every 20 minutes or so, spoon some of the liquid over the chicken.

Remove the foil after 40 minutes.

Continue cooking until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F.

When the chicken is done, remove from oven and place on a serving tray.

Allow it to rest while you make the gravy.

In a saucepan over medium heat, melt butter and whisk in an equal amount of flour (I used about 2 tablespoons of each).

After a minute or two whisk in one cup of whole milk.

Add the liquid from the roasting pan (use a strainer so that you get only the liquid).

Continue whisking, allowing the mixture to thicken.

When you get a gentle boil, turn off heat.

Transfer gravy to serving bowls.

I like to use a gravy boat as well as decorative creamers.

It’s nice to have a few on the table so that each person can reach one without passing the one gravy boat back and forth.

Serve.

Enjoy.

Repeat often throughout the fall.

turkey tenderloin with honey sage gravy

turkey tenderloin with honey sage gravy

 

I eat a lot of chicken. A lot. I like chicken very much, but sometimes I just need to have something different. I also like turkey but usually only make the huge bird at Thanksgiving. Turkey is a nice change from chicken, without being too different. So in order to enjoy turkey on any given night, without having the whole bird in my oven all day, I came up with this recipe using turkey tenderloins.

The first few times I made turkey tenderloins, I didn’t make gravy. That didn’t sit well with my husband. He just didn’t understand. Turkey. Gravy. They go together. He expects them together. So it occurred to me that I should just make gravy then. It’s not hard — only takes an extra 5 minutes, which is a good amount of time to let the meat rest after removing it from the pan.

From start to finish these turkey tenderloins only take about 30 minutes. Perfect for a busy weeknight. Perfect for a Sunday dinner. Perfect for any time you’re craving the flavors of Thanksgiving turkey. And a perfect alternative to chicken.

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Turkey Tenderloins with Honey Sage Gravy

3 turkey tenderloins

olive or canola oil

2 teaspoons sage

garlic powder

black pepper

salt

3 tablespoons honey

1 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon flour

1 cup chicken broth

Coat the bottom of a large saute pan with oil. Once heated (cooking over medium/high heat), place the tenderloins in the pan. Sprinkle them with the sage, garlic powder, pepper and salt. Cook until brown on each side.

Reduce heat to low, add the honey, and place a lid on the pan. Cook on low for about 5-10 minutes (depends on how hot the pan stays, and how thick the meat is).

Remove the tenderloins from the pan. Strain the liquid and reserve this for the gravy.

Place the butter in the saute pan over low heat, and as it melts, whisk in the flour. Once you have a smooth, thick paste (this will only take a minute or two), whisk in the reserved liquid and the chicken broth. Continue to whisk this over low heat until it thickens. You might need to increase the heat to medium for a short time, but only do that after the liquid is combined well into the butter/flour mixture.

Serve over the turkey tenderloins.

*Note: I don’t always include exact measurements of items such as garlic powder, salt and pepper, because I never measure them myself, and what I find to be the perfect amount might be too little or too much for someone else. In this recipe, use the amounts you prefer.

***Edited to add that this makes a very nice — and very quick — Thanksgiving meal. Short on time or only serving a couple people? Still want something special for your Thanksgiving meal? This is it!***