Several years ago, our cousins showed up to our house on Thanksgiving Day with an enormous hand painted lawn ornament of a turkey in a pilgrim’s hat holding a sign that says, “Eat Ham.” We are all about having a sense of humor but displaying this in our front yard is not quite our cup of tea. I may as well have my husband wear a turkey costume and stand by the mailbox with a sign that says, “HELP ME. I JUST FOUND OUT WERE THEY WANT TO PUT THE STUFFING!”
I love turkey. Turkey and Thanksgiving go hand-in-hand. Thanksgiving without turkey is like Christmas without a tree. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll have ham too but turkey is the guest of honor. Since there is still plenty of time to plan for Turkey Day, I thought you’d be thankful to see these links to the best turkey and trimming recipes EVER!
Wegman’s Honey Brined Turkey – a juicy, tender and flavorful turkey. Once you brine a turkey you will never, ever cook a dry boring turkey again. It comes out even juicier than deep frying and you won’t set your house on fire.
Cook’s Illustrated Cornbread and Sausage Stuffing. This is “Oh My God” good. This trick here is to bake the cornbread yourself. The link in the recipe gives you several of the best rate boxed mixes to choose from or you can make it from scratch. The key here is not to use those pre-made stuffing cubes. You’ll realize why when you taste it.
Typically, I’m all about presentation but it you are not planning on carving the turkey at the table here is a trick that will make the stuffing even better and cut your turkey cooking time almost in half. Instead of cooking the bird whole, butterfly it and remove the backbone and flatten the breasts so that you have a big, flat turkey. Place a slotted top of your boiler pan over the stuffing pan and lay the flattened turkey on top. The juices from the turkey will drip into the stuffing as it bakes making the stuffing more flavorful and allowing the turkey to cook faster. Yum. For the detailed recipe you need to subscribe to the free 14 day trial at America’s Test Kitchen but you’ll be so glad you did. The specific recipe is called Crisp-Skin High-Roast Butterflied Turkey with Sausage Dressing. Look it up – you can thank me later.
As for all other trimmings its best to make your traditional family favorites. You know how upset grandma will be if you don’t use her turkey recipe. At least she’ll know you can’t live without her famous mashed potatoes and green bean casserole.
And as for that lawn ornament Cousin Bennie made – it “mysteriously” disappeared.