Talking Turkey: Thanksgiving Recipe Roundup

OK, all you turkeys!!  As promised, here is a roundup of all of my favorite Thanksgiving recipes from around the web.  I have personally made all but one of these dishes myself and they are tried and true favorites.  So…what’s cooking?

Turkey

Before we get to the recipes, here’s a gentle reminder:

If you get a frozen turkey, it takes 24 hours per 4 lbs of bird to thaw.  To prepare a 20-lb turkey, you would need to allow 5 days for it to thaw completely.

My Favorite Turkey Brine — So, this was something new to me a couple of years ago.  Let me tell you, though, it made for such a pretty and juicy bird!  I usually make a really large turkey, so what worked for me was going to my local hardware store and buying a giant 5 gallon bucket to use solely for this purpose.  The ingredients are pretty simple and your house will smell fantastic after you’ve made the brine.

Roasted Thanksgiving Turkey — This is the second half to the Pioneer Woman turkey brine I just mentioned.  It does require some math, as cooking times vary according to the size of the bird.  If you want to make an awe-inspiringly beautiful turkey that also tasted delicious, this is the way to go.  Hard work certainly pays off!

Simple Thanksgiving Turkey (Roasted in a Bag) — Admittedly, I have not made this turkey.  However, I have made turkeys in a bag many times and Mel’s Kitchen Cafe has yet to let me down when it comes to amazing recipes.  One thing I might add would be a halved apple to the vegetables.  I find a little fruit flavor really goes well with roasted turkey.  Mel does you a solid with this recipe, too, because it includes a gravy recipe right along with it!

Sides

How do I love thee, Thanksgiving sides?  Let me count the ways.  I love you to the depth and breadth and width of my ever-widening arse.  And that’s saying something!

Homemade Cranberry Sauce — Yep.  You guessed it.  It’s another PW gem!!  This recipe is serving as a kind of compromise for my husband and me.  His dad always made homemade cranberry sauce that Greg loved, but I always wanted it to be a bit sweeter.  The addition of maple syrup here adds a great depth of sweetness without going overboard with the granulated white stuff.  Also, it calls for cranberry, orange or apple juice and I usually go with apple because that’s what we tend to have on hand.  You could use whatever, though!

The Best Fresh Green Beans — If you’re looking to put a green vegetable on your plate to offset the dazzling array of brown food that Thanksgiving tends to be famous for, this is a super easy and delicious option.  It’s totally healthy and simple and takes up absolutely zero space in your already crowded oven.  Want to be super fancy?  Serve it with some toasted sliced almonds or crispy bacon bits on top.

Dessert!

Yes, that deserved an exclamation point.  Why do you ask?  Also, get ready for some Pioneer Woman deliciousness, because she’s the star of the show here.

Sylvia’s Perfect Pie Crust — Only rarely do I take the time and effort to make my pie crust from scratch.  Thanksgiving is pretty much the only time of year when I pull out all the stops like that.  So, if you’d rather just pick up some boxes of the Pillsbury variety, knock yourself out and kudos to you for making your life just that much easier.  That said, if you want to give crust making a try, this is a great recipe to try.  It truly works out so easily.  Just make sure to really chill it good before rolling it out to bake.  I usually make mine a few days (up to a couple weeks) in advance and keep it in the fridge or freezer until I’m ready to go.

Pioneer Woman’s Pecan Pie — Oh, my stars and garters.  Y’all, this pie will make you wanna slap your mama.  They key to making this one is chopping the pecans completely.  It calls for a heaping cup of chopped pecans, but I typically use almost 1 1/2 cups.  Also to be noted, this almost always takes longer to bake than I think it’s going to.  Just keep an eye on it.  I promise that it’s worth the wait.

Chocolate Chess Pie — OK, so I haven’t made this exact pie recipe.  However, the ingredients and instructions listed are almost directly in line with my grandmother’s recipe that my Aunt Teresa still makes.  The only thing I would add to the ingredients here is a tablespoon of flour.  It tends to thicken up the chocolate mixture just a bit.  Rich, delicious, dreamy…exactly what a chocolate pie should be.  My kids tend to refer to this as brownie batter pie.

Your Turn

In the middle school world of “I’ve shown you mine, now you show me yours”… What are your favorite Thanksgiving recipes or websites?  Where are your go-to sites that never let you down?  Have a link to share?  Leave it in the comments or over on the FB page!  Can’t wait to hear from you!

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