The big debate going into Thanksgiving was turkey, turducken or turpiggin’. (The former is a turkey stuffed with a duck then stuffed with a chicken, while the latter is a turkey stuffed with a whole cooked ham.) In the end, the humble turkey won the day, with a little twist. The stuffing was made separately, so the turkey was filled with onions, lemons, fresh herbs (rosemary, thyme and oregano) and some sliced pancetta (Italian cured bacon, so I guess it was a turbacon). I followed the direction on Food TV’s website for defrosting, brining and roasting the turkey and it turned out beautifully.
The menu looked like this: (Click for links to recipes)
Main Course: Turkey
Wild Rice, Sausage and Fennel Stuffing
Glazed Root Vegetables
Dessert: Pumpkin Brownies
Pumpkin Muffins (thanks Nat!)
Pumpkin Pie (store bought)
Apple-Cranberry Pie (thanks Mom!)
For me the biggest success was the glazed root vegetables. It was the first time I’d used a variety of veggies that I’ve never used before including celeriac, turnip and parsnip. I think everyone else would say the stuffing was their favourite. It had the perfect nutty and salty combination.
I have to admit that it was a great challenge to prepare the meal for 9 people, so I have to send a shout out to my mom, who came over the night before to give me a hand with my first attempt at hosting a slightly larger gathering than usual.
I learned a couple of lessons from the whole thing. The most important thing is to make dishes you can prepare the day before. I made the butternut squash soup, stuffing and brownies the day before and chopped a lot of vegetables very early in the morning, and I think things went more smoothly because of it. I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving. Halloween here we come!