Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving Dinner

Thanksgiving Dinner

Rosemary, Thyme Lemon Turkey
We have two Thanksgiving dinners every year, one at my Mom's and our own the next day. This way, we can enjoy leftovers for days and not cook. This year, I made two Pumpkin Pies and an Apple Pie as well. My Mom's Thanksgiving dinner is Dominican style with Turkey, Pernil (Roast Pork), White Rice, Black Beans, Potato Salad, Salad, Avocado and Sweet Potatoes. Our Thanksgiving dinner was more American style but with a slight kick. We made Turkey, Turkey Gravy, Mushroom Cornbread Stuffing, Green Bean Casserole and Jalapeño-Sour Cream-Chives Mashed Potatoes. We hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving with your loved ones.

Rosemary, Thyme Lemon Turkey

Last year, I made Clinton Kelly's Lemon Sage Turkey and it was the first one I ever made and was a hit! This year, I decided to switch the herbs to Thyme and Rosemary and am glad I did. The Turkey came out so moist and rich with flavor from the herbs and lemon. It was superb.


12-16 pound Turkey (thawed)

1 bunch of fresh Thyme, plus 3 tablespoons minced

1 bunch of fresh Rosemary, plus 3 tablespoons minced

3 lemons

Zest of 1 Lemon

Juice of 1/2 Lemon

Olive Oil

Kosher Salt

Black Pepper

2 sticks unsalted Butter, room temperature

2 Shallots, minced

2 Garlic cloves, minced


Once Turkey has come to room temperature pat dry with paper towels.

Remove Neck and Giblets and put aside for the Turkey Gravy.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Make sure oven shelf is positioned in the lower third of the oven.

Make the compound Butter:
In a large bowl, combine Butter, minced Thyme and Rosemary, Shallots, Garlic, Lemon Zest, Lemon Juice, Kosher Salt and Black Pepper with a spatula. Combine well.

Place Turkey in a roasting pan with a rack and season inside with Kosher Salt and Black Pepper.

Take two lemons and stab them all over with a fork and stuff inside the cavity of the Turkey. Also, stuff the bunches of Thyme and Rosemary inside the cavity.

With a small spatula take compound Butter and carefully put under the skin of the Turkey. Thinly slice remaining 1/2 lemon and slide into the skin.

Take Olive Oil and rub all over the Turkey.

Season with a good amount of Kosher Salt and Black Pepper.

Place in oven. Roast for 20 minutes at 425 degrees. After the first 20 minutes, lower temperature to 325 degrees. For cooking time look at Turkey package instructions for guidelines according to how many pounds your Turkey is. The Turkey will be cooked when an instant read thermometer inserted into the thick part of the leg joint is at 165 degrees.

Take cooked Turkey out of oven and cover it with foil and let it rest for 30-45 minutes before serving.

Turkey Gravy

Turkey Gravy
This year I added the Neck and Giblets to make the Turkey Gravy and it added more flavor.


4 cups Low Sodium Chicken Stock

Turkey Neck and Giblets

4 tablespoons, Flour

1 Bay Leaf

1/2 stick, unsalted Butter

4 tablespoons, Carrots, chopped

4 tablespoons, Celery, chopped

4 tablespoons, Shallots, chopped

3 cloves Garlic, minced

Kosher Salt


In a large pot, add Neck, Giblets, pan drippings from Turkey (remove excess fat), Chicken Stock and Bay Leaf. Heat on low-medium heat for about 15-20 minutes.

In another large pot, on medium heat, melt Butter and add Carrots, Celery, Shallots and Garlic. Cook in Butter until slightly browned.

Stir Flour into Butter and Veggies to make a roux.

Cook for a few minutes until the roux turns golden brown in color.

Drain stock to remove Neck and Giblets and return stock to pot. Slowly pour the stock in the pan with the roux, whisking as you add it. Do not stop whisking. Once incorporated stop whisking, return to a boil, then lower heat to a simmer and reduce by a third. Takes about 15 minutes.

Strain the gravy through a mesh strainer. Season to taste with kosher salt.

Jalapeño-Sour Cream-Chives Mashed Potatoes

Jalapeño Sour Cream Chives Mashed Potatoes
To give this dish a kick,  I added 2 roasted Jalapeños to my mashed potato favorite. These mashed potatoes are rich, creamy and a little spicy.


2-3 Jalapeños

3 pounds Potatoes

3-4 tablespoons, Chives

1/2 cup Sour Cream

1 1/2 cups Milk

6 tablespoons, Unsalted Butter

Kosher Salt

Olive Oil

Jalapeños ready to go in oven

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Wash Jalapeños in cold water and dry with paper towel.

Cut top off and slice jalapeños in half, remove seeds and membrane.

Coat with Olive Oil and Kosher Salt on both sides. Place on cookie sheet.

Roast in oven for about 20 minutes and turn over half way through.

Let cool and chop, set aside for now.

Chop Chives, set aside for now.

Main ingredients to add to Potatoes
Peel and cut Potatoes in half. Place Potatoes in a large pot with cold water and add Kosher Salt.

Bring Potatoes to a boil on medium-high heat, then lower heat and simmer uncovered for 12-15 minutes. Make sure Potatoes are fork tender.

In a small saucepan, heat Milk and Butter until Butter melts and is hot. Do not let it boil. Remove from heat until Potatoes are cooked.

Jalapeños roasted, yum!
When Potatoes are cooked, drain in colander and return to pot or a large bowl and mash the Potatoes with a masher or use a food mill if you have one. I used my good ol' masher.

Slowly add Butter/Milk mixture and stir with a spatula. Keep adding enough until it has a creamy texture.

Add 2 teaspoons of Kosher Salt, Sour Cream, Jalapeños and Chives and blend together well. Taste and add more Kosher Salt if you wish.

Green Bean Casserole

Green Bean Casserole
Allen made his yummy Green Bean Casserole and no Thanksgiving for us would be complete without it. No Salt was added to the recipe since the canned Green Beans and Mushroom Soup have enough salt.


4 cans French Cut Greens Beans, drained

2 cans Mushroom Soup

1 1/2 cups, Milk

1 large container French Fried Onions

2 tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce

2 teaspoons Black Pepper


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Take a large glass or ceramic dish and combine Mushroom Soup, Milk, and Worcestershire Sauce. Using a whisk blend well.

Add Green Beans and Black Pepper and stir well.

Sprinkle 2/3 of French Fried Onions over the top.

Bake for 30-35 minutes. Remove and sprinkle more French Fried Onions and put back in oven for an additional 10 minutes.

Oven times vary so keep an eye on it.

Mushroom Cornbread Stuffing

Mushroom Cornbread Stuffing
Allen used Stove Top Cornbread Stuffing and followed directions. Allen added 2 cups of  sliced Mushrooms, 1 thinly sliced Celery stalk and 1 Shallot to boost the flavor. It was so good with our Turkey Gravy.

-Sophia and Allen/Two Frys

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