Food + Wine

My Small Thanksgiving Table

This year my family is having thanksgiving with just the four of us. It’s the first time that’s happening and although it was a strange concept to wrap our brains around in the beginning, now my husband and I are very excited about it. We’ve been planning our menu together, we’ll cook it together, and we haven’t been able to do that in so long! So I thought I’d share what our menu will be…

Even though it’s a super small crowd, we still want the offerings to be bountiful. So we just decided to make extra-small versions of our favorite things, so we still get the big plate of several different items…but we don’t have too much of it. All we really need is a good meal and a good leftover lunch the next day, with plenty of turkey to freeze for later.
Here’s our menu!!
*Apple Cider-Braised Turkey with White Wine Giblet Gravy
I usually like to cook my turkey the same way I do my chickens- seasoned up to three days in advance, left uncovered in the fridge, then blasted at super high heat for 15 min before cutting the heat to low and cooking until done. It’s flavorful, tender, juicy and absolutely beautiful that way. Here’s a link to more on that…
But…this year we’re doing something different and cutting up the bird, separating the pieces, (still seasoning them in advance), and placing them in a roasting pan with celery, carrots and onions. We’ll roast it at 500 for 20 minutes. Then remove it from the oven, add white wine and enough chicken broth to come to ~3/4 of the way up the sides of the meat. We’ll cut the heat down to 325, cover the pan with foil and cook til a thermometer registers 160…that should take no more than 2 hours, most likely less. We’re really excited about this. 
The gravy is an old family recipe, which I don’t even have documentation of. I’ve just watched my mama do it all my life. Basically you’re making a roux, adding so very much white wine, turkey drippings, lots and lots of fresh chopped sage and then stirring in the turkey giblets and some hard boiled egg that you’ve finely chopped. It’s divine. 
*Roasted Cauliflower Gratin
We plan on roasting cauliflower, with chopped onions, til crispy and nutty, then layering it in a casserole dish with some flour, grated gruyere cheese and a little milk, then topping it with buttered breadcrumbs. We’ll bake it til golden brown and until the flour, cheese and milk become a luscious, thick, creamy sauce. 
*Pineapple Side Dish
This is another family classic. It’s unique but it’s everyone’s favorite. And it couldn’t be simpler to make…it’s basically canned pineapple mixed with sugar, flour and cheddar cheese, then topped with buttered cracker crumbs and baked. There’s even a vintage video of me making it many, many years ago…
*Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Red Grapes
My newest recipe! After roasting, the Brussels, grapes and onions are topped with chèvre and toasted pumpkin seeds.
*Sweet Potato Biscuits
Another family recipe…
And the gluten free version, if you need it…
*Cream Cheese-Pumpkin Pie and Pecan Pieletts
Since we love both pecan pie and pumpkin pie and don’t have enough people to eat both of them, I decided to cut each recipe in half and bake in jumbo muffin tins so we have individual pies!! Those recipes I have written down somewhere and are available by request. I really like my cream cheese pumpkin pie much better than traditional don’t taste a huge difference, it doesn’t turn it into a cheesecake or anything, it just helps round out the pumpkin flavor. And I’m sure I’ll have some whipped cream for both…
That’s it!! We’ll start off the day with the parade, egg white omelettes and mimosas and continue on to football and more mimosas before switching to Viognier and Pinot.
Happy early Thanksgiving to you all!!! I’d love to hear what your plans are this year!
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