Tag: Gravy

Two days until Thanksgiving – Prep Plan

Today is the Tuesday before Thanksgiving 2011. The day after T-day is a birthday, my daughter will be 13!

Today I need to make the stuffing, then stuff the Free Range Organic Fresh Turkey (15+ lbs.) and roast it in my Electrolux oven on Perfect Turkey setting with the probe.

Then start the gravy making a roux or two (light and dark, for instance) and finish it after the turkey is done, taking the drippings and using chicken stock.

The stuffing will go into freezer bags, then into the fridge until Thanksgiving Dinner time. (It’ll be heated in Corning Ware French White casserole dishes with lids or foil over the top in the oven.)

The Free Range Organic ROASTED Turkey will be allowed to cool, then it will be carved and the different types of parts will be put into Food Saver bags and processed (vacuum sealed) and put into the fridge until Thanksgiving Dinner time. (The turkey slices, (and chunks) will be put into different oven vessels with gravy (covered) to be heated in the oven.)

More gravy will be heated on the stove top (I make lots and lots of gravy for this holiday!)

Tomorrow will be Wednesday, and that is Pie Day. I try to always make the pies the day before. I need to rummage up all my pie dishes and figure out if I need a new one or now. My grandma’s pie plate broke a few years ago. It was one of the worst days of my life. It was an 8-inch wide Fire King – so pretty, deep dish, and so historical for me: it was my grandmas from way back. She died in the early 70’s, it was hers for I don’t know how long, but I’d always known it. It just suddenly fell apart one day (not on it’s own, mind you.) It wasn’t treated right at that time, dropped by someone not authorized to touch it. Anyhow, it broke horribly and I screamed and screamed and screamed and felt so sick about it. I still feel that way.

So then, pumpkin pies and I don’t know what else.

On the day I’ll make rolls of some kind. Last year I was so organized and full of good things, it was the double holiday on 1 day year (every so often the stars align …) I made what became known at the time as 1-up Mushroom Rolls and Tom-Kitten Rolls. I’d forgotten that until I read my post-thanksgiving/birthday blog post from last year this morning. I don’t know if I’ll make any of those for this Thanksgiving, but I’ll have to remember to re-tool the ideas and get them made on purpose some times.

I’ll have yams or sweet potatoes, canned, and I’ll candy them on the stove top (Candied Yams.) I’ll make a Cheddar Cheese Sauce, with that and cauliflower I’ll make Glorified Cauliflower. The obligatory Green Bean Casserole will also be made. (Green Beans, Chicken Flavored White Sauce, Fried Onions.)

I used to make the turkey on Thanksgiving Day, but found it too much with a birthday nearby since 1998, plus my hubby isn’t a good carver so it’s a task best done by me beforehand. It makes everything so much easier to spread the things that need done into the days before the holiday, then on the day it’s reheating and making the veggy things.

Oh, of course, the mashed potatoes. Can’t forget them. I LOVE them with Turkeys and Beef Roasts (and gravy from the particular bird/meat) I love them how I make them. The main secret is, forget any method but using a big Kitchen Aide Stand mixer (or something like it) and first put cooked potatoes into the KA bowl, use a fork to break them up some first, then put the paddle attachment and bowl on the KA Mixer and turn to stir and add salt, butter and sour cream, turn the speed up to 6, allow to mix for 3 minutes. Turn off, scrape the sides, put the wire whip attachment on the KA Mixer and turn the speed to stir, then slowly up to full speed, and leave it to whip for 3 full minutes. Voila! Wonderful Mashed Potatoes!

These work well then to be put into an oven-able serving dish and dot with butter, sprinkle with paprika and stick in a warm-hot oven until ready to serve (not an oven that is baking or roasting something, but this should be done when stuffing and turkey and green bean things are already heated and being held to stay warm.

This is then when the veggy other things for the stove top can be made, and then everything is ready to be served without feeling like it’s killing you. 🙂

The one thing I like and most of us here do, is canned Cranberry Sauce, jellied variety. It’s tart and sweet and cool and smooth and whoa! What a combination with turkey and gravy and stuffing and … oh so good! It says THANKSGIVING! It pulls it all together, makes the most Thankful statement that can be. All the stuff without it is good, OK and all that, but not the same without that cranberry jellied cold smooth tartness. 🙂

Roasted Chicken w/stuffing

I’m going to make some chickens for dinner today. They are Organic fryers. I use two, we eat as much as we want, and use the leftover chicken for whatever, another meal or something.

I love stuffing and I think I’ll make up some today. It’s simple, use Chicken Stock, herbs, bread, onion … very simple (just as it is at Thanksgiving, just on a larger scale)

Wash the chickens inside and out, pat dry. Put some pieces of butter under the skin of the chicken, this sort of thing is traditional, documented elsewhere if you need the help (not here, elsewhere.)

Lightly stuff the chicken cavities with the bread stuffing. Don’t pack it in. If there’s any left you can put it in a casserole and bake it for about 30 minutes. (My favorite though is always the “in the bird” stuffing.)

Roast the birds at 350 degrees F. as long as needed for their size as well as the additional time needed since they are stuffed. Using a Meat thermometer is a great idea. (There are many ways of checking done-ness in a bird, knowing the methodology is wonderful, experience with it even better, so get started if you haven’t yet. Chickens are not hard, easy, just a tad fussy to pick the bones afterward to get all the meat, but it’s not hard.)

When the chickens are done, remove them from the oven and cover with foil and let them sit to recover their juices for about 15 minutes. (They’ll be plenty hot for the table, don’t worry) If you cut into meat or poultry before it has had a chance to sit for awhile, too much of it’s juices will run out and the meat will be dry, which is something I don’t like, how about you?

Dry Wine, Dry Jokes, but not Dry Meat.

If you have stuffed the birds, when you take the chickens out of the oven remove the stuffing to a serving dish right away. Cover that and keep in a warm place (warm, not HOT, it’s already cooked and piping hot, just keep it from losing temperature.)

I also make gravy and mashed potatoes to go with this meal, and organic petite peas.

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