This year’s Thanksgiving menu brought to you by a photo of my turkey last year, on the floor, which was the moment I realized I hadn’t, in fact, removed the backbone from the turkey to properly spatchcock it. I was struggling to truly flatten it, so I moved it to floor for maximum leverage. But no, I had accidentally done it backwards and removed the breast bone. I called my mom, we laughed about it, and I moved on as it seemed likely that by the time it was carved and on the table that no one would have any idea we were eating a backwards spatchcocked turkey. (I was right – all was fine.)
There is no shortage of Thanksgiving menu inspiration on the internet right now. What I feel most of them are lacking is the lead in question: are you hosting, or bringing one dish? The answer to this question will drastically impact what you cook. When I am hosting, and therefore doing the majority of the cooking myself, I select easy recipes with simple ingredient lists with cooking that can be spaced out, and are a mix between oven and stove top cooking. If I am bringing just one or a few dishes to someone else’s hosted celebration, I consider significantly more elaborate dishes.
So, as you read through the many menus and recipes posted, be sure to consider them with the eye of a specific cook. If you are hosting and cooking, then skip the green bean casserole with homemade mushroom sauce, but if you are only responsible for one dish then have at it!
I started keeping a Google sheet with a new tab for my Thanksgiving menu each year, so I no longer have to search for the random notebook I wrote my 2014 menu in. So far this year I’ve been especially inspired by Alison Roman’s Thanksgiving (worth watching the 40 minute video, but be warned, that if you do this before bed you may dream about hanging out with her). Other than that I’m relying on classics from Thanksgiving and some old favorites.
- Turkey: Dry Brined, maybe spatchcocked if it fits in the fridge better that way (new recipe this year)
- Stuffing (really Dressing, but I don’t like that word): Buttered Stuffing with Celery and Leeks (new recipe this year)
- Gravy: giblet gravy (from Thanksgiving)
- Potatoes: mashed with other root vegetables (Jamie Oliver)
- Green Vegetable: bacon Brussels sprouts (from Thanksgiving)
- Orange Vegetable: roasted carrots and parsnips (just winging it!)
- Cranberry: homemade sauce as well as canned to please everybody
- Dessert: pumpkin pie (made by my MIL)
What’s on your menu?
Previous menus and Thanksgiving posts can be found here.