My best advice for thanksgiving is this. Brine the Turkey. You can't possibly screw it up, it improves the flavor a billion times, and its easy to do.
My traditional thanksgiving recipies:
Alton Brown's Turkey brine:
1 cup kosher salt
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 gallon vegetable stock
1 tablespoon black peppercorns (I usually leave these out)
1 1/2 teaspoons allspice berries
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped candied ginger
1 gallon heavily iced water
Instructions. Start thawing your turkey as normal if needed.The night before you plan to cook the bird, get a large clean cooler and a large clean plastic bag (garbage bag, etc) to line the cooler, and place the turkey inside the bag (with all the innerds removed), breast side down. Add all the brine ingrediants, supplementing with additional ice and water as needed to cover at least most of the turkey. Let the turkey sit in the brine for at least 8 hours, then flip it once and let sit for a few hours more.
Now, bake the turkey as normal, stuffed or not as you normally would. I also reccommend spreading canola oil over the turkey before baking., You'll get a nice golden crispy bird skin, which locks in all the moisture you added through brining. This will NOT make your turkey taste salty at all. The salt is basically there to trigger reverse osmosis in the turkey cells, causing them to suck up all the brine juice, but very little salt actually makes it into the Turkey. There is no better trick to cooking a turkey, no matter how you prepare it, than brineing.
Kaolian's Pumpkin Pie of Doom!
1 Pie crust (Double for covered top pies)
• 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 cup butter, chilled and diced
• 1/4 cup ice water
• 3 eggs
• 1 egg yolk
• 1/2 cup white sugar
• 1/2 cup packed (dark) brown sugar
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
• 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
• 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
• 1 1/2 cups milk
• 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
• 2 cups pumpkin puree (canned is fine here - Not pumpkin pie filling though 15 oz can)
In a large bowl, combine eggs, egg yolk, white sugar and brown sugar. Add salt (critical for baking, not flavor), cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cloves. Gradually stir in milk and cream. Stir in pumpkin. Pour filling into pie shell.
Bake for ten minutes in preheated oven at 425 degrees f. Reduce heat to 350 degrees F, and bake for an additional 40 to 45 minutes, or until filling is set. To check filling, stick a clean knife in the middle. If little or no liquid pumpkin sticks to the knife the pie is done. filling will solidify more with cooling.
Kaolian's Stuffed stuffing of stuffedness
• 1 cup raisins
• 1 cup chopped morel mushrooms
• 1 1/2 cups orange juice
• 1/2 cup butter
• 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
• 2 cups chopped celery (optional. I for one kind of hate celery can substitute more onions)
• 1 large Walla Walla sweet or Maui onion, chopped
• 1 pound ground sausage, spiced to taste
• 2 cups dried bread crumbs
• 1 cup chopped cashews (can use pecans)
• 4 Granny Smith apples - peeled, cored and chopped
• 2 cups chicken broth (or better yet, add 3 tablespoons better than bullion chicken to 2 cups apple juice.
• 4 tsp. chopped sage
• 2 tsp. chopped garlic
• 2 tsp. rosemary
• 2 tbsp. Parmesan cheese, grated (seasoning)
Place the raisins in a small saucepan, and cover with 1 cup orange juice. Bring to boil, remove from heat, and set aside.
In a large skillet, melt 1/2 cup butter over medium heat. Sauté the celery and onion in the butter for 10 minutes. Transfer to a large mixing bowl.
In the same skillet, cook the sausage over medium-high heat until crumbled and evenly brown. Drain.
Combine the sausage and stuffing mix with the mushroom, celery and onion mixture. Stir in the raisins and orange juice, cashews, and apples. Mix in the other 1/2 cup melted butter, chicken broth, 1/2 cup orange juice; the stuffing should be totally moistened. Season, then stuff the turkey. Use of plunger to stuff turkey is not recommended…
Kaolian's cranberry sauce
1 can cranberry sauce
Open can of cranberry sauce. Eat.
Grandma Bloom's Cloud Potatoes • 7 pounds russet potatoes, peeled, all blemishes removed.
• 4 cloves garlic, peeled
• 6 tablespoons butter, cut into small chunks
• 1 cup heavy whipping cream, heated until steaming
Boil potatoes and garlic until they are soft and mash-able. Drain water, then dump the entire batch into a large mixer. Add butter and cream, whip with mixer until smooth. It’s important the whipping cream is not cold, otherwise it can result in lumps.