Happy Thanksgiving! hopefully, you’ve already decided on your menu, but I know sometimes there are last-minute additions to your guest list and your menu! This Year, my family is actually getting together – some 20+ of us. Some years we can have up to 30 people. It’s a show!
Seriously, there are so many options that one can choose from that your plates are ridiculously high! However, I would love for one or two years that we simplify our Thanksgiving and only have a few choices, but I know that that is wishful thinking. So, here is my wishful thinking Thanksgiving menu! Turkey thighs (they have the most flavor, FYI!), green bean casserole, cranberry sauce, and gravy! Don’t forget to add one or two of your absolute favorites like mashed potatoes or Sister Shubert rolls (here in Alabama you cannot have a holiday with Sister Shubert!).
The best part about this menu is that it really only takes about an hour and a half in the kitchen to prepare, so you can really enjoy the day, like having the time to take a walk in the outdoors or watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade – I mean Santa at the end really gets me excited for the holiday season!
Makes 6-8 servings
4 (12-ounce) bone-in, skin-on turkey thighs
1/4 cup unsalted grass-fed butter
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme, divided
1 large garlic clove, minced finely
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup warm unsalted chicken broth
Preheat oven to 375°
In a small bowl, stir together the butter, 1 1/2 teaspoons thyme and garlic lemon zest, salt, and pepper until combined. Under the skin, rub the butter mixture evenly over the thighs.
In a large cast-iron skillet over medium heat, add the turkey thighs skin-side down. Cook until the skin is golden brown, about 6-7 minutes. Remove from heat and place in the oven. Cook for about 30 minutes or until the turkey reaches an internal temperature reaches 165°. Remove the turkey thighs from the pan and onto a platter or a plate and set aside. Drain the pan of excess fat into a heat-proof container, reserving about 2 tablespoons of the fat.
Return the skillet to the burner over medium heat. Whisk in the flour until combined. Whisk in the chicken broth, bring to a boil and continue to whisk until thickened, about 2 minutes. Stir the remaining thyme to the pan and stir until just combined. Pour mixture into a serving dish and serve immediately with the turkey thighs.
Green Bean Casserole
Makes 6-8 servings
8 ounces mushrooms, sliced thinly
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
1 large shallot sliced thinly
1 1/2 pounds green beans, trimmed
3/4 cup heavy cream
3 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons sour cream
1/2 cup sliced almonds
In a large oven-proof skillet over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons butter and melt. Add the mushrooms and cook until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Remove the mushrooms with a slotted spoon and set them aside. Add the remaining tablespoon butter and melt then, add the shallots, and cook until softened, about 3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside along with the mushrooms. Add the green beans and 1 cup water. Cover with a lid and cook until the green beans are tender about 8 minutes.
Remove the lid and cook until the water evaporates, and the green beans get a little bit of color, about 2-3 minutes. Remove the beans with a slotted spoon and add to the mushrooms and shallots and set aside.
In the skillet add the heavy cream and bring to a simmer and thicken slightly for about 5 minutes. Whisk in the cream cheese and the sour cream until thickened and warmed through.
In a 9×9 baking dish, add the green beans, mushrooms, and shallots and stir to evenly disperse the mushrooms and shallots. Pour the cream mixture over the green beans and top with the almonds. Place in the oven and cook about 15-20 minutes or until the almonds are toasted and the cream mixture is lightly bubbling. Serve immediately.
Cranberry Apple Sauce
Makes 6-8 servings
1 large apple, diced
8 ounces fresh cranberries
1 cup orange juice, divided
1/4 teaspoon ground Cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground Nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground Allspice
3 tablespoons brown sugar
In a small saucepan, add the apples and orange juice and cook until the apples begin to be softened. Add the cranberries, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice and stir until combined. Cook until the cranberries pop and the mixture comes together. Refrigerate about 30 minutes before serving. Cover and refrigerate for up to 5 days.