Traditional Thanksgiving dinner can be prepared with a minimal effort on the cook.
First, the dressing is made because you will want to stuff the turkey before cooking and have some left over at the dinner table. Use a pot approximately one gallon is preferred. Fill the pot with about 3/4 water and boil the gizzard, neck, and liver for 1 hour. Then remove the pieces and set them aside. Now finely chop one medium size onion (any type is okay), four stalks of celery, and a pinch of parsley for color. Place them in the water previously used for cooking the turkey parts. Now bring the water to a boil again and add the meat from the neck to the mixture. When boiling rapidly add a teaspoon of garlic powder, 1/4 teaspoon paprika, granulated black pepper, and a heaping teaspoon full of chicken base. Stir until all ingredients are dissolved and the water is again rapidly boiling. Now add about two standard size bags of stuffing and stir until the texture becomes semi solid. Now cover and set aside for about ten minutes. The dehydrated breadcrumbs will soak up the water until the dressing attains the required consistency.
Now take the turkey, place it into a standard aluminum-baking pan, rub it down with margarine, and stuff it with the dressing. Sprinkle about one teaspoon of season salt, a teaspoon of garlic powder, and the same amount of granulated black pepper over the turkey. Now cover it with aluminum foil tightly on all sides and place in the oven at 325 degrees F for approximately five hours adding ten minutes to the time for each pound over 20 and deducting the same increments for birds under 20 pounds.
While the bird is cooking, the other traditional food items can be cooked. Starting with the yams, use about a 4 to 5 inch deep, and 12X8 baking pan. Cover the bottom and sides with a thin layer of margarine. In a separate bowl, add a couple of medium cans of yams along with the juice. Add a small can of shredded pineapple along with juice, a half a cup of brown sugar, the same amount of granulated sugar, 3/4 cup of Karo Syrup, 1 teaspoon powdered cinnamon, and a pinch of nutmeg. Mix the ingredients together and pour into the prepared baking pan. Now place 3 level teaspoons of margarine on top of the mixture and cover tightly. This should be baked at about 45 minutes in an oven at 350 degrees. After 45 minutes pull out and uncover the yams and place marshmallows completely over the top and place in the oven for a few minutes until the marshmallows are browned then remove and set aside.
The turkey should be removed after about 5 hours, uncovered and the juice should be poured over the entire bird then placed into the oven again for about 20 minutes at 450 degrees.
Depending on what you desire either instant or raw potatoes can be used for the whipped potatoes.
I will give the recipe for raw potatoes.
Using the same size pot for the potatoes as the stuffing boil the desired amount of peeled potatoes for approximately 30 minutes until soft. Drain the water to approximately the 1/4 line of the pan. Add 1/4 cup of margarine, half a teaspoon of season salt, a dash of black pepper and begin to whip the mixture together using a wire whip. As the mixture, gets thicker add whole milk to the desired consistency.
Gravy can be made from the drippings from the cooked turkey after skimming off the oil. Just place the drippings into a sauce pan add approximately a quart of water. Now finely dice the meat from the cooked neck, the gizzard, and even the liver if so desire (this will give the sauce a more distinct taste) and place in the saucepan. Add garlic, season salt, and black pepper to taste. A small amount of finely diced celery and onion can also be added to the mixture. At this point, bring to a boil and immediately add either a tablespoon of cornstarch to 3/4 cup of water well mixed or a roux made with half a cup of cooking oil mixed with flower to a heavy syrupy mixture and add to the mixture. Using a wire whip mix as your pour until the desired consistency is attained.
As for the vegetable fresh frozen green beans is an excellent choice for this type of meal. They can be cooked casserole style by beginning with sautéing them in a skillet with butter and when hot transfer them to a standard size-baking pan. Separately, in a bowl mix one one/2 cups of whole milk with 1/2 cup of graded American cheese a 1/2 cup of graded Swiss cheese and a tablespoon of cream cheese. Add to the green beans, mix, and sprinkle breadcrumbs over the top and place in a 350 degree F oven for 25 minutes.
Dessert can be either pumpkin pie or custard, which can be bought either frozen and baked in accordance with the instructions or readymade at your grocer. Dessert can be served with a touch of Cool Whip.
This Thanksgiving dinner is also the same as what you will be serving for Christmas or for New Year’s dinner. The only variation may be ham substituted for turkey. In which case most hams can be easily cooked for much shorter time periods than turkey and a glaze made of a mixture of 1/2 honey and 1/2 mustard can be placed over the ham about 15 minutes before it is done, allowing for professional glazed appearance when finished.
Most families have their own recipes handed down over generations, which are served with Holiday dinners such as Waldorf salad and Watergate Salad.