Thanksgiving dinner in a flash
By Lucy Cohen Blatter
As delicious as it is, the Thanksgiving meal can be a pain to make. Luckily, the team at Everyday with Rachael Ray magazine has laid out strategies for conquering a previously impossible task: Putting together a Thanksgiving dinner in 60 minutes flat.
Spiced pumpkin mousse trifle. Courtesy of Everyday with Rachael Ray.Pamela Mitchell, the magazines executive food editor, provided tips to help almost anyone pull it off.
People can save at least two hours if they think about cooking turkey in parts rather than cooking the whole bird, she said. You dont need to worry about cooking time or carving time, plus, you dont have to worry about having a bird carcass left over either. So few people actually make homemade stocks from carcasses anymore, so its often a challenge to get rid of those.
Mitchell stressed the acceptability of store-bought foods such as cranberry sauce, stuffing mix, already sliced vegetables and frozen pie crusts. Supermarkets have really changed and they offer so much more choice. And for Thanksgiving you can go a little more high-end, with the more gourmet brands.
A stress-free Thanksgiving also requires plenty of planning ahead. It really pays to be organized, Mitchell said. You need to start planning figuring out the menu and making sure special dietary restrictions are taken into account. You need to make a shopping list, and figure out foods that you can make in advance and freeze. It also helps to clear spaces in the fridge and on countertops, she said.
Here, some recipes from the November/Thanksgiving issue of Everyday with Rachael Ray that can make a 60-minute Thanksgiving meal a reality:
EARLY BIRD TURKEY
Prep time 5 mins
Cook time 55 mins
Two 2 Â¾ pound boneless turkey breast halves with skin on
One 2 Â¼ pound bone-in turkey thigh
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
Â½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon pepper
1 lemon, halved crosswise
Â½ cup chicken broth
Store-bought cranberry sauce
1. Position a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees. Arrange the turkey parts on a rimmed baking sheet, tucking the smaller end of each breast under to make an even thickness. Drizzle with olive oil and season with thyme, salt and pepper. Place the lemon halves, cut side down, in the pan. Roast until meat thermometer inserted in each piece registers 155 degrees, about 55 minutes.
2. Transfer the turkey parts to a cutting board and tent loosely with foil; let stand for 20 minutes before slicing.
3. Meanwhile, pour the chicken broth into the baking sheet, scraping up any browned bits. Pour into a microwaveable cup; skim the fat that rises to the surface. Microwave on high power for 1 minute. Serve the turkey pan sauce with the sliced turkey and cranberry sauce.
APPLE AND DATE STUFFING
Prep time 10 min
Bake time 10 min
1 bunch scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced
1 golden delicious apple
2 tablespoons butter
Â½ teaspoon pepper
1 2/3 cup chicken broth
One 10-ounce bag stuffing mix
Â½ cup chopped pecans, toasted
1/3 cup chopped dates
1. Preheat an oven to 400 degrees. In a large saucepan, cook the scallions, apple, butter and pepper, stirring, over high heat, for 1 minute. Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil over high heat. Remove from the heat and stir in the stuffing mix, pecans and dates until combined.
2. Transfer the stuffing to an ovenproof serving dish and bake for 10 minutes.
SPICED PUMPKIN MOUSSE TRIFLE
Prep time 10 min
3 cups heavy cream
One 15-ounce can pure pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Â½ teaspoon ground ginger
Pinch ground cloves
One 7.5-ounce jar marshmallow cream
3 cups chopped gingersnaps, plus crushed gingersnaps for sprinkling
3 tablespoons dark rum
1.Using an electric mixer, beat the cream until stiff. Reserve 2 cups whipped cream for serving; refrigerate until ready to serve.
2. In a large bowl, stir together the pumpkin, vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and salt. Fold in half of the marshmallow cream, then half of the whipped cream. Repeat with the remaining marshmallow cream and whipped cream until combined.
3. In a medium bowl, sprinkle the gingersnaps with rum.
4. Spoon one-third of the pumpkin mousse into a clear glass serving bowl, spreading evenly, and sprinkle half of the cookies on top. Repeat with half of the remaining cookies, then top with the final layer of mousse. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve, at least 1 hour and up to 4 hours. Just before serving, top with reserved whipped cream and sprinkle with the crushed gingersnaps.
Credits: Everyday with Rachael Ray
All these recipes, and more, are available at rachaelraymag.com/thanksgiving
More Tips from Pamela:
DEFROSTING A FROZEN TURKEY
Defrosting a turkey in your refrigerator can take five days. As a short cut, immerse the turkey (still in its wrapping) in cold water in your sink for about seven hours for a 15-pound bird. Just be sure to change the water every 30 minutes.
LOOK BEYOND THE OVEN AND STOVE
Microwaves can cook vegetables in about half the time; a slow cooker does all the work for you; and a rice cooker can be used to make a variety of rice dishes. Added bonus: Using these appliances saves space on your stove and in your oven.