Thanksgiving is the quintessential American holiday enjoyed and celebrated by all Americans.  It is a time when we gather with family and friends to share precious time together and partake of a sumptuous meal.  To enhance your Thanksgiving feast with your family, I’ve provided recipes for Roast Turkey and Sweet Potato Casserole.  Happy Thanksgiving!

Ingredients for Roast Turkey

  • 12 to 14 lb. fresh turkey
  • 1 onion, cut in 4 pieces
  • 2 carrots, cut in 4 pieces
  • 2 stalks of celery, cut in 4 pieces
  • 1 lemon, cut in half
  • 1 head of garlic, cut in half
  • Several sprigs each of parsley, thyme, chives and tarragon tied together with kitchen string
  • ½ cup of margarine, melted
  • onion powder
  • garlic powder
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 cups of turkey or chicken stock
  • 1 cup of white wine

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Remove the giblets and neck from inside the turkey cavity.

Rinse the turkey inside and out and pat dry with paper towels.

Fill the cavity with the onion, carrots, celery, lemon, garlic, parsley, thyme, chives, and tarragon. With kitchen string, tie together the tips of the turkey legs.

With a basting brush, baste some of the melted margarine all over the turkey, then season with onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and freshly ground pepper.

Pour two cups of turkey stock and about ¼ cup of white wine in the bottom of a roasting pan just large enough to hold the turkey.

Place the turkey on a rack in the roasting pan, place in the oven, and baste every 20 minutes with the margarine and juices on the bottom of the pan.  Make sure to add stock and wine to the bottom of the pan to prevent the drippings from burning.

Roast until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh registers 175 degrees.

It usually takes about 20 minutes per pound, so you can estimate that a 12 pound turkey should take about 240 minutes or 4 hours.

A 12 pound turkey should serve about 12 people.

Allow the turkey to rest about 30 minutes before carving and serving.

Ingredients for Sweet Potato Casserole

  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 cup pineapple orange banana juice (you can substitute regular orange or pineapple juice)
  • 1 stick margarine
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon powdered ginger
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 pounds carrots, sliced on the bias
  • 2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced ½-inch on the bias
  • ½ cup dried apricots, diced
  • ½ cup dried cranberries or craisins

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

In an ovenproof saucepan or Dutch oven large enough to hold all the ingredients, combine chicken stock, pineapple orange banana juice, margarine, maple syrup, brown, sugar, ginger, salt and pepper, and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes.

Add carrots, sweet potatoes, apricots, and dried cranberries and bring to a boil.

Cover saucepan and place in a preheated oven for 30 minutes.

Essex Fells Magazine

November 2011