A Thanksgivin’ dinner that couldn’t be beat

November 22, 2018

Let there be turkey!

Yes, it’s a repetitious headline. It’s a repetitious holiday. Comes around every year, fourth Thursday in November.

Given my fondness for excess, it is little wonder Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I love the cooking, the eating (not so much the putting up and cleaning up), the traditional dishes. Of which I always make too much.

We had all the classics: Turkey, dressing, gravy, sweet potato casserole, cranberry salad, deviled eggs, Brussels sprouts, broccoli salad, grape salad, homemade rolls. Had dessert, too — two kinds of pie which no one ate. Have a vat of everything left, except for what I sent home with Child C.

We ate early, and it’s all put away now except for dealing with the remains of the turkey — I only sliced about half of him. But that won’t take long. 

I did do a couple of things differently this year; I broke the turkey down, sous vided the legs and wings, cut the backbone out and roasted it to make stock, along with the neck, the wing tips and the giblets. I was going to sous vide the breasts as well, but my container wasn’t big enough, and I didn’t feel like changing to a bigger one, so I dry-brined it and just let it sit in the fridge overnight. It was quite moist, and excellent. Which is good, because it was a Damn Big Turkey. I’m going to debone that other breast half, vac-pack it and chunk it in the freezer; we’ll see it Christmas.

When I pulled the legs out of their overnight bath this morning, I put them straight into the smoker loaded with applewood chips. People. This is some good stuff. Some REAL good stuff. The meat will pull, and look a lot like pulled pork shoulder, and will taste a lot like a pretty damn good version of it. I’m thinking it will make some wonderful sandwiches this weekend. I kept a little white meat, but this may have turned me to the dark (meat) side. 

I have also Learned Another Thing. I have learned to make mac and cheese in the Instant Pot, and I may never make it any other way. I make a vat of it, because the kids love the stuff (I can take or leave it), and this is dead easy.

You cook your pasta in the IP — a pound of pasta (elbow mac, for us) and four cups of water, with salt — for 5 minutes, HP, and then quick release the pressure. It doesn’t look done, but it was perfect. Then, with the pot still in “keep warm” mode, add your cheese, milk, butter, whatever else you traditionally put in your mac and cheese. Then go away. Come back occasionally and stir it as your cheese melts. 

Depending on how long you leave it, you may need to add some more milk. 

I mean, I know mac and cheese is not rocket science, but this is just dead easy. 

Brussels sprouts got halved, tossed in olive oil, salted and peppered, and roasted for 20 minutes at 400. I drizzled them afterward with a glaze of honey and serrano vinegar, which is a condiment with which I have Fallen In Love. Child C liked ’em, so I sent them home with her. I liked them too, but I don’t like them in general enough to eat them twice in a week.

I bought, for some reason, two packages of them. I still have one in the fridge. I may shred it and make slaw.

Pawned off the sweet potatoes on Child C as well, along with a big portion of the leftover turkey and a fair amount of dressing. There’s a small pan of dressing in the freezer, and a little bit left in the fridge in the event we want any later this weekend.

I think I’ll watch the last half of the Cowboys and Redskins, read, and drink a little wine. I hope you ‘n y’mama ‘n’em had a most marvelous Thanksgiving, including a dinner that couldn’t be beat. I’m thankful for all of you who take a few minutes every once in a while to read my ramblings.


One Response to “A Thanksgivin’ dinner that couldn’t be beat”

  1. Shelby Says:

    And I am thankful to read your blogs 🙂 I have yet to try mac and cheese in the IP. You have inspired me to do so.

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