My Traditional Thanksgiving Menu - A Recipe Roundup

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

I don't think it's any secret that I absolutely love Thanksgiving, especially when I get to be the chef to whip up dishes to share with friends and family. New York is home to lots of friends who don't go back home for the holiday, so for the past two years that I've lived in Manhattan, I've had the pleasure of hosting and cooking two Friendsgivings meals.


Coming from a Chinese family, Thanksgiving always meant a fusion dinner with turkey, fried rice, sushi and whatever else the relatives decide to come up with. So for my Thanksgiving menu, I wanted to keep it as traditional as possible - with one exception, I always use my turkey carcass to make turkey congee for the next morning!

This year, I'm a bit sad I won't be cooking a meal this year because I'll be going to visit my bestie in Boston. But, I did want to share with you the menu that I ended up for in Thanksgiving 2012, how I managed an entire menu in a tiny kitchen, and the recipes I used.



My biggest challenge was not cooking the meal, but navigating such a small kitchen. When all you get is the counter space on top of a dishwasher, a tiny sink, a mini stovetop and small oven where the heat source almost touches the top of your turkey, you have to make sure to plan ahead and figure out a game plan.

Knowing that you have a small oven means you have to make more stovetop recipes. Here's how it played out:

One Day Ahead
- Prep all veggies and marinade turkey (Chinese Style for the moistest turkey)
- Prepare Sage and Sausage Stuffing on stovetop and get it ready to be baked in oven the day of
- Prepare Green Bean Casserole and also get it ready to be put in oven day of
- Mix Sangria and leave in fridge
- Made Turkey Broth with Smoked Turkey Wings for Gravy

Day of Thanksgiving
- Put turkey in the oven meanwhile cooking other sides
- Made Mashed Potatoes w/ Roast Garlic on stove top
- Made Creamed Corn on stove top
- Made Cranberry Sauce on stove top
- Finished Gravy on stove top
- Once turkey is done and resting out of the oven, put stuffing and green beens in oven to cook at the same time

Unable to contain my excitement for cooking this meal, I might have overdone it a bit as we did have quite a bit leftover. However, all of these leftovers were reheated over the next few days and isn't Thanksgiving leftovers the best?

In addition to these cooked meals, we had some of my favorite foods from Zabar's including cheeses, prosciutto, pate, smoked salmon and smoked mussels. This was also probably too much, but NOM!! Also pictured is some Red Sangria.




Finally, what's Thanksgiving without some pies? My personal favorite is pumpkin pie since it's not nearly as crazy sweet as pecan pie.

Hopefully this quick guide helps you plan out your meals and that you find the recipes helpful - feel free to comment with questions as I'll be vicariously living through you!

Have a Happy Thanksgiving everyone! :)

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