A Very Happy Friendsgiving

Celebrate turkey day with your friends — and eat delicious food and do minimal work. Here are my tips to make the day more about visiting and eating, and less about cooking.


Turkey Tips:

  1. Smaller is always better, even if you are serving an army. Two 13-pound birds are better than one 26-pound bird. The meat will be more tender and flavorful.
  2. Always brine your bird. This step is worth the effort.
  3. Roast your bird breast-side-down. Season liberally with salt and pepper, and rub your turkey with lots of butter and herbs, especially under the skin.
  4. Fill the bird with herbs and sliced lemons.
  5. Add lots of onions, carrots, and celery and at least 2 to 3 cups of water to your roasting pan so you get plenty of drippings for gravy.



 Spiced Orange Cranberry Sauce, Friendsgiving


Spiced Orange Cranberry Sauce


3 cups fresh cranberries 

1 cup sugar 

2 small tangerines sliced in half 

1/2 cup apple juice 

1/2 cup water

1 cinnamon stick 
Bring all ingredients to a simmer over medium heat for 7 to 8 minutes. Once the cranberries begin to pop and the mixture thickens, they are done. Discard the cinnamon and oranges. Enjoy leftover cranberry sauce on buttered toast.



Green Beans with Caramelized Speck and Chanterelles, Friendsgiving

Green Beans with Caramelized Speck and Chanterelles


2 pounds trimmed, fresh green beans 

1 pound fresh chanterelle mushrooms 

2 tablespoons butter or olive oil 

1/2 pound speck ham or pancetta, diced 

1 medium onion, sliced 

Salt and pepper to taste
Cook green beans in 2 inches of boiling water for 3 to 4 minutes. Drain, and set aside. In a large skillet or sauté pan, caramelize the onion, ham, and mushrooms in the olive oil. This should take about 10 to 12 minutes. Once the mushrooms have a golden color and the onions are caramelized, season with salt and pepper, and add the green beans. Sauté for 4 to 5 minutes.



Parmesan Smashed Potatoes with Cream Gravy, Friendsgiving

Cream Gravy


3 cups turkey drippings

1 cup heavy cream

3 tablespoons flour

Salt and pepper to taste


You must use turkey drippings for this gravy — boxed stock will not do. If you have only 2 cups of drippings, then you may add 1 cup of boxed or canned stock or broth. Add all the ingredients to your blender. The drippings must be piping hot to dissolve the flour. Be careful! Blend on high for 2 to 3 minutes with the lid on — take the venting off, and cover with a paper towel. Careful, as hot liquid expands a great deal in the blender, so do not overfill. Pulse to begin. Pour into a gravy boat, and enjoy!


Parmesan Smashed Potatoes


5 pounds Yukon gold potatoes 

4 cups heavy cream 

2 cups Parmesan cheese

1/2 cup butter 

Salt and pepper to taste 
Place potatoes in a large pot, and cover with cool water. Place on high heat until they come to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-high and simmer with the lid on for 40 minutes. Once the potatoes are tender, drain. Add cream, seasonings, butter, and cheese. Mash with a hand masher until you’ve got lumpy, creamy, delicious, smashed potatoes with gooey strings of cheese.



Sourdough Stuffing with Sausage and Sweet Potatoes, Friendsgiving

Sourdough Stuffing with Sausage and Sweet Potatoes


5 cups sourdough bread, cubed 

1 pound browned sausage 

1/2 cup butter, plus 2 tablespoons 

1 diced onion 

2 ribs of celery, diced 

1 cup sweet potato, cubed 

1/2 cup dried cranberries 

3 cups chicken or turkey stock 

2 eggs 

2 tablespoons fresh sage, chopped finely 

2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped finely 

1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped finely 

Salt and pepper to taste 


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brown the sausage in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, sweet potato, and celery, and cook until the onion becomes translucent. Add the butter, cranberries, fresh herbs, salt, pepper, and stock, and continue cooking for 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from the heat. Add the bread, and mix. Once the mixture is cooled a bit, add the eggs, and mix until the egg is completely incorporated. Dot the top with the remaining butter. Cover with foil, and bake for 30 to 35 minutes. Remove the foil during the last 10 minutes to brown the top.


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