Hi my gfers! Wow, is Thanksgiving sneaking right around the corner and someone (it’s me) is not yet ready. Been too busy cuddling this fox and not thinking about cooking for the biggest food day of the American year. I haven’t shopped, haven’t recipe tested, haven’t even fully sorted out what Thanksgiving games I’m going to make everyone in my family play while we eat gluten-free goodness. Although it will probably be “Truth or Dare” just because that makes for GREAT family (dys) fun (ction).
So I apologize for the lack of super wow recipes this year, but I will tell you what I’m thinking. You can check out my Instagram account the day of to see if my family actually gets to eat or not. Kidding! If nothing else, we will eat Chex Mix.
Snacks & Stuff
Traditionally, I love to throw out cheese and my favorite gluten-free crackers. But when you’re talking about a full-on Thanksgiving meal, I’m sorry to say it, people, skip that filling app and head to crudite town. I’m going to experiment with an onion dip, potentially non-dairy (I know! Who am I?) to serve with a plate full of fresh vegetables. Maybe I’ll throw in some of these yum gf snacks too.
Let’s Talk Turkey
You guys, I want you to know that if you can roast a chicken, you can roast a turkey. The only difference is turkey can be dry so you must, must, brine it or do that “bake in a bag” thing. I always brine. It’s pretty simple, and worth the 24 hours in advance. What you do is a buy that big ass brine bag. You can either mix your ingredients in a large stock pot and simmer to mix, or just throw it in cold if you’re not feeling it. For a 12 lb turkey you need at least 18 cups of warm water, 1 cup coarse sea salt, 4 garlic cloves, smashed, 3 tablespoons black pepper, 1 bunch chopped, fresh thyme, 4 bay leaves, 2 teaspoons fennel seeds, 2 white onions, sliced and 1 cup white, sweet, wine.
All of those ingredients should follow the turkey into the sealable bag and be placed in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours. I always put mine in the bag, then put it in the roasting pan to keep it solid, and flip it over to mix up the herbs halfway through the brining process. Then follow my directions for that chicken. Don’t skimp on the oil/butter under the skin, people. Don’t do it.
Personally, I skip the salad when I find I’m tight for time (unless I have fab vegetarian guests coming over, then I make the time). Because no matter how great that salad is, no one remembers the salad. No one. Still, this one is quite memorable. My all-time favorite Thanksgiving salad is this one with a pumpkin or other winter squash. It’s SO GOOD. And then you knock out a squash side dish. Done and done.
Honestly, you can’t go wrong with any kind of potato. In fact, what usually messes me up every year is NOT being able to decide between this potato dish or this one or this amazing one or even traditional mash. This year I’m thinking about adding prosciutto and Parmesan to my regular ol’ butter and milk version. Right? RIGHT.
I’m a big fan of kale and leafy, dark greens. Also Brussels sprouts, asparagus, broccoli….clearly I’ve got a thing for green. I’ve spent many holidays enjoying a potato and brussels sprouts au gratin (which I highly recommend) but this year I think I’m going to go for wilted winter greens with a mustard sauce. I’ll let you know how that goes. If you need a recipe right, like now, may I suggest this one? It’s also vegan. DO IT.
Right now I’m trying to decide between pumpkin cheesecake and sweet potato bourbon with pecan crust. Yes, it’s a tough life. Also, we’re kind of hell bent on getting this chocolate turkey –
Don’t forget to drink!
While we’re talking about making Sazeracs, I also am feeling like a cranberry type beverage might be more appropriate for Thanksgiving. Don’t worry, we’ll have plenty of sparkling wine just in case.
All right, I think we’re good as long as everything turns out properly. If not, we’ll have that chocolate turkey.
So, what the heck are you doing on gluten-free Thanksgiving???
Oh my gosh! I totally may need to make that salad this week. It looks so good! Thank you for sharing 🙂
Do it! It’s also pretty simple, which is a huge bonus on Thanksgiving.
Thank you for your blog – I’ve gotten some great ideas from your blog, and some of the other blogs you link to. 🙂
Another way to make a moist turkey – this is our long-time family recipe:
In the bottom of a roasting pan with a lid, lay flat some bacon, herbs, and sliced onions. Lay at least two pieces of heavy string across the pan (this is for lifting the turkey out when it’s cooked). Put the (stuffed) turkey in the pan, and tuck some onion, carrot, parsnip pieces around the sides. Lay a couple of slices of bacon on the top. Pour in one bottle white wine. (really.) Cover the ends of the string with tin foil, and use the foil to clamp them to the rim of the pan. Pop on the lid, and put the turkey in the oven. Poach the turkey until it’s almost done, then pull the lid off for the last half hour or so, to brown the skin.
Remove the turkey from the roasting pan. Strain the solids out of the liquid in the pan – you can use the blender to puree the veggies into the liquid if you like – and use the liquid to make your gravy.
That sounds AMAZING. And I love your tips. I must listen to them, as well as my own I’ve already blabbed about, next holiday season. 😉