Thanksgiving: Main Meal
My favorite holiday for sure!
I love that it means time with family and friends AND that it means yummy, once-a-year dishes.
I'll be headed home to Tennessee for Thanksgiving this year so, no huge meal-planning for me, but maybe someone wants last-minute ideas. I'll see my Memaw, pictured below, who is responsible for all the holiday traditions on my mom's side of the family. To say we love her is an understatement!
When I don't make it home to TN I host Thanksgiving in Atlanta, GA. It is not the same - but heavily influenced by my Thanksgivings at home.
I'm listing my usual ATL Thankgiving menu with notes. Click the links to access recipes.
Desserts will be on a separate post to follow.
Memaw's Thanksgiving Dressing - at least make the cornbread for it a day ahead and prep veggies - can be completely made and frozen ahead for several days
Thomas Keller's Oven Roasted Chicken - start this one 3 days before cooking
Aunt Pam's Mac and Cheese - day of serving
Betty Chester's Squash Casserole - prep veggies the night before - cook the day of
Ina's Make-Ahead Gravy - day or 2 ahead - reheat day of
Deviled Eggs - prep day or 2 before - assemble day of
Cranberry Relish - up to 2 days ahead
Herb Garlic Butter - up to 2 days ahead
One of the two most anticipated dishes in my family. The other is my Memaw's chocolate gravy, which happens Christmas morning and gets served over hot biscuits with a side of bacon or ham.
I've had people who don't like dressing tell me they like her dressing. It is delicious!
Well worth the wait and the drive!
**You will need to grab my cornnbread recipe as well and make it ahead of starting the dressing.
I've made turkey and it was good but not stellar. It was difficult to manage (big, cold and hardly a large enough space to brine) and my family honestly enjoys chicken more. THIS chicken IS STELLAR and I keep making it time and time again.
Two recipes - one with bacon/butter/sugar and one with viniagar/capers/olive oil - your choice!
Both of these are amazingly tasty! I typically go the bacon route for special occasions and the viniagrette route more regularly.
This recipe was shared by my friend and former roommate's Aunt Pam, who I also ended up referring to as Aunt Pam. My roommate, Cournie, and her family always treated me like family, so I also gained an Aunt Pam and my favorite mac and cheese recipe!
Please note that this IS made with Velveeta... I've tried finding a non-Velveeta recipe I like better to no avail. I've tried many! So, once a year, I eat Velveeta and I love it.
This recipe comes from a lady who has been friends with my family since...forever ago. I cannot remember a time when she was not discussing a recipe or some new pattern for sewing with my Memaw. Her squash casserole is easy to make and delicious.
I was never huge on gravy growing up but now I'm a fan! This gravy recipe is delicious. You will want to drizzle it on everything once you have a taste. It also freezes well (I always have leftover gravy).
Classics are always a hit - and there are a million recipes for these tasty treats.
This is one of my favorites. I truly do miss the cranberry sauce more than most parts of the meal. This one is packed with flavor and texture.
This butter just makes people happy. I remember trying it for the first time and thinking that butter couldn't get better...wrong. It is super tasty on rolls and an amazing topping for steaks after grilling.
Just be sure to chop everything really small to keep it spreadable AND let it come to room temperature before serving.
I realize after putting this together how much the ladies in my life have such an influence over all my holiday memories. I feel grateful to have these memories and relationships. Maybe one day I'll also get to meet Ina and Thomas Keller. Ina Garten, I DO refer to her on a first-name basis...so we are halfway there, right?
I hope you're able to enjoy some of these recipes and have THE BEST holiday meal!
...make sure you go buy bread or rolls - I don't even attempt those from scratch for big holiday meals. Who else burns the bread after nailing everything else??? (purchase extra just in case)