“I’ve never made a Thanksgiving dinner before,” is the question my 29YO gluten free son asked me today. He’s cooking for 5 people. “Where do I start?”
The most important thing is to purchase your turkey early enough so your turkey can defrost in your fridge holding area before Thursday. You want a 10-12 lb fresh or frozen turkey. Always check if there are any added ingredients. Mostly a turkey is a turkey—unless they inject it with some flavorings or modified food starch. You want the purest one you can find. Read the labels. Bell Evans is my favorite, though Whole Foods had a Kosher one last year that was outrageously delicious.
For the Turkey:
Get a big enough roasting pan and some regular aluminum foil to tent it. Don’t put the foil inside the roasting pan—just on top—and secure it around the edges. Follow the directions on the turkey for how long to cook, but my way is 15 min per pound at 350 degrees. So for example, a 12 lb. turkey would be somewhere around 3-4 hrs. Then take the foil off in the last 30 minutes of cooking to brown the skin.
For the Potatoes:
You’ll need another big roasting pan and a 5 lb. bag of potatoes—either Yukon Gold or Russets
Whole milk and corn starch to make the gravy from the drippings that fall into your roasting pan and boil your giblets all day until tender (those turkey parts inside the bird) to mix into the gravy.
For the Veggies:
Make your favorite! And favorite sweet potato recipe you can find. We love Ruth’s Chris Sweet Potato Casserole recipe, and use corn starch instead of flour. But honestly, sweet potatoes, toasted pecans and brown sugar is all you need… and toasted baby marshmallows, of course!
For the Stuffing:
Find some gluten free stuffing at Whole Foods or Fresh Market or get some Udi’s Bread, toast it, cube it, and you’ve got yourself some stuffing. All you do is add some butter to the Udi’s (about a melted stick per toasted cubed loaf) and some water or gluten free chicken broth to moisten. Then bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Add mushrooms, apples, sausage, sweet onions, or anything your heart desires. Stuffing is one of those things that you create on your own!
To Stuff or Not to Stuff:
There’s a whole bunch of controversy on whether to stuff the bird or not, and I will leave that to you to research…
No matter what, have fun, turn on the music, no stress… everyday is Thanksgiving! So, so much to be grateful for!