Everyone has that special dish that they must have to make Thanksgiving feel like Thanksgiving. No matter what part of the country you live in most everyone can agree on one thing, turkey! Whether you like it roasted, fried or baked, Thanksgiving just isn't complete without it. But does everyone cook their turkey the same way? Today we take a look at how this holiday meal varies from region to region and share some yummy recipes in case you want to mix it up this Thanksgiving.
A traditional Southern-style Thanksgiving isn't complete without some good old Southern classics. Some of the things you can count on seeing are cornbread dressing, sweet potato casserole and of course, pecan pie. As for the turkey, Southern-fried is a perfect pair.
Frying a turkey is pretty straightforward and simple. But it can also be extremely dangerous if not done properly. Please be sure to follow complete manufacturer's directions on your turkey fryer.
• ¼ cup oil
• ¼ cup red wine vinegar
• 1 teaspoon sugar
• 1 teaspoon chili powder
• ½ teaspoon garlic powder
• ½ teaspoon salt
• ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
• 1 turkey, thawed
• Cajun marinade
• Your favorite Cajun seasoning
• Meat injector
• Turkey fryer
• 5 gallons peanut or canola oil
1. Remove giblets and neck from the cavity and rinse turkey well. Then pat dry with paper towels. You will want to make sure that the turkey is completely dry before frying. Cut off the turkey's wing tips and tail to avoid snagging on fryer basket.
2. Generously rub inside and outside of turkey with Cajun seasoning. Inject marinade into the turkey. Refrigerate for eight hours to allow flavors to develop.
3. Assemble fryer per directions and bring the oil to 375 degrees.
4. When the fryer comes up to temp, lower the turkey into oil, neck end down. The oil will bubble and froth, but should subside after about a minute.
5. Continuously monitor oil temp and increase flame as needed to maintain temperature. Allowing the temperature to drop below 340 degrees will allow the oil to absorb into the turkey.
6. Turkey should fry for 3 to 4 minutes per pound.
7. After the required cooking time be sure to check turkey with a meat thermometer to ensure doneness. Allow to rest 20 minutes before carving.
Pacific Northwest Thanksgiving
Some favorites you can expect to see at a Pacific Northwest Thanksgiving are green beans with toasted hazelnuts, mixed fruit crumble, scalloped potatoes and turkey with porcini mushroom gravy.
Sautéed green beans with toasted hazelnuts and dried cranberries
• 2/3 cup toasted hazelnuts, skinned and chopped
• 12 cups water
• 1 ½ pounds green beans, trimmed
• 3 tablespoons hazelnut oil
• 1/3 thinly slice shallots
• 2/3 C. dried cranberries
• ½ teaspoon salt
• ½ teaspoon pepper
1. Bring water to a boil in a large pot. Add beans and cook for 4 minutes or until tender. place in ice bath to shock and stop cooking and then pat dry.
2. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add shallots and cook 5 minutes or until lightly browned. Add beans and cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. When beans are heated through add the hazelnuts and cranberries and cook for 1 minute. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
New England thanksgiving
New England thanksgiving is sure to warm you up on a cold November day. But no Thanksgiving is complete without a little football; local teams play their last game of the season on this bountiful holiday. Dinner may include some longtime favorite like hot apple cider, cranberry sauce, maple mashed sweet potatoes and a perfectly roasted turkey.
Mashed sweet potatoes with maple cinnamon sauce
• 4 sweet potatoes, scrubbed
• ¼ cup melted butter
• ¼ cup maple syrup
• 1 tablespoon flour
• 1 teaspoon cinnamon
• 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1.) Cut off the ends of the potatoes and place on a foil lined pan. Bake at 400 degrees for about one hour or until tender.
2.) Combine all of the sauce ingredients and whisk until combined. Microwave for 1 minute, just until it starts to boil. The sauce will thicken as it cools and may be preferred served warm.
3.) Once the potatoes are done cooking, remove from oven and allow to cool before skinning and mashing. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and drizzle with sauce to serve.