Thansgiving Day Menu, a Man’s Job?

I have a confession to make. I have never in my life cooked a Turkey. It’s the truth. Growing up, my Grandmother was always in charge of the turkey and then when I married, my Mother In Law was the designated Turkey lady. So, now, I’m the 43 old Turkey virgin. And, guess what, my future MIL will be cooking the Turkey this year. When, I wonder, will it be my turn?

This beautiful bird and the recipe to follow comes from the husband of a friend of mine. That’s right ladies, the man cooks the entire Thanksgiving feast. Hold onto yourselves now. I know your knees are starting to give way. His wife, the lucky woman, tells me his turkey is legendary. So, I begged him to share with me his method. As you will see below, it is a little unconventional. He’s also been kind enough to share all the recipes he uses on Turkey day including the Wild Rice Salad I’ve heard so much about. For more of Peter’s recipes and his views on all things beer, visit his blog

Ginger Turkey

20lb thawed / fresh turkey

Part 1:

Mix ½ stick margarine with thyme, sage, rosemary. (I use fresh herbs for thanksgiving) Spread ½ mixture between the skin and the meat over the breast. Then spread the remaining over the skin, breast, wings, legs.

Part 2:

The injector sauce, mix in a small pot, ½ c organic chicken broth, 2 tbls of margarine/butter, 1 tbls lemon juice, ½ tsp garlic powder, ½ tsp freshly ground pepper (I use a mix of pepper corns). Warm in pot until all the ingredients are melted together. Cool, then inject over several places on the bird, breast, thighs, and legs. ( you can buy an injector at your local grocery store)

Part 3:

Preheat oven to 400°

Part 4:

Remove parts from bird (neck, gizzard, etc) put in bottom of the roasting pan. Add a mixture of white wine and chicken broth to the bottom of the pan. About 2 cups of liquid.

Part 5:

Cook turkey for about 15 minutes at 400° then cover the turkey with a tent of tinfoil and reduce heat to 350°. Baste every 30 minutes. About 1.5 hours from being done, pour a can of ginger ale over turkey. This will add a beautiful golden glaze to the turkey. Now baste every 20 minutes until done

Sweet Potato Soufflé

This one you can make the night before to save you a bit of time on t-day.

4 sweet potatos – peeled, cut into chunks, boild until soft, drained then mashed

1c sugar

3 whipped eggs

¾ stick margarine

1c milk

¾ tsp nutmeg

¾ tsp cinnamon

Mix all above together and pour into lg greased casserole dish. Cook @ 400° for 45 min or middle doesn’t jiggle.

Break here to finish later or continue on

¾ c crushed corn flakes (use real corn flakes and crush, avoid the precrushed flakes)

½ c chopped walnuts

¾ c brown sugar

¾ stick margarine

Mix together and pour on top of soufflé and cook for another 10 min or slightly browned.

(This recipe reheats very well)

Wild Rice Salad

4-1/2 cups chicken broth

1 tablespoon butter

1 garlic clove, peeled

1-1/2 cups wild rice, rinsed and drained

1 cup cranberries

1 cup chopped toasted pecans

1/2 cup chopped green onions

1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and diced

1/2 green bell pepper, seeded and diced

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons orange juice

2 garlic cloves, pressed

1 teaspoon salt

1. To make salad, bring chicken broth, butter, and garlic to a boil in a saucepot. Stir in rice and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is fluffy and tender, about 45 minutes to 1 hour. If liquid evaporates before the rice is done, add 1/4 cup of water at a time until rice is done. Cool. In a separate bowl, combine currants, pecans, green onions, and peppers. Set aside.

2. To make dressing, whisk ingredients together in a separate bowl. Transfer rice to a large serving bowl and stir in currant mixture. Toss with dressing. Makes 7 cups.

Sweet maple Carrots:

1 1/2 pounds carrots, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch-thick rounds

1/3 cup water

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 tablespoons pure maple syrup

1 tablespoon dark brown sugar

Bring all ingredients to boil in heavy large skillet. Reduce heat to medium; cover and simmer until carrots are crisp-tender, about 8 minutes. Uncover; cook until juices are reduced to glaze, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.