The Thanksgiving meal is way too delicious to be served only once a year. Our cry is that a once a year tradition for this meal is insane. All you people are only serving this turkey dinner in November because of the myth perpetrated down through the ages: this meal takes 18 days to put together at the very least. Dean Manigault loves turkey and it’s trimmings so much she made Feast again for her tree trimming party just last night and plans to make it again for Christmas and then again in January once the family has cleared out and she can have some friends over. She proved once and for all that this meal need not be a behemoth.
Having made the stuffing the day before (stuffing is the most labor intensive of all the dishes weighing in at 45 minutes) and concurrently roasting the sweet potatoes for tomorrows Thanksgiving, the majority of the labor was already out of way.
Day of Feast
Heating the oven takes longer than getting the turkey ready. Jean Anderson told us in her cookbook Food of Portugal to not touch the turkey while it’s in the oven to obtain the crispiest skin, and she is 100% right.
- Dean Manigault puts the turkey in the pan and the pan in the oven (5 minutes).
- Assemble Medway Sweet Potatoes (20 minutes).
- Make the cranberry sauce and serve warm (from start to finish 10 minutes, only 1.5 minutes of actual labor). Dean Manigault’s trick is to boil the cranberry sauce on super high until the cranberries all pop.
- Trim two bags of Brussels sprouts (7-10 minutes) cooking time (10-15 minutes).
- Dean Manigault’s CSA arrived just in time to join Feast, and in it was a baby turnip and carrot recipe. The CSA suggested roasting them, but Dean Manigault served the turnips and carrots julienned raw with a light vinaigrette as a fresh, crispy contrast to the heavy food.
Total time: 36.5 minutes of labor
Of course everything takes time to cook, and she did have to borrow her neighbor’s oven, but for a such a delicious outcome she would go to far greater lengths. Just like Tom Sawyer she can sit back and watch people wrangle the lights on the tree without a flicker of guilt because they are all so well fed.
*For summer Feast the Deans plan to fry our turkey and serve with a bread tomato salad, a panzanella. Our mouths are watering already and we haven’t even digested last night’s feast.