Thanksgiving Dinner

Thanksgiving dinner

I already uploaded the recipe for the turkey and some of the sides (mashed potatoes, green beans, gravy and dressing) in my Christmas Turkey post so I just need to write down the four missing recipes, the ones I prepare only for Thanksgiving: cranberry sauce, sausage-onion stuffing, sweet potatoes with marshmallows (I have to include this, it is my kids’ favorite) and pumpkin pie. Add some corn and you will have your 10 dish Thanksgiving dinner (make it 11 by adding a pecan pie and reach perfection!).


roasted turkey


 ingredients for thanksgiving dinner

For the stuffing:

  • Turkey giblets
  • 1 chicken carcass
  • 1 leek
  • 2-3 celery stalks
  • 3 large carrots
  • 1 onion + 2 large sweet/Vidalia onions
  • Peppercorns
  • 1 liter (4 cups) water
  • 6 fresh sausages (or 1 ½ pound sausage meat)
  • 1 pound of cubed bread (the best quality, artisan bread you can buy, it will make a difference)
  • Fresh thyme, rosemary, sage.
  • Salt, olive oil.

 For the cranberry sauce

  • 1 pound cranberries
  • 1 orange
  • 1 cup pecan nuts
  • 1 banana shallot or 2 regular ones
  • ¼ cup sweet wine
  • 1-2 tbsps. sugar (depending on how sweet the rest of the ingredients are and your taste)

For the sweet potatoes with marshmallows

  • 3 sweet potatoes
  • 2 tbsps. butter
  • ¼ cup cream
  • salt
  • marshmallows

For the Pumpkin pie (9 inches) I sometimes follow Libby’s recipe, but when I make it from scratch I use:

For the crust:

  • 1 ¼ cup (250 grs.) all purpose or bread flour
  • (¾ cup) 200 grs. butter
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup (55 grs). ice water

For the filling:

  • 1 pound. peeled and cut pumpkin
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 can evaporated milk
  • 1 tbsp. pumpkin pie spice (or 1 tsp. ground cinnamon, ½ tsp. ground ginger, ¼ tsp. ground cloves, ¼ tsp. ground nutmeg)    



The stuffing

STEP 1.- Prepare the stock. Finely chop one onion, the celery, leek and carrots and place them in a pot with a handful of fresh sage, a couple sprigs of thyme and 2-3 sprigs of rosemary. Add the giblets and the chicken carcass (or 2 chicken legs quarters). Cover with water until it is 1 inch above the rest of the ingredients, bring to a boil and remove the foam that forms on top 2 or 3 times. Let simmer over low heat for 45 minutes.


STEP 2.- Julienne the onion (cut in slices). Sauté in a large pan (very large, you will need room for the bread) with a pinch of salt and 1 tbsp. of butter or olive oil over medium-low heat until evenly soft and golden brown. Add the sausage meat and mix well. Cook over medium heat until it changes color, about 5 minutes.


STEP 3.- Add 1 tbsp. of finely chopped sage, half of the cubed bread (I normally use the soft part of a day-old artisan loaf; discard the crust and cut the bread into 1×1 inch cubes. It can be totally dry or even frozen.) and start soaking it with the stock until soft and blended with the onion and sausage. Add the rest of the bread and repeat the process.


STEP 4.- Mix all the ingredients until they start to form a thick paste, season with salt and pepper and transfer to an oven-safe dish.


STEP 5.- Bake at 350ºF/180º C for 20-30 minutes, until the top is crispy and golden brown.

turkey stuffing


The Cranberry Sauce

STEP 1.-Finely chop the pecans and sauté with 1 tsp. butter for over medium heat 3-4 minutes. Sprinkle some powdered sugar while still hot and let cool down.


STEP 2.- Cut the the shallot into small pieces, sauté in a saucepan with 1 tsp. butter until it starts to brown. Add the sweet wine and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes, until it evaporates.


STEP 3.- Add 1 tbsp. orange juice, a few stripes of orange rind, the sugar and the cranberries. Cook for 10 minutes over medium-low heat, until most of the cranberries have popped.

cranberry sauce with orange rindcranberry sauce

STEP 4.- Add the pecans and mix well.

cranberry and pecan sauce


The sweet potatoes with marshmallows      

STEP 1.- Peel the sweet potatoes, cut them into pieces and cook them in the microwave (I use a pyrex container with a lid) or boil them with a little water, until soft.


STEP 2.- Mash them with the butter, the cream and a pinch of salt, until you obtain a thick pure. Press through a strainer (I use the pestle to help it go through) into a deep, round oven dish.


STEP 3.- Place the marshmallows on top until completely covered and bake in the oven, preheated at 180ºC/350ºF, until the marshmallows are caramelized.


sweet potatoes with marshmallows

The Pumpkin Pie

STEP 1.- Prepare the pie shell. Mix all the dry ingredients. Add the cold, cubed butter and mix a few seconds, until crumbly. Add the ice cold water, 1tbsp. at a time. Mix until smoothly blended, around 1 minute, but do not overwork.


STEP 2.- Remove dough from mixing bowl, form a ball, sprinkle some flour over the working surface and flatten into a thick disk. Wrap with plastic foil and refrigerate at least 4 hours.

pie dough

STEP 3.- Roll out the refrigerated dough on a floured surface until it is about 3 mm. thick. Cover a 9 inch baking dish, folding the edges under the sides. Refrigerate again for at least 1 hour.

flattened pie dough pie shell

STEP 4.- Roast the pumpkin pieces in the oven at 180ºC/375ºF for 45 minutes, until soft. Add the milk and pour through sieve to obtain a smooth puree.

STEP 5.- Preheat the oven to 425ºF (210ºC). Whisk the eggs. Mix the spices, salt and sugar and add them to the eggs. Add the pumpkin puree and mix well. Gradually stir in the evaporated milk.


STEP 6.- Pour the mix into the pie shell. Bake for 15 minutes, then lower the heat to 350ºF (180ºC) and bake for 30-40 minutes. After 30 minutes, if the crust is getting browned too fast, cover it with aluminum foil until the center of the pie is finished (it will be wobbly, but if you insert a knife it should come out clean).

pumpkin pie rawpumpkin pie

STEP 6.- Serve with whipped cream.

pumpkin pie slice

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Recipe Name
Thanksgiving dinner / Cena de Acción de Gracias
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Author: SimpleTapas

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