Yesterday, Ryan and I made our first Thanksgiving dinner...complete with a turkey, cornbread dressing, and bread pudding. We weren't sure how dinner would turn out because it was a meal full of firsts for us...but I think the food coma we were in afterwards was a sign of our success. I am far too lazy to upload pictures of food...but I will share recipes:)
Turkey Time! I convinced my husband that we needed a 14 lb turkey. People thought I was crazy...but it happened. I found some Creole Butter at the store that Ryan injected all over our big bird. Then, we grilled it. For like 4 hours. And, it was amazing. It was juicy and full of flavor and perfect. And now, we have a huge bag of leftover turkey. It will taste delicious in the Turkey Tetrazzini we are making this week!
Cornbread Dressing...my year-long craving. My family eats this every year at Thanksgiving and Christmas. It isn't a holiday without it for me. So I made some for the first time ever, and I loved it! It definitely hit the spot. I will share the recipe, but I must tell you that this recipe isn't for people who like exact measurements.
2 boxes cornbread mix (and eggs and milk)
Seasoning blend (chopped onion, celery, and bell pepper)
1 sleeve of saltines
4-5 slices of bread
1 carton of chicken broth
1 crock pot chicken
1 can cream of chicken
1 can cream of mushroom
4-5 hard boiled eggs, chopped
salt and pepper
Ok, let's see if I can word this in a way that makes sense...The day before we cooked the dressing, I made the cornbread according to the package. I cooked a double batch of it and also added the seasoning blend before baking. Once it was done, I covered it and let it sit overnight. The next day, I started tossing stuff in a bowl. Crumble the cornbread, saltines, and bread. Add some chicken broth until the mixture is moist. Stir in the chicken, soups, eggs, and seasoning. Add more chicken broth until the mixture is moist enough. This part is kinda a guessing game. I just added stuff until it felt right. Pour your mixture into a greased large dish and back at 350 for 45-60 minutes or until warm and browned on top. Reserve about 1/2 cup dressing for the gravy!
Now for the gravy...another crazy guessing game recipe. I acutally called my mom a few times during this process because I realized I had absolutely no clue what I was doing. I started with 1/4 cup turkey drippings and heated it in a skillet on the stove. Next I added 1/4 cup flour. The plan is to make a roux, but mine was too clumpy. So, we added more turkey drippings until it thinned out and continued stirring over medium heat until it was light brown. Once it was the "right" color, whatever color that is, I added the dressing and 2 more chopped eggs. Then I added water until it was the consistency I wanted and I seasoned with a little extra poultry seasoning and salt until I liked it. It turned out really well....and who knows if I will ever be able to recreate it.
Time for dessert. Bread pudding to be exact. The stuff dreams are made of. I am a pretty picky bread pudding person. This recipe is from The Pioneer Woman. And it is amazing. Seriously, I can't say enough about it. It rocked my socks off. Everyone should try it. I mean...everyone. It's Bread Pudding with Whiskey Cream Sauce. How could anyone say no to that?
2 tbsp melted butter
2 tablespoons vanilla
2 1/2 cups milk
2 cups sugar
3-5 cups sourdough bread, but into 1-inch cubes
1/3 cup pecans, chopped
Preheat oven to 325. Beat together eggs, butter, vanilla, and milk. Mix in sugar until it is dissolved. Arrange the bread cubes tightly in a 9 inch baking dish. Keep the crust facing up around the edge of the dish. Pour the sauce over the bread cubes and sprinkle pecans on top. Bake for 55-70 minutes or until the top of the bread is golden brown.
While your bread pudding is finishing up, make the most amazing Whiskey Cream Sauce ever.
1/2 cup sugar
1 stick butter
1/2 cup cream
1/4 cup whiskey
Combine all ingredients in a saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly until sugar is dissolved. Bring to a low boil, then remove from heat. Serve over bread pudding. And lose your mind because it is so delicious.
Overall, we were very happy with our first Thanksgiving dinner. We should probably plan the next one when we have 10 people to feed though...