So if you haven’t figured it out by now… I love to cook, bake, and host for my friends and family. Any excuse, you name it, I’ll volunteer to host a gathering at my house. Poor Paul.
This year I sent out a Chenoweth family text asking what’s happening for Thanksgiving. When I didn’t hear much of a response my thought was, “Ahhhh yeah! It’s on at the Darga house!” I excitedly, with a touch of trepidation, invited whomever was going to be in town to come to our tiny house to celebrate.
Now when I say “tiny house,” I mean “tiny” because if you try to fit 17 people into our very small living room/dining room, things can get a bit “cozy”, a.k.a. cramped.
Two things played in my favor. This Thanksgiving afternoon/evening was 82 degrees at 6:00 pm. So we hosted three parts of the Chenoweth family for appetizers and drinks (thank you Stephanie for the AMAZING hors d’oeuvres) in our backyard and garage/outdoor living room.
The kids played giant pick-up sticks and giant Jenga as Sherman tried to eat all of the game parts. The adults cozied up on the over-sized couch to chat as Pink Martini played over the speakers. Because I had finished my responsibilities in the kitchen, I got to chill. It was fabulous!
One part of the family left so we were left with six adults and two children. It was so intimate and lovely.
Now I am a smart woman and know how to delegate. My sister-in-law, Stephanie, and my mom worked way harder than I did for this meal. I’m not stupid! They took care of the appetizers, vegetables, stuffing, cranberry sauce, and a pecan pie.
I was in charge of the turkey and mashed potatoes. I have NEVER made EITHER of these before. I was excited and terrified at the same time. But with my mom’s coaching and a handy-dandy recipe I was good to go!
Oh and my dessert contribution was build-your-own ice cream sundaes with vanilla bean ice cream, Trader Joes caramel sauce, homemade whipped cream, and salted peanuts. I’m not proud, I’m lazy!
Day Day Chenoweth’s Sure Fire Turkey…
Order or pick your turkey. Remove the gizzards (so disgusting!!! Paul had to do that part). Create a bed of quartered onions, carrots, celery, and rosemary sprigs at the bottom of the roasting pan. Also place all of the previous ingredients into the cavity of the bird. Rub and massage him/her down with poultry seasoning, Lawry’s Salt, and pepper. I tucked butter under the skin (which grossed me out to no end) and injected Gertrude, my name for our turkey, with a ton of melted butter. (You won’t be losing weight with this recipe.) Boil a stick of butter, a cup of white wine, and about 4 cups of chicken broth together. Pour around your turkey into the roasting pan.
Place your turkey into a preheated oven at 450 degrees. Allow to brown for about 20 minutes or so, then lower heat to 325 degrees. I basted Gertrude about every 20-30 minutes, but I wasn’t strict about it. She cooked a lot faster than the 15-20 minutes per pound estimation. We pulled her out at about 2 1/2 hours and let her rest on the stove top in all of her lovely juices. Oh, and I accidentally roasted Gertrude upside down which turned out to be a delightful mistake.
Make gravy using the delicious roasting juices and Wondra flour.
If I can do this, anyone can. Don’t be scared. Just do it (no Nike pun intended).