Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Thanksgiving Main Dish Extravaganza!

Today, we are talking Main Dish ideas.  Are you a traditional "oven roasted turkey and stuffing" family?  Do you cook your turkey in the oven, deep fried, or on the grill?  As for us, we have been grilling our turkey for as long we have been married.  Our first Thanksgiving as newlyweds, we decided to host Thanksgiving at our house....with 20+ people.  Did I mention I was also 9 weeks preggo and in the middle of heave-town?!  Ahhh, memories.  Anyway, that was they year we started making our turkey on the grill.  We did it to save oven room and it turned out so amazing, we have done it ever since then.  We basically put the turkey in a disposable roasting pan filled with stock, butter, and seasonings and let it go on the grill.  One thing I haven't done, that I am remedying this year, is brining the turkey before cooking it.  After seeing some of these brine recipes, you may be on the brine train as well!

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First up from my kitchen sister, Jill from Sublime Hodge Podge brings us this absolutely fabulous, drool inducing lusciousness!  Make sure you go check out all of her amazing recipes!

photo courtesy of Sublime Hodge Podge

Bay and Lemon Holiday Turkey Brine - Submitted by Jill from Sublime Hodge Podge

  • Whole turkey or breast (up to 15 pounds)
  • 2 gallons water
  • 1 c sugar
  • 1 c kosher salt
  • 2 lemons, sliced in ½
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • Small handful cloves
Combine all brine ingredients in a container or pot large enough to hold the turkey. Make sure all the sugar and salt have been fully dissolved. Add the turkey and refrigerate about 6 hours or overnight. (the longer the better for flavor)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Remove turkey from brine and transfer to a roasting pan with a rack. Stuff turkey with the lemon halves, bay leaves, and cinnamon sticks used in the brine. Rub turkey skin thoroughly with olive oil and sprinkle with poultry seasoning or salt/pepper. Cook turkey for about 3½ hours, basting every 40 minutes or so. If any part of the turkey gets too brown towards the end of cooking, shield with pieces of tin foil. When the turkey is done, juices should run clear from the breast and the legs should pull away from the bird easily. Remove from the heat and let rest for 15 to 20 minutes before carving.

photo courtesy of Sublime Hodge Podge

Chicken and Noodles - Submitted by Jill from Sublime Hodge Podge
This is served at EVERY Thanksgiving and made by my mom. Mine never turns out quite like hers but it gets pretty close. LOL Sometimes we make this the day AFTER Thanksgiving and use the turkey instead of chicken. It's really good that way too.
  • 1 whole chicken (or package of chicken breasts with skin and bones)
  • 1 large carrot
  • 1 stalk of celery
  • Parsley
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Water (or chicken broth)
  • 1 can of Cream of Chicken soup
  • 1 large bag (16 ounces) of good quality noodles, thin version
Rinse chicken well and place in large pot. Cover with enough stock or water to cover chicken - usually 3/4th full. Add the carrot and celery. Shake in some salt, pepper and parsley. Bring to a quick boil then turn down to low heat and put lid on pot. Simmer on low for several hours, least 3 to 4 hours. (Broth gets better the longer you cook it.)
Remove the chicken, carrot and celery to a separate platter to cool. Keep the broth in the pot with lid on and set aside. After chicken is cool enough to handle, remove and discard the bones and skin. Cut chicken into bite size chunks. Set aside.
Finely slice the carrot and celery and add them back to the pot of broth. (or you can leave out entirely, up to you.) Place the pot back on stove and bring to a boil. Your pot should be half full of liquid. If not, add more stock or water to make it so. Once it boils, add the entire package of noodles, stirring as you are pouring them into the broth. Immediately lower the heat to medium. Continue to stir often, cooking the noodles for about 10 minutes or so or until tender. When noodles appear done, remove from heat.
Stir in the can of cream of chicken soup. Add more salt, pepper and parsley if needed. Replace the lid and allow the flavors to mingle for a few minutes.
Should the noodles appear dry and soak up all the broth, add a little bit of hot water and stir.

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Next up, we have another way to brine a turkey!
Laura, the Mom in Real Mom Kitchen, brings us another of her A-MAZING dishes!
photo courtesy of Real Mom Kitchen

Savory Turkey Brine - Submitted by Laura at Real Mom Kitchen
To see recipe, please click on recipe title

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And wrapping it up for the Main Dish Extravaganza is a dish brought by Amber, the Mommy from This Mommy Cooks.  I always try to have a ham whenever we have turkey just for variety, and I LOVE that this is done in a slow cooker.  It looks absolutely scrumptious!  Make sure you go to This Mommy Cooks and check out all the amazing recipes she has!

Maple Brown Sugar Ham in Slow Cooker - Submitted by Amber at This Mommy Cooks
To see recipe, please click on recipe title

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Again, if you have a Main Dish idea you would like to share, be sure to link up below, linking back to this post in yours to share some linky-lovin'.
On Thursday, we have a HUGE, HUGE, HUGE amount of yummy side dishes to share!!!
I am linking this post to:  Nikki's Nifty Knacks, Tidy Mom, Frou Frou Decor, Simply Sweet Home   , Make Ahead Meals For Busy Mom's


  1. I have never brined a turkey, looks fab

  2. That ham sounds good...I do a similar one where you pour Coca Cola over it. Have to give this one a whirl sometime!

  3. Mmmmmmm, can't WAIT till Thanksgiving!!!!!! Thanks for linking this up to gettin' crafty on hump day! :)