Thanksgiving in a rush….. the basics!

21 Nov

The last weeks have been full of Thanksgiving classes, menus and catering…. I have to say that I had NEVER cooked a Thanksgiving dinner before and I had to get in touch with my sister who spent almost the last decade in Connecticut and who knows  a lot more than I do about the traditions of Thanksgiving.

Thanks to her tips, recipes, web references…. I came to find the right way to manage a full menu that fits in a 2 1/2 hours hands-on class as well as in a small oven!

We organized the class at my friend Laure’s home who had found 4 other volunteers eager to learn more about Thanksgiving! And you know what… they did it which mean that you can also… especially if you are not chatting and tasting good wines at the same time as we did!

Enjoy cooking and Happy Thanksgiving!

Here is the menu

For the Brussels Sprouts, you just need to have a look at the last post to get the recipe…. and for the Financiers and Panacotta, they are in the index of the recipes as well…. or just click on them to open a new page….

I just added the Moroccan Carrots as an additional option for the sides even if I really advise you to give a try to the Brussels Sprouts… many people have changed their mind once they tried those ones!

Let’s talk about Turkey now…. I choose Turkey breast to be able to achieve my classes and demos within 2 1/2 hours and also to save some space in my oven but keep in mind that breasts are very fragile and can get very dry if you overcook them. Seal them well in the foil and cut them just before serving to keep the moist inside!

Turkey Breast with Pan Gravy


  • A 5- to 7-pound fresh turkey breast
  • Sea salt & ground pepper
  • Chopped herbs & spices such as thyme, rosemary, garlic, ginger, cumin…
  • Vegetable oil
  • Honey


Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F.
Brush the turkey breast with vegetable oil and honey. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, herbs, and spices.
Insert a meat thermometer to the center of the breast. Wrap and seal the breast in heavy aluminum foil. Place on a wire rack in a shallow roasting pan.

Roast the turkey breast until the meat thermometer reaches 170 degrees F. (up to 2-3 hours). Open the aluminum foil about 30 minutes before the breast is done and baste 2 times with the drippings.

Pan Gravy

Once the turkey is cooked, let it rest on a rack and pour all the juices and drippings in the roasting pan.
Add a little chicken broth as well as a little white wine and let it reduce on medium heat.
Depending on how you like it, add one or 2 tsp of butter to make it more glossy or 1tsp of flour to get it thicker.

Hasselback Potatoes


  • A dozen of potatoes
  • Olive oil
  • Salt & pepper
  • Aromatic herns (rosemary, thyme, oregano…)
  • Garlic


Preheat oven to 400 F.
Wash and cut the potatoes into 2 lengthways. Then cut them across at about 1-2 mm intervals.
Place them on a baking tray covered with parchment paper and drizzle with olive oil, salt, pepper and chopped herbs if you wish. Spread garlic cloves unpeeled around the potatoes as well.

Cook them for about 40 minutes until they are soft in the center.
Transfer on a serving dish and serve with the turkey and carrots. You can also serve them with sour cream or greek yogurt mixed with freshly chopped chive.

Moroccan Carrots


  • 3lb of carrots
  • 2 tbsp good olive oil
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander


Preheat oven to 400.
Peel and trim the carrots. Cut them lengthways then into 2-3 inches sticks. In a bowl whisk olive oil, spices, salt and pepper. Cover a roasting tray with parchment paper and spread the carrots on it then cover with the spiced olive oil and get them evenly coated.
Roast for 45 to 60 minutes, until nicely grilled on the outside and tender on the inside. Shake the pan from time to time to grill the carrots evenly.
The carrots are ready to serve.

Baby Leaves Salad with Oranges, Cranberries & Caramelized Walnuts


  • 1 bag of fresh mixed leaves
  • 3 oranges unwaxed, untreated and washed
  • 1 handful of dried cranberries
  • olive oil, salt & pepper
  • 1 handful of walnuts slightly toasted
  • 1/2 cup of sugar


Grate the zest of the 3 oranges and keep it in a bowl.
Using a serrated knife, peel the skin of the orange then cut the orange segments on top of a large bowl to save the orange juice.
In a frying pan, pour the sugar and start a caramel, once it start to melt and gets a nice golden color, pour the walnuts in it and get them evenly coated with the caramel. Pour them on a silicon mat or parchment paper until they are cool.

Whisk together the orange juice, zest, olive oil, salt and pepper. Adjust the seasoning and add vinegar if you want it more acid.
Roughly chop the caramelized walnuts.
Toss the baby leaves with the dressing.
On a nice serving dish or in a salad bowl, layer the baby leaves and spread walnuts, cranberries and orange segments. Drizzle a little bit of the remaining dressing and serve.


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