Yes, it’s possible—and delicious. Jennifer Rubell lays out a one-stop shopping list, the proper pans and her minute-by-minute secrets to a stress-free Turkey Day.Okay, so maybe you’ve never considered hosting this annual feast. Or maybe you’re still reeling from last year’s trauma. Even if relatives have been making the pilgrimage to your house for years, you might try this shockingly new approach. The key: Roast the turkey in parts—which drastically cuts down on oven time—and prepare harvest-inspired sides that cook quickly with minimum effort.
- 1. thyme-roasted turkey
- 2. baked sweet potatoes with maple-pecan butter
- 3. lemony steamed broccoli
- 4. cranberry sauce with clementines and walnuts
- 5. sausage-date stuffing
- 6. 10-minute sundae
- 7. red zinfandel wine
- boneless turkey breast halves, skin on, 2 1/4 lbs. each 2
- turkey drumsticks, about 3/4 lb. each 2
- tbsp. olive oil 1
- tbsp. dried thyme 1
- tbsp. kosher salt 2
- tsp. coarsely ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 500°. Place the turkey pieces on a rimmed baking sheet. Rub them with olive oil, then sprinkle on all sides with thyme, salt and pepper. Make sure breasts are skin side up and spread out as much as possible, without touching any of the other pieces. Cook in middle rack of oven for 50 minutes.
- small sweet potatoes 2
- cups pecans 3/4
- cup butter (1 1/2 sticks), at room temperature 6
- tbsp. maple syrup
Preheat oven to 500°. Place potatoes on a rimmed baking sheet on the highest rack of the oven. Cook 50 minutes. Meanwhile, put pecans in a food processor, and pulse until they resemble fine crumbs, about 30 seconds. Add butter and maple syrup, and blend for 10 seconds until all ingredients are well combined. Transfer to a serving dish, and refrigerate until potatoes are ready. Serve potatoes whole, with maple-pecan butter alongside.
- bunches broccoli 4
- tbsp. butter, cut into small pieces, at room temperature 2
- tbsp. fresh lemon juice 1
- tsp. kosher salt 1/2
- tsp. freshly ground pepper
Put a steamer insert inside a medium-size pot, add water up to steamer bottom, cover, and place over high heat. Trim broccoli into florets, discarding tough stems. Put florets inside steamer and cook, covered, for 7 minutes. Transfer to large serving bowl with remaining ingredients, and toss to combine.
- clementines 2
- packages (12 oz. each) fresh cranberries 2
- cups sugar 1
- cup walnut pieces
Cut clementines in half, then slice as thinly as possible with the skin on; discard seeds. Place in a pot with the cranberries, sugar and 3/4 cup water over high heat. When the mixture comes to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes. Stir in the walnuts and serve.
- 1 1/2
- baguettes, sliced in half lengthwise 1/4
- cup extra-virgin olive oil 1
- large onion, sliced thinly 3
- stalks celery, sliced thinly 1
- lb. bulk sweet Italian sausage 12
- pitted dates, sliced thinly 1
- tsp. dried parsley 1
- tsp. ground sage 1
- tsp. dried rosemary 1
- tsp. dried thyme
Put the baguettes cut side down on a rimmed baking sheet, and place on the bottom rack of a cold oven. Turn the oven to 500°, and cook for 7 minutes. Remove from oven, flip bread over, let cool on pan, then cut into 1 1/2" cubes. Meanwhile, place a large pan over medium heat. Add olive oil, onion and celery, then cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent, about 8 minutes. Mix in remaining ingredients and cook, breaking up the sausage with a spoon, until no pink remains in the sausage, about 8 minutes. Add 4 cups water and bring to a boil. Turn off the heat and add bread cubes. Toss well to combine. Cover to keep warm. Serve straight from pan.
Just in case your family isn’t already impressed enough, go for broke with this sundae, which combines classic American fall flavors like pumpkin and peanut with a sophisticated bittersweet hot fudge sauce that’s a cinch to make.
- Pumpkin ice cream (like Edy’s)
- Unsweetened whipped cream (just whip a pint of heavy cream on high until stiff peaks form)
- Bittersweet hot fudge sauce (recipe follows)
- Peanut brittle (store-bought), broken into small pieces
- 1 1/2
- cups half-and-half 2
- cups (12 oz.) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chips 2
- tbsp. cold butter, cut into small pieces 1
- tsp. vanilla
Place half-and-half and chocolate chips in a small, heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Stir continuously until the chips have melted, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in butter and vanilla. Place two scoops of ice cream in eight dishes. Top with a few tablespoons of hot fudge sauce, a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkling of peanut brittle. Serve immediately.
Here’s a list of the ingredients you’ll need to feed eight guests. Try to buy everything as close to Thanksgiving as possible to make sure it’s fresh.
- 2 boneless turkey breast halves, skin on, about 2 1/4 lbs. each
- 2 turkey drumsticks, about 3/4 lb. each
- 1 lb. bulk sweet Italian sausage
- 2 sticks butter
- pumpkin ice cream*
- 1 pint heavy cream*
- 1 stick butter*
- 1 pint half-and-half* *ingredients for dessert
- 1 small bottle extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 small box kosher salt
- peppercorns for peppermill or 1 jar cracked black pepper
- 1 box (1 lb.) sugar
- 1 small bottle maple syrup
- 1 jar dried thyme
- 1 jar dried parsley
- 1 jar rubbed sage
- 1 jar dried rosemary
- 1 package (1/2 lb.) walnut pieces
- 1 package (1/2 lb.) pecans
- 1 bag (12 oz.) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chips*
- 1 small bottle vanilla extract*
- peanut brittle*
- 10 small sweet potatoes
- 2 clementines
- 2 packages (12 oz. each) fresh cranberries
- 1 large onion
- 1 bunch celery
- 1 container pitted dates
- 2 bunches broccoli
- 2 lemons
- 2 baguettes
- 4 bottles red zinfandel
Often considered the most American of wines, this serious red (different from the sweet white version) has been produced in California since the late 1800s. Characterized by intensely forward fruit flavors and a hint of spice, it’s 13 to 15 percent alcohol.
our picksWines available at
- 3 rimmed baking sheets
- 2 medium pots (for cranberries and broccoli)
- large, wide pan for stuffing (serve right in the pot)
- food processor
- cutting board
- steamer insert
- measuring spoons
- measuring cups
- 3 mixing spoons
- rubber spatula
- bread knife
- chef’s knife
- 2 platters (for turkey and sweet potatoes)
- large bowl (for broccoli)
- 2 small bowls (for cranberry sauce and maple-pecan butter)
- 4 serving spoons
- butter knife
- carving knife and fork
Turn the oven to 500°. Cut 1 1/2 sticks of butter into 6 pieces and, separately, cut a 1/2 stick of butter into 4 pieces. Leave both out to come to room temperature. Cut 1 baguette and 1/2 of the other lengthwise, place cut side down on one of the baking sheets and put in oven.
Place the turkey breasts (skin side up) and drumsticks on a baking sheet. Rub them with 2 tablespoons olive
oil, and sprinkle on all sides with 1 tablespoon each kosher salt and thyme, plus 2 teaspoons pepper.
Place the sweet potatoes on a baking sheet.
Take the bread out of the oven. Put the turkey on the middle rack and the sweet potatoes on the top rack of the oven.
Cut the clementines in half, then slice as
thinly as possible with skin on. Place over high heat in a pot with the fresh cranberries, 2 cups sugar and 3/4 cup water.
Thinly slice onion, celery stalks and dates. Place large, wide pan over high heat, and add 1/4 cup olive oil, onion and celery.
Place 2 cups pecans in a food processor, and pulse until they resemble fine crumbs (about 30 seconds). Add the 1 1/2 sticks of room-temperature butter and 6 tablespoons maple syrup; blend until well combined (about 10 seconds). Transfer to a small serving bowl, and place in fridge.
To the onion and celery mixture, add sausage, sliced dates and 1 teaspoon each dried parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme. Stir occasionally, breaking up sausage with your spoon.
Remove cranberries from heat. Stir in 1 cup walnut pieces, and place in small serving bowl.
Add 4 cups water to the sausage mixture and stir.
Cut toasted bread into 1 1/2” cubes.
Turn off heat on sausage mixture. Add bread cubes and toss well to combine. Cover to keep warm.
Put steamer insert in the bottom of a large pot. Add water until it is just below the insert. Cover and place over high heat.
Cut broccoli into florets (discard tough stems), and place in steamer insert. Replace cover.
Remove broccoli. Place in serving bowl with remaining room-temperature butter and 2 tablespoons lemon juice. Toss well with salt and pepper.
Remove sweet potatoes and turkey from oven. Slice breasts and put on platter. Add drumsticks. Place sweet potatoes, whole, on a serving platter. Remove maple-pecan butter from refrigerator to serve alongside.
Dinner is served! FINALLY!