Our Thanksgiving Table 2018 (Roast Turkey Recipe and Sides Included)

Sunday, November 25, 2018

We celebrated Thanksgiving at our friends' house. The next day, Friday, we had another Thanksgiving celebration at home. I was excited and nervous at the same time to cook a full traditional Thanksgiving spread. Even though I cooked all day and only for four people, I did not realize how easy it really was to roast turkey and make all the sides.  I am proud to say that everything turned out delicious! It was a big hit! My roasted Thanksgiving turkey was perfect! The meat was moist while the skin was crisp! We watched Nick's turkey drumstick slide off the bone to his plate without any efforts! That was how moist the turkey was.  The gravy was also very tasty! (Scroll down for recipes below.)  

Here was our 2018 Thanksgiving menu:

  •  Roasted turkey and gravy
  •  Rice and sausage stuffing
  •  Garlic mashed potatoes
  •  Candied sweet potatoes
  •  Cranberry sauce
  •  Hawaiian rolls
  •  Blueberry pie
  •  Pumpkin pie
I cooked the turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and candied sweet potatoes. Mr Sweetie's mom made the blueberry pie which we brought home from our friends' dinner the night before. The rest (rolls, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie) were store bought. My first attempt and it was perfection! Next Thanksgiving, God-willing, I  might just cook the entire meal!


Here was how I made my sweet potatoes. So easy!
  • 3 sweet potatoes
  • 2 TBSP Brown sugar
  • 2 TBSP Butter
  • A drop or two (around 1/8 tsp) of vanilla
  • Mini-marshmallows
1. Roast the sweet potatoes until soft. (I just put the potatoes in the oven with the turkey at 325 degrees for about 25 minutes.)
2. Cool and peel off.
3. Mash the sweet potatoes.
4. Mix with the butter, vanilla, top with brown sugar and marshmallows.
5. Return to the oven until the marshmallows are brown on top. About 15 minutes. This yields about 3 small servings. Use more sweet potatoes for bigger servings. This is also a very forgiving recipe.


This is such a forgiving recipe. I boiled 5 medium-size russet peeled potatoes with a head of peeled garlic. I mashed the garlic and potatoes together, poured a splash of milk, added a pat of butter and seasoned with salt and pepper. You can really adjust the milk and butter according to your taste. 


My brother saved me, or rather, he saved Thanksgiving. I hate to admit it but he is a great cook! He is a late-bloomer in the kitchen and really just started cooking this year! And everything he cooks are just delicious! He mentioned that he gets his recipes from Food Wishes.  I am not really into YouTube but I just  might start watching Chef John's channel because he made a fan of me of his turkey recipe. This is his recipe that I used and it is fool-proof. Just look at my photos. 

This recipe is a keeper and here is my version:
  • 12-14 lb turkey with neck and giblets
  •  1/4 cup butter*
  •  1 TBSP dried herbs (I used Italian seasoning)
  •  Salt and pepper
  •  Stuffing if using, or carrots and celery
1.  Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees.
2. Take the neck and giblets out of the cavity. (Set aside to make gravy.)
3.  Loosen the skin and rub butter with herbs generously under the skin. (This is the secret to moist turkey. I use this technique when I roast chicken.)
4. Rub the butter all over skin. 
5. Season the skin with salt pepper. 
6. Stuff with stuffing if using, or stuff with celery and whole carrots inside the cavity. 
7. Loosely cover the breast with a piece of foil.
7. Roast for about 4 hours or until that plastic temperature thingy that came with the turkey pops up. Let sit for 10-15 minutes before slicing.
8. Serve with gravy. Click on Chef John's recipe here for the gravy. 
*Chef John's recipe uses 2 TBSP butter. I went all out and used 1/4 cup!


This is my own recipe inspired by my dad's arroz valenciana which is a Filipino rice dish that is similar to paella (which was the Spain's legacy to the Philippines). 
  •  4-5 cloves garlic, smashed
  •  1/2 head onion (chopped) 
  •  1 cup sliced celery
  •  1 cup cubed carrots
  •  2 Chinese sausages (sliced) or you may use any sausage that you prefer
  •  11/4 cup cooked jasmine rice or you may use sticky rice
1. Saute garlic,  onions, celery and carrots. Set aside.
2. Fry sausages.
3. Mix cooked rice, sausages and vegetables. 
4. Season with salt and pepper.
5. Stuff the turkey with the stuffing. The juices from the turkey and butter inside the cavities will soak and season the stuffing. Delicious!

I promise you that these are fool-proof recipes! Now that I cooked an entire Thanksgiving meal of roast turkey, gravy stuffing and sides, I can now check it off my Mason Jar List!




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