Tasty Thanksgiving dishes that will wow your guests

Home for the Holidays

ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — If you are looking for that special dish to wow your guests for Thanksgiving, we have you covered! WFXR News’ Hazelmarie Anderson and George Noleff are ready to share a tasty turkey recipe, as well as some yummy side dishes.

There are many ways to cook a turkey, but WFXR’S George Noleff shares how you dry brine a turkey:

Brine rub (for a 15-pound turkey):

  • Three tablespoons of kosher salt
  • Two teaspoons of poultry seasoning
  • One teaspoon of ground black pepper
  • One teaspoon of brown sugar
  • One stick (half a cup) of butter

Noleff says you need to do this at least two days in advance. You’ll want to use a tablespoon of kosher, coarse, or sea salt for every five pounds of turkey. If you have a 15-pound bird, you’ll use three tablespoons of salt. Rub it all over the bird. Put the turkey in a plastic bag or a brining bag (available at most grocery stores), seal it, and refrigerate it.

About a day into the process, you’ll see some liquid in the bag. Don’t worry, that’s the salt doing its thing. Just gently rub the turkey through the bag and put it back in the refrigerator. After another day, much of the liquid will be reabsorbed, and along with it, flavor.

You can add any combination of dried or fresh herbs, spices, black pepper, citrus zest, and sugar to the salt to provide a wide range of flavors. Once you have your turkey dry-brined, pull it out of the refrigerator and get it into the oven. We suggest roasting the turkey at 450 degrees for 20 minutes, then reducing the heat to 325 degrees, and let it cook until your bird reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees.

The great thing about dry brines is that they pull fats and proteins close to the surface. That helps your bird to brown very nicely.

Another way to take the stress out of Thanksgiving is to do some dishes a day in advance. Here are a few that are easy and tasty:

Potatoes with butter and cream:

This dish is easy to make and is bursting with rich and creamy flavors! It can be made a day or two in advance and then reheated on Thanksgiving Day.

  • Half a pound of Yukon Gold or red potatoes
  • One chopped green onion
  • One stick (half a cup) of butter
  • One cup of heavy cream
  • One teaspoon of kosher salt
  • One teaspoon of black pepper

Microwave the potatoes on high for five minutes. Then, melt the butter over low heat and add the chopped onion. Sauté the onion in butter until the onion is translucent.

Place the microwaved potatoes in a baking dish and pour the melted butter and onion mixture over the potatoes. Next, add heavy cream, salt, and pepper and mix it together.

Place the baking dish into a 350 degree oven and bake for 45 minutes until the potatoes are browned and the mixture is bubbly.

Fresh cranberry sauce:

The tang of fresh cranberries mingles with the sweet warmth of brown sugar and cinnamon. Make it up to a week ahead of time. The flavor only improves with age.

  • 12 ounce bag of cranberries
  • Two ounces of chopped pecans
  • One cup of brown sugar
  • One teaspoon of cinnamon
  • Half a cup of orange juice
  • One cup of water

Place all of the ingredients in a saucepan and bring it to a boil over medium heat. Then, reduce the heat to low, allow it to simmer for 30 minutes, and chill.

Quick and easy bread dressing:

This delicious, simple dressing can be put together days in advance and refrigerated until you’re ready to bake it.

  • One loaf of bread, torn into pieces
  • Half a cup of chopped onion
  • One stalk of chopped celery
  • One teaspoon of poultry seasoning
  • One teaspoon of kosher salt
  • One teaspoon of black pepper
  • One cup of chicken or turkey broth
  • One stick (half a cup) of butter

Place the bread on a baking sheet, toast it until lightly browned, and place the toasted bread in a baking dish. Next, melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and celery and sauté it until the onion is translucent.

Then, add the butter, onion, and celery to the bread. After you pour the turkey/chicken broth over the bread, mix it, and bake it in a 350 degree oven for 45 minutes or until edges are golden brown.

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