Thanksgiving Recipes

Happy Holidays from all of us at Schumacher Chevrolet!

Throughout the summer, we have been dishing out our family's favorite recipes. Now we are thrilled to invite you to our holiday table for Thanksgiving! Looking back on the past year we are more grateful than ever for our vibrant community, customers, and the cherished time we got to spend as a family. Our hopes for the coming season are to spread holiday cheer by continuing to offer irresistible recipes that you can in turn share with those you hold most dear.

This year we have recipes for a whole Sides-giving! With Challah and Leek Stuffing, Apple Cider Cranberry Sauce, Maple Glazed Carrots and Squash, and Sesame Green Beans, we have all the sides you will need to make your Thanksgiving dinner complete! And be sure to check out last year's Herb and Citrus Roasted Turkey, Creamy Golden Mashed Potatoes with a Browned Butter Make-Ahead Gravy, Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pomegranates and Prosciutto, and a Caramel Pecan Apple Pie to complete your dinner.

May your holidays be full of family, delicious food, and plenty of joy. Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at Schumacher Chevrolet!

Thanksgiving Timeline:

Because a little meal prep goes a long way towards your hosting sanity

4 days in advance: buy groceries (don't forget brining bags and extra wings for gravy)

3 days in advance: make the gravy

2 days in advance: buy your wine and prep your veggies (you can cut them in advance and store in ziplock bags for ease in cooking)

1 day in advance: brine the turkey, make the mashed potatoes, and make the pies. 

Thanksgiving day: Roast your turkey (plan for about 13 minutes per lb and 1 hour resting time), finish your sides, and pour yourself a glass of wine

Thanksgiving Prep Tips:

  1. Buy a fresh turkey not a frozen one. You will save yourself so much time and heartache by not having to defrost a massive bird.
  2. Brine your turkey (it's a safeguard for locking in moisture). Tip: brining bags make this super easy.
  3. Make your mashed potatoes in advance (the last thing you want is a mountain of dishes right before you serve dinner OR a facefull of steam right before you sit down with the family). Save a little butter and warmed milk to mix into the rewarmed potatoes so they will taste good as new.
  4. Use chicken wings/turkey wings to make a gravy in advance. This way no last minute seasoning and whisking (plus you can enjoy crispy wings as a meal). The drippings from your Thanksgiving turkey can be saved for more gravy which is always a blessing.
  5. Roast your veggies in advance of cooking the turkey. Then rewarm them as the turkey rests. You don't want to be switching oven temps or opening the door again and again which will make your turkey cook time much longer.
  6. Make your pies the night before and don't forget to buy ice cream.

Challah Stuffing with Leek and Cranberry

Serves 8-10

There is no better bread for stuffing than soft, eggy challah. Add some leeks sautéed in butter and cranberries for a side dish so yummy, you'll eat it on its own.

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons salted butter
  • 6 cups diced challah bread (day old or toasted)
  • 1 leek
  • 2 celery stalks, finely chopped
  •  Salt and freshly cracked pepper
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 egg
  • 2-3 cups chicken stock

Prep the Stuffing

Preheat the oven to 350F and butter a casserole dish (I use a size 8” x 8" dish). If your challah is not day old, toast it quickly in the oven just until slightly golden brown.

Remove the tough green stems on the leeks and wash the remaining tender stalk thoroughly. Cut it into small crescents and place them in a small bowl filled with water to remove residual grit.

Make the Stuffing

In a Dutch Oven, add butter, drained leeks, and celery. Season generously with salt and pepper. Cook on medium heat for about 8 minutes, stirring several times, until the celery has softened.

Add the cranberries and thyme. Stir till mixed. Then add the challah and egg. Mix to combine. Finish by slowly adding in the chicken stock until the entire mixture is just moist. You don’t want the liquid to pool at the bottom of the dish. The trick is to add just enough stock so that the bread is moistened and all the ingredients come together.

Spoon the stuffing into the casserole dish. Bake for 30 minutes, uncovered until the stuffing is cooked through and nicely browned on the top. Serve warm with turkey and gravy.

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Homemade Apple Cider Cranberry Sauce

Serves 8-10

There is nothing like homemade cranberry sauce. It is both tart and sweet and so heavenly when combined with turkey. The citrus and cider make this cranberry sauce something special. I like to save extra to serve as a spread for turkey sandwiches as leftovers.

Ingredients:

  • 1 bag of fresh cranberries (12 oz)
  • 1 apple, cored and diced
  • 2T oranges zest (zest one large orange)
  • 1 cup apple cider
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ½ cup sugar

Make It

Add the cranberries, apple, orange zest, and apple cider to a medium-sized stock pot and bring to a boil. Once you’ve reached a boil, reduce to a simmer and add in the honey, sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Stir to combine.

Simmer until the liquid has mostly dissolved and the sauce has thickened (about 15-20 minutes). Stir several times throughout. Mash lightly and allow to cool before serving.

Note: this is a great dish to make in advance as it can be served slightly chilled or at room temperature.

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Maple-Glazed Carrots and Acorn Squash

Serves 8-10

Roasted sweetened carrots and sugared acorn squash become irresistible with added brown sugar and maple glaze. Pecans bring the crunch and fresh thyme adds brightness. Overall, this is a beautiful side dish that perfectly captures the colors and flavors of Fall.

Ingredients:

  • 1 bag of rainbow carrots (2 lbs)
  • 1 acorn squash
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • ½ cup chopped pecans
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves

Prep the Veggies

Preheat the oven to 375F. Peel and slice your carrots in half lengthwise. Remove the tough stem and arrange them on two baking sheets.

Halve your acorn squash and scoop out and discard the seeds. Slice into ½ inch slices and arrange around the carrots. Rub the carrot and squash all over with olive oil and top with a sprinkle of brown sugar. Season generously with salt and pepper.

Make the Veggies

Bake for 35-40 minutes (rotate halfway through to flip and brown on the other side). Once vegetables are tender, remove them from the oven to cool (note: the thicker the slices, the longer the carrots will take to cook. Large carrots will take the full time and smaller ones may be done earlier).

Finish by drizzling maple syrup on top of the roasted veggies. Plate, then top with chopped pecans and fresh thyme. Serve warm.

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Sesame Green Beans with Caramelized Shallots

Serves 8-10

Jammy and sweet onions bring richness to each bite of these beans. Sesame oil adds so much flavor and toasted almonds add crunch. This dish is full of texture and oh-so-tasty!

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs green beans, stems removed
  • Sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 6 large shallots, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup toasted sliced almonds

Prep the Green Beans

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Then, fill a large bowl halfway full with ice then finish with cold water. You are ready to blanch the green beans.

Working in batches, add half of your green beans to the boiling water for about 2-3 minutes until they are softened but still have snap. Quickly use thongs and transfer the beans from the boiling water to the ice bath. Repeat with the second batch. This keeps the green beans beautifully green, and tender but still preserves their crunch.

Make the Green Beans

Next, add 2 tablespoons of sesame oil to a large frying pan and add the shallots. Cook the shallots until they begin to brown evenly, adding rice wine vinegar throughout to prevent scorching. Cook on medium-low until very soft, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper as you go. Once shallots are browned and caramelized, remove to a plate. Saute the green beans in batches to warm and toast in the sesame oil. Stirring frequently, cook each batch on medium for about 3-4 minutes until warmed and glistening in sesame oil. Repeat until all beans are warmed. Top the finished green beans with the caramelized shallots and toasted almonds. Serve warm.

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Creamy Golden Mashed Potatoes

When it comes to potatoes there is a golden standard, Yukon Gold that is. There is no better potato for a buttery mash. Also a little word to the wise, you don't have to make your mashed potatoes at the last minute. I actually make the mashed potatoes days in advance and rewarm to serve. I've always found that the last thing I want to do before sitting down to dinner is to fill my sink with a mountain of dishes. Be sure to save a little butter and milk to mix in with the rewarmed potatoes to make them perfect just before serving.

I also love to make gravy in advance for the same reason. This way, I have plenty of gravy (which is never a bad thing) and if I want to add pan drippings to the pot, I can easily intensify the flavor. Since the Thanksgiving meal is all about timing, these two tricks really help you to come off like a pro. Finally, my secret tool is a potato ricer. There is no better way to create creamy texture in your spuds. A potato ricer takes the finished spuds to the next level. We hope you enjoy these simple recipes and tips to make your Thanksgiving a true celebration this year!

Ingredients:

  • 5 lb. bag of Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and diced
  • Sea salt
  • 1 stick of butter, plus 2 tablespoons butter for rewarming
  • 1 cup of whole milk, plus ½ cup more for rewarming

Brown Butter Make Ahead Gravy

  • 2 lbs. chicken wings (or turkey wings)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper
  • 1 carton chicken stock
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons flour

Make The Potatoes:

Add your peeled and diced potatoes to a large stock pot and cover with cold water. Salt the water (I add at least 2 teaspoons of salt) and bring to a boil.

Meanwhile, warm 1 stick of butter with 1 cup of whole milk in a medium-size saucepan on the stove. Simmer this mixture on low heat. Adding warmed butter and milk really helps create the perfect texture later.

Boil your potatoes until fork tender then strain into a colander. Pass the potatoes through a ricer for the smoothest results. Then mix in your warmed butter and milk. I use a spatula to fold them together. Season to taste and serve warm. If you are making in advance, allow the mashed potatoes to cool then store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Rewarming Pre-Made Mashed Potatoes:

To rewarm, preheat your oven to 350F. Add your potatoes to a casserole dish (you can even use the disposable foil trays to eliminate dishes) in a thin even layer. Top with ½ cup of milk and several dabs of butter then cover with foil and bake until warmed through (about 30 minutes: I like to do this while the turkey rests). Mix in the melted butter and warmed milk before serving.

Make the Gravy:

Preheat the oven to 425F. Pat the wings dry with a paper towel then rub them all over with olive oil and season with salt. Place them on a baking sheet and cook for about 30 minutes (once the thermometer reads 170F) remove the wings and allow to cool. Once cooled the wings are yours to enjoy (these make perfect buffalo wings if you’ve got sauce handy). All we wanted were those precious browned bits from the pan.

To make the gravy, add the butter to a medium-sized stock pot and heat until melted. Then, whisk in the flour to make a roux. The butter and flour will come together as a paste. Continue to cook the mixture over low heat until you reach your desired color. You can stick to golden for a light roux or keep cooking until you get almost a chocolate brown (each of these tastes wonderful and you may notice from the photos we actually experimented with quite a few).

Meanwhile, use ½ cup of stock and a wooden spatula to scrape and move around the browned bits on the tray you cooked your wings. Transfer all that stock and all those precious browned bits to the stockpot with the roux. Whisk until smooth, continuing to add stock as you go. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Once your gravy is smooth, seasoned and thick enough it is done. Allow to cool before refrigerating or freezing for later use.

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Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pomegranates and Prosciutto

Sometimes the best thing on your plate is an unexpected side dish. Since oven-roasted Brussel sprouts can be as crispy and irresistible as well... potato chips, we took a classic side and brought it up a notch. These Brussels sprouts are roasted to perfection then paired with the crispiest fried prosciutto and fresh pomegranate seeds. To finish, we glaze with a maple and balsamic dressing that ties everything together.

This is a stand alone dish but also serves as a delectable side next to turkey. We hope you enjoy!

Ingredients:

2 lbs Brussels sprouts
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 slices of prosciutto
  • ¼ cup pomegranate seeds (from 1 pomegranate, we also used pomegranate wedges to garnish the turkey)
  • Balsamic Glaze:

    2 tablespoons good quality balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon grade A maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Make the Glaze:

    Shake the contents of the balsamic glaze in a mason jar or tupperware with a secure lid. Shake until the ingredients all come together in a nice vinaigrette. This can be made up to a week in advance and stored in the refrigerator.

    Make the Brussel Sprouts:

    Preheat the oven to 425F. Cut the ends off the brussels sprouts and discard them. Then slice the Brussels sprouts in half lengthwise. Put them on an extra large baking sheet (you may need to use 2 baking sheets to prevent overcrowding depending on the size of your sheet). Drizzle olive oil over and rub to coat. Season generously with salt and lay them again cut side down on the baking sheet, spaced in an even layer.

    Bake on a bottom rack of the oven for about 15-20 minutes. They should be crispy and the flat sides should be nicely browned.

    Finish the Dish:

    Top the finished roasted Brussels sprouts with a drizzle of balsamic glaze and toss to coat. Next, quickly fry up the prosciutto with a little olive oil on the stovetop (about 3 minutes on medium-high heat) until the prosciutto is browned and completely crispy. Lay the finished prosciutto on a paper towel-lined plate and allow to cool. Sprinkle the pomegranates on the dressed Brussels sprouts then crumble the cooled prosciutto and spread it around to finish the dish. Serve warm.

    Rewarming:

    You can rewarm Brussels Sprouts in a 350F oven for 10-12 minutes. Reheating in the oven is the best way to keep them crispy.

    The dressing can be made in advance as can the prosciutto. If you plan on making these and rewarming to serve, hold off on the glaze and toppings until just before serving.

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    Herb and Citrus Roast Turkey

    This simple brined and buttered roast turkey is juicy, tender and full of flavor. Herbs, butter and citrus are always a winning combo. Use this easy brine as a safeguard to lock in moisture and make this year's roast better than ever.

    The brine doesn't have to be fancy. Use peels from oranges you eat and your less pretty herbs (no one is going to see the brine). Easy store-bought brining bags to keep it all together. As a little tip, I always clear a lot of room in my refrigerator before I buy my turkey. Plan space for a full roasting pan, the turkey, and the extra water for the brine.

    The next day, plan for about 3-4 hours of cook time depending on the size of your turkey. Dispose of your brine, butter that bird and finish it with extra herbs and lemons. The smell will be simply irresistible as it cooks. The resulting taste will be even better!

    Brine Ingredients:

    • 1 3/4 cups Morton coarse kosher salt
    • ½ cup dark brown sugar
    • ½  cup granulated sugar
    • 2 tablespoons peppercorns
    • 2 lemons, juiced and peeled
    • 2 oranges, peeled
    • 4 cloves smashed garlic
    • 1 handful fresh thyme
    • 2 stalks of fresh rosemary
    • Several sprigs of oregano
    • 8 double handfuls of ice
    • 2 gallons water (1 hot, 1 cold)

    Turkey Ingredients

    • 12-14 lb. turkey (try to avoid a frozen one as it really makes your life harder)
    • Sea salt
    • 1 stick of butter
    • A bunch of fresh rosemary
    • A bunch of fresh thyme
    • 2 lemons

    Make the Brine:

    In your largest pot, add your salt, sugars, peppercorns, lemons, orange peels, garlic, and herbs. Bring the ingredients to a simmer and stir the mixture until all the sugar and salt have dissolved. Remove the mixture from heat and add in the ice to cool. It needs to be cool enough to touch before you pour it in your brining bag.

    To get ready, I use a disposable foil turkey roasting pan and keep my brining bag inside that. Next, I add my turkey (neck and giblets removed) to the brining bag. I put all this on the floor then get my husband to hold the sides of the brining bag so I can pour the water over the turkey (it really is easier as a two person operation). I add extra cold water after the brine until the entire bird is covered). Then I remove any extra air (for space reasons) and tightly tie up my brining bag. I put the whole thing in the refrigerator and leave it overnight.

    Make the Turkey:

    Preheat the oven to 400F then lower to 350F once the turkey goes in. Plan on cooking 12-15 minutes per pound of turkey. To start, dispose of the brine and dry the turkey with a paper towel. Be sure to remove all the peppercorns that may have stuck to the bird. The herbs from the brine can be reused to stick in the cavity. Then salt the dried turkey all over, including in the cavity.

    Meanwhile in a medium sized pot on the stove, melt the butter and add the herbs. Brush this butter herb mixture all over the turkey, front, back and sides. Cut the lemons in half and add them to the cavity of the bird to release moisture as it cooks. Tuck the wings into the bird and tie up the legs before roasting. Then roast the turkey at 350F.

    If the turkey is browning too quickly, tent the turkey with aluminum foil (I did this at 2 hours into the cooking). Check your turkey in the thickest part of the thigh for doneness. I never stuff my turkey, however if you do, be sure to check your stuffing temperature as well to ensure that it is cooked through (in my opinion, it is always easiest to cook stuffing on the side). Your turkey should read 170F in the thigh. Allow the turkey to rest at least 30 minutes before slicing.

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    Caramel Pecan Apple Pie

    This is not your basic apple pie. It is an apple pie plus pecans plus salted caramel. The caramel is used not once but twice to sweeten this dessert. First baked in with the filling for flavor and finally as a drizzle to finish. The result is a wonderfully layered, sweet finish to your holiday meal. Be sure to slice the apples extra fine for the best results.  

    Ingredients (For a 10 inch pie pan):

    • 2 cups all purpose flour
    • 12 tablespoons cold butter (do not take from fridge until ready to use)
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt (double if using unsalted butter)
    • 4-6 tablespoons ice cold water

    Pie Filling Ingredients:

    • 9 small-medium sized apples (I used a mix of Pink Lady, Macoon and Honeycrisp)
    • 1 large lemon, juiced (yields about 2 tablespoons of liquid)
    • ⅓ cup brown sugar, packed
    • ¼ cup all purpose flour
    • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 1 cup crumbled pecans
    • ½ cup salted caramel, plus more for serving
    • 1 egg

    Make the Crust:

    Preheat the oven to 400F and lay a baking sheet in the oven as it heats.

    Next, in a large bowl add the flour. Then take the butter out of the refrigerator and begin cutting it into small pieces using a paring knife. Add in the salt and then begin mixing the dough together using a pastry cutter or by using your hands. The dough should take on the consistency of fine sand (a couple small lumps are okay but no big chunks of butter). It also should remain cold, if going by hand do not overwork. If you have a stand mixer, go ahead and use that as well.

    Gradually, add the ice cold water a tablespoon at a time, mixing until the dough just comes together. The dough at this point should be able to be shaped into two equal balls.

    Dust your counter with flour and also dust your rolling pin. Then pat the first ball into a disc and lay it on your floured countertop. Begin rolling the dough until it is 2 inches larger than the widest rim of your baking dish (I use a 10 inch pie pan). Use flour as needed throughout rolling to keep dough from sticking. Carefully fold the rolled dough in half and lift into your pie pan. Gently press down from the center out to the sides to shape the bottom. Press up the sides of the pan and cut off any extra dough with a paring knife. Save the extra dough.

    Next, cut off a piece of wax paper and lay to the side. Then repeat with flour and roll out the second ball of dough, repeating the same steps as the first. This time, lay the finished rolled pie on top of the wax paper and gently drape on top of the pie mold. Loosely cover these crusts with plastic wrap and refrigerate while you make your filling.

    Make the Filling:

    Peel and core all the apples. Then, thinly slice the apples and add them to a very large bowl. Squeeze the lemon juice on the finished apples and stir around or toss with your hands to mix. Add in the brown sugar, flour and cinnamon and toss once more. Then add in the pecans and caramel and stir to combine.

    Rewarming:

    If you are rewarming your pie, preheat the oven to 350F. Cover your pie with foil and rewarm for 15-20 minutes. Be sure to also leave out your caramel to warm before serving.

    Serve your warmed pie with extra salted caramel and vanilla bean ice cream.

    Finish the Pie:

    Return the refrigerated pie crusts to the counter. Move the top crust on the wax paper to the side and carefully mound your filling into the crust-lined pie pan.

    While the top crust is on the counter, it is fun to use cookie cutters to make cut outs. I used a simple leaf pattern to make vents in the center. Then I used my remaining pie scraps as leaves to circle around the outer edge of the pie. Get creative, however you garnish the top of your pie really adds to the appeal. The garnish makes for the best presentation BUT it doesn't make for the easiest slicing. If you want just a basic cover to the pie, you can skip this step and simply use a paring knife to cut 3 small vents in the top.

    Before you lay the top of the pie crust on the filling, make your egg wash. In a small bowl, crack your egg and whisk until smooth. Using a pastry brush, brush the outer edge of the pie pan crust and then lay on the top crust. The egg wash helps to glue the two pie crusts together.

    Continue decorating your pie crust, however for every extra layer of crust you lay down (ex: adding a leaf pattern on top) be sure to egg wash to “glue” the pieces down. Use a paring knife to cut any excess off the edge and crimp down the sides to close. You can simply pinch them together, use a fork to press them together or get a lot more creative. Be sure to egg wash the entire finished crust before baking.

    Bake in the center of the oven on the preheated baking sheet. Once the pie goes in the oven, reduce the heat to 375F and bake for 30 minutes (at this point I was seeing color on the top crust but it was a pale tan and the pie was not fully cooked). Rotate the pie at 30 minutes and then cook for another 15-20 (cook until the top crust is a true golden brown). After 50 minutes, I used foil to loosely tent the top crust to stop it from further browning (the color was perfect after 50). Then I finished baking for another 10 minutes until I could see the filling bubbling inside.

    Allow to cool before serving.

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