A Late Thanksgiving Dinner

My daughter and I were invited to a friend’s house for Thanksgiving so I did my own thanksgiving cooking today.  Unlike previous times, I didn’t stuff the Turkey.  Instead I cooked the stuffing separately.  I also didn’t do as much with sides as usual.   Just enough to have a nice meal.

So, here’s what we had:

Unstuffed bacon-basted roast turkey.

This one involves a little more prep time than a “standard” unstuffed turkey but you really save effort with the lack of any need to get into the oven and baste the bird.

  • 1 turkey, about 16 lbs.
  • 2 lb bacon

Preheat the oven to 325.  Place the turkey on a rack inside a roasting pan.

Weave most of 1 lb of bacon into a mat.  Spread the bacon mat over the turkey breast. Use the remaining bacon to cover the drumsticks, thighs, and wings.  Don’t stint in using the bacon.  When in doubt, add more.

Put in the oven and cook until the breast meat is 180 (about 4-5 hours).

Really.  It’s that simple.  As the bacon cooks, it’s juices baste the turkey keeping the skin from drying out excessively.  And when you’re done, the bacon itself is an added treat.

Low-carb sausage stuffing.

This is the “regular” recipe.  I upsized it and ended up using enough sausage compared to the other ingredients that it ended up more a meat dish than “stuffing” as a side.

  • 1 lb pork sausage.
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 2 cup diced portobello mushroom caps
  • 2 cups coarsely chopped celery
  • 2 cups chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 Tbsp chicken bouillon powder (or to taste).

In a large skillet crumble and cook the sausage until no longer pink.  Using a slotted spatula remove the sausage to a large mixing bowl leaving the drippings behind.

Cook the onion in the sausage drippings until tender.  Better to leave it a little underdone at this stage.  Transfer the onion to the mixing bowl.

Add the other ingredients to the bowl.  The bouillon powder is to give a “poultry” taste that the stuffing would normally get from being cooked inside the bird.  Mix together well.

Place in a two quart casserole pan.  Put in the oven with the turkey for its last hour of cooking.

Carb-free gravy

This one is ridiculously easy.

  • 1 14 oz can chicken stock
  • 1/2 tsp Xantham gum
  • salt and pepper to taste

Pour the chicken stock into a small saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat.

Reduce heat to low and whisk in the xantham gum.  Depending on how thick you like your gravy you may need to adjust the amount of xantham gum for desired thickness.

Add salt and pepper to taste.

Port Wine Cranberry Sauce (Sugar Free).

Store had a two lb bag of cranberries available and my daughter and I both love this stuff so I made a whole bunch

  • 2 lb cranberries
  • 2 cup Spenda or similar sweetener
  • 1 cup port wine
  • 1 cup water

Mix all the ingredients into a large saucepan.

Bring to boil over high heat.

Reduce heat and simmer about 5 minutes to soften the cranberries.

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