With the help of some roundabout logic, it’s possible to make the argument that without the British there would be no Thanksgiving (the Colonists would have never left England, never met the Native Americans, never sat down and eaten a feast worthy of New England locavores). So it’s not terribly surprising that one of the great recipes for Thanksgiving turkey comes from Jamie Oliver, British chef extraordinaire. His trick? Protecting the turkey breast with aluminum foil while the bird roasts to keep it nice and juicy. This method is especially useful with organic or heritage turkeys, which Jamie specifically calls for, since they can be leaner than mass-produced birds. Even if you’re using a Butterball, though, expect great results.
There’s no arguing against the fact that the Thanksgiving meal wouldn’t be complete without stuffing. Whether you cook it in the bird, out of the bird, or in muffin tins for individual servings, stuffing—or dressing, as it’s sometimes called—is a holiday staple. This recipe is both classic and innovative (characteristics of so many of the recipes from the indispensable Silver Palate Cookbook), calling upon cornbread and sausage to do most of the work with a surprise appearance of caramelized apples for sweetness and complexity.
Second only to lima beans, Brussels sprouts are historically the most reviled vegetables on the Thanksgiving table—a real shame. Roasted, braised, sautéed; with bacon, with a poached egg, with mustard sauce; we’ll take Brussels sprouts any way we can get them. Especially this way, created by renowned expat Patricia Wells, which simply sautés the leaves with garlic and olive oil, allowing the forward flavors of the sprouts to shine.
Thanksgiving is a time for family, for gathering together, for feeling thankful for all that we have…and for eating and eating until watching football passes for physical activity. This rich gratin does a lot towards that end. Creamy and sweet, with a hint of tangy Parmesan, you and your guests will want seconds of this decadent side, even if you don’t have any room left.
This is a Lee Bros. original, born of Matt and Ted’s boredom with conventional sweet potato pies, which can often be leaden and dull. Craving something lighter and tangier, they concocted this miracle of pies. Some have compared it to a cross between sweet potato pie and cheesecake, which rings true when you taste it, but it doesn’t weigh on you the way cheesecake does. It’s ethereal, frothy, and divine, and the perfect end to the Thanksgiving meal.