5 Basics Dishes Perfect For a Traditional Thanksgiving

Basics Meals That Are Perfect For Thanksgiving

 Does preparing the big feast feel like a huge feat? Here’s 5 easy-to-follow recipes of the classic Thanksgiving basics, then complete with our additional Thanksgiving recipes and delicious variations. From turkey to green beans and stuffing, you’ll know everything about these holiday staples. And if you have mounds of leftovers, have a look at How to Make the Most of Thanksgiving Leftovers.


Remove the neck and giblets from your turkey; pat dry, then let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Preheat your oven to 325°F (160°C). Season the turkey inside and out with salt and pepper. Fill the turkey’s cavity with chopped onions, carrots, apples and herbs, then tie the legs together with twine. Place the turkey breast-side up in a roasting pan and baste with melted butter. Tent with aluminum foil and roast for 2 hours for a medium sized  (10 to 12 lbs) turkey; add an extra 15 minutes per pound for larger birds. Uncover, brush with more butter and increase the heat to 425°F (220°C); roast until the thigh meat registers 165°F (75°C) with a cooking thermometer, about 1 more hour. Let rest 30 minutes before carving, so that the juice will have time to flow back for a tender meat.
(Image courtesy of Tim Sackton)

The Basic Basics Thanksgiving menu

Collect the turkey juices and drippings in the bottom of the roasting pan, then pour into a bowl. Add a dash of chicken stock in the roasting pan and scrape the  browned bits that remain, then freeze the drippings until the fat hardens on top. You can also use a fat separator for that purpose. Put 1⁄2 cup of the collected fat into a saucepan. Combine with half a cup of flour and cook over medium heat, stirring until golden. Pour in 8 cups of hot chicken stock; bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Skim out any remaining fat from the drippings; add the drippings to the saucepan. Simmer, whisking regularly, until thick. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Use a strainer to remove any lumps.

The Basic Basics Thanksgiving menu ideas
Mashed potatoes
Put 2 lbs (1kg) whole unpeeled russet potatoes in a pot and cover with cold water; add salt. Bring to a simmer and cook until the potatoes are tender. Drain the potatoes, peel and return to the pot. Add 1 cup hot milk and 1 stick of butter. Mash with a potato masher or a fork. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Top with parsley for the decoration.

GREEN BEANs recipe for Thanksgiving menu

Green beans
Melt a big knob of butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 4 to 6 sliced garlic cloves; stir-fry for about 2 minutes. Add 2 1/2 pounds trimmed green beans and a few pinches each of salt and sugar. Cook for 2 minutes. Add 1/2 cup water, cover and simmer until tender, then remove the lid and boil until the water evaporates. Season to taste with salt and pepper; toss with chopped pecans for a crunchy touch.

Basic Basics Thanksgiving menu

Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C). Melt 1 stick of butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add 2 cups diced onions, and the same amount of diced celery, 2 chopped apples. Add 1 tablespoon minced thyme and sage. Season with salt and pepper and cook for 5 minutes. Add 3 cups chicken broth and bring to a simmer. Whisk 2 eggs with chopped parsley in a large bowl; add 16 cups cubed stale country bread, then pour the vegetable-broth mixture over and mix. Transfer to a buttered baking dish. Cover and bake for 30 minutes, then uncover and bake until golden, about 20 minutes more.

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