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Traditional Thanksgiving dishes

Susan Westmoreland, food director at "Good Housekeeping," shares some classic American dishes that have continued with Thanksgiving tradition.
/ Source: TODAY

On November 26, 1798, George Washington proclaimed the first national Thanksgiving observance, and centuries later, the tradition continues. Susan Westmoreland, food director at "Good Housekeeping," shares some classic American dishes that have continued with tradition.



-Country Sausage & corn bread stuffing-1 turkey (14 pounds)-1 ½ teaspoons salt-1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper-Giblet Gravy

Prepare Country Sausage & Corn bread stuffing and set aside. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Remove giblets and neck from turkey; reserve for making giblet Gravy.  Rinse turkey inside and out with cold running water and drain well; pat dry with paper towels.Loosely spoon some stuffing into the neck cavity.  Fold neck skin over stuffing; fasten neck skin to turkey back with one or two skewers.Loosely spoon remaining corn bread stuffing into body cavity (bake any leftover stuffing in small covered casserole during last 30 minutes of roasting time).  Fold skin over cavity opening; skewer closed, if necessary.  Tie legs and tail together with string; push drumsticks under band of skin, or use stuffing clamp.  Secure wings to body with string, if desired.Place turkey, breast side up, on rack in large roasting pan (17” x 11.5”).  Sprinkle salt and pepper on outside of turkey.  Cover with loose tent of foil.Roast about 3 hours and 45 minutes.  Start checking for doneness during last hour of roasting.  Place stuffing (in casserole) in oven after turkey has roasted 3 hours.  Bake until heated through, about 30 minutes.To brown turkey, remove foil during last hour of roasting; baste occasionally with pan drippings.  Turkey is done with temperature on meat thermometer inserted in the thickest part of thigh is pierced with tip of knife. (breast temperature should be 170 degrees; stuffing temperature 160-165 degrees).While turkey is roasting, prepare giblets and neck for Giblet Gravy.Transfer turkey to large platter; keep warm.  Let stand at least 15 minutes to set juices for easier carving.  Prepare Giblet Gravy.Serve turkey with stuffing and gravy.

Heat 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until very hot.  Add 1 pound pork sausage meat and cook, breaking up sausage with side of spoon, until browned – about 10 minutes.  With slotted spoon, transfer sausage to large bowl.  Discard all but 2 tablespoons of sausage drippings.Add 4 tablespoons butter or margarine, 3 stalks celery, coarsely chopped, 1 large onion (12 ounces), coarsely chopped, and 1 red pepper, coarsely chopped, to skillet.  Cook, stirring occasional, until vegetables are golden brown and tender, about 10 minutes.  Stir in 1 can (14.5 ounces) chicken broth, ½ teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper, and ¾ cup water.  Heat to boiling, stirring until browned bits are loosened from bottom skillet.Add vegetable mixture, 1 package (14-16 ounces) corn bread stuffing mix and ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley to sausage in bowl; stir to combine well.  Use to stuff turkey or serve in baking dish.  Spoon stuffing into greased 13” x 9” baking dish.  Cover with foil. Makes about 12 cups stuffing.


In 3-quart saucepan, combing gizzard, heart, neck and 4 cups water; heat to boiling over high heat.  Reduce heat; cover and simmer 45 minutes.  Add liver and cook 15 minutes longer. Strain giblet broth through sieve into large bowl.  Pull meat from neck; discard bones. Cover and refrigerate meat and broth separately.To make gravy, remove rack from roasting pan.  Strain pan drippings through sieve into 4- cup glass measuring cup or medium bowl.  Add 1 cup giblet broth to hot roasting pan and heat to boiling, stirring until browned bits are loosened from bottom of pan; add to drippings in measuring cup.  Let stand until fat separates from meat juice, about 1 minute.  Spoon 2 tablespoons fat from drippings into 2-quart saucepan; skim and discard any remaining fat.  Add remaining giblet broth and enough water to drippings in cup to equal 3 cups.Add fat in saucepan over medium heat; stir in 2 tablespoons all purpose flour and ½ teaspoon salt.  Cook, stirring, until flour turns golden brown.  With wire whisk, gradually whisk in meat-juice mixture and cook, whisking until gravy has thickened slightly and boils; boil 1 minute.  Stir in reserved giblets and neck meat; heat through.  Pour gravy into gravy boat.  Makes about 3 ½ cups gravy.



-1 cup wild rice-1 cup water-1 cup canned chicken broth-1/4 teaspoon salt-2 tablespoons butter or margarine-1 tablespoon finely chopped shallots-8 ounces mushrooms, trimmed and sliced-2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Rinse wild rice, drain.  In 2-quart saucepan, combine wild rice, water, broth, and salt; heat to boiling over high heat. Reduce heat; cover and simmer until wild rice is tender and some grains have popped, 45-60 minutes.  Drain if necessary, keep warm.Meanwhile, in 10-inch skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat.  Add shallots and cook until tender, about 2 minutes.  Add  mushrooms; cook, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms are tender and liquid has evaporated, about 5 minutes.  Stir mushroom mixture and parsley into wild rice.


-1 container or bag of pearl onions (10 ounces)-2 tablespoons butter or margarine-2 tablespoons all-purpose flour-1/2 teaspoon salt-1/4 teaspoon dried thyme-1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg-1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper-2 ¼ cups milk-2 bags (16 ounces each) frozen peas, thawed

In 12-inch skillet, heat 1 inches water to boiling over high heat.  Add onions; heat to boiling.  Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer until tender, 10-15 minutes.  Drain.When cool enough to handle, peel onions, leaving a bit of root end attached to help onion mold their shape.Meanwhile, in 2-quart sauce pan, melt butt over medium heat.  Stir in flour, salt, thyme, nutmeg and pepper until blended; cook, stirring until sauce has thickened slightly and boils.Return onions to skillet.  Add sauce and peas; cover and cook, stirring often, over medium-high heat until sauce boils and peas are heated through.



-4 tablespoons butter or margarine-1 ½ cups cornmeal-1 cup all-purpose flour-2 teaspoons baking powder-1 teaspoon salt-1/4 teaspoon salt-1 ¾ cups buttermilk-2 large eggs

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Place butter in 10-inch cast iron skillet or 9-inch square baking pan; place in oven just until butter melts, 3-5 minutes. Tilt skillet to coat.Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine cornmeal, flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda.  In bowl, with fork, beat buttermilk and eggs until blended.  Add melted butter to buttermilk mixture, then add to flour mixture.  Stir just until flour is moistened (batter will be lumpy).Pour batter into prepared skillet.  Bake until golden at edge and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 25 minutes.  Serve warm.



-2 medium sweet potatoes (about 8 ounces each), not peeled.  OR 2 cans (16-17 ounces each) sweet potatoes, drained.

-1 ½ cups half and half or light cream-3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar-1 teaspoon ground cinnamon-3/4 teaspoon ground ginger-1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg-1/2 teaspoon salt-3 large eggs

If using fresh sweet potatoes, in 3-quart saucepan, combine sweet potatoes and enough water to cover; heat to boiling over high heat.  Reduce heat; cover and simmer until tender, about 30 minutes, drain.Preheat over to 425-degrees.  On lightly floured surface, with floured rolling pin, roll dough into 12-inch round.  Gently roll dough onto rolling pin and ease into 9-inch pie plate, gently pressing dough against side of plate.  Trim edge, leaving 1-inch overhang.  Fold overhand under; make decorative edge.  Refrigerate or freeze until firm, 10-15 minutes.When cool enough to handle; peel sweet potatoes and cut into large pieces.  In large bowl,  with mixer at low speed, beat sweet potatoes until smooth.  Add half-and-half, brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, salt and eggs; beat until well blended.Line pie shell with foil; fill with pie weights or dry beans.  Bake 10 minutes.  Remove foil with weights; bake until golden, about 10 minutes longer.  If shell puffs up during baking, gently press it down with back of spoon.  Cool on wire rack at least 10 minutes.  Turn oven control to 350-degrees.Spoon sweet potato filling into cooled pie shell.  Bake until knife inserted 1 inch from edge comes out clean – about 40 minutes.  Cool on wire rack 1 hour to serve warm or cool slightly and refrigerate to serve later.