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A Southern Bayou Thanksgiving Dinner

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From the 2017 Thanksgiving Guide
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A juicy roast turkey flavored with paprika, thyme, garlic, and cayenne meets a bread stuffing loaded with Andouille sausage, peppers, and garlic in this traditional down home feast.

The turkey and stuffing serve 12-14, but the rest of the recipes in the menu serve 8-10 as written, so do plan accordingly.

Andouille sausage, bell peppers, and garlic lend a little bayou flavor to the bread stuffing in this Thanksgiving menu, which features a juicy roast turkey made flavorful by a butter rub of paprika, thyme, garlic, celery seed, and of course, cayenne.

Menu Timeline

3 Days Ahead

  • Make the cranberry sauce up to the point of adding the scallions; cover and refrigerate.
  • Prepare the sweet potatoes and liquid for the pie and refrigerate both.
  • Make the pie dough, roll into a disc, wrap, and chill.

2 Days Ahead

  • Butter, season, and refrigerate the turkey.
  • Make the broth for the gravy; refrigerate.
  • Toast the pecans for the green beans.

1 Day Ahead

  • Finish making the pie; store at a cool room temperature.

6 Hours Before Dinner

  • Boil the green beans; cool quickly under running water and keep refrigerated.

4 Hours Before Dinner

  • Take the turkey out of the refrigerator; let sit at room temperature for 1 hour.
  • Take the cranberry sauce out of the refrigerator; stir in the scallions.
  • Take the sweet potatoes and liquid out of the refrigerator.

3-1/2 Hours Before Dinner

  • Heat the oven to 350°F.

3 Hours Before Dinner

  • Roast the turkey.

2 Hours Before Dinner

  • Cook and mash the potatoes and mix them with the eggs and cream; keep warm in the pot on the back of the stove.
  • Assemble the stuffing; keep at room temperature.

1 Hour Before Dinner

  • Bake the stuffing.

30 Minutes Before Dinner

  • Let the turkey rest tented with foil.
  • Make the gravy.
  • Finish cooking the green beans and keep warm on the stove.

Just Before Dinner

  • Carve the turkey.
  • Gently reheat the mashed potatoes over low heat, stirring occasionally; transfer to a serving bowl and garnish just before serving.
  • Transfer the green beans to a warm serving platter.
  • Whip the cream for the pie; keep refrigerated.

Shopping List

Fresh Produce

  • 1 bunch fresh thyme
  • 1 bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 bunch fresh chives
  • 5 medium cloves garlic
  • 2 large and 1 small yellow onion
  • 2 medium stalks celery
  • 4 shallots
  • 6 large scallions
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1-1/4 lb. sweet potatoes
  • 4 lb. medium russet potatoes
  • 1-inch piece fresh ginger root
  • 24 oz. fresh cranberries
  • 2 lb. green beans
  • 1 lemon
  • 4 oranges

Meat, Seafood, Eggs & Dairy

  • 1 16-lb. fresh turkey
  • 16 oz. (4 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 12 oz. Andouille sausage
  • 7 large eggs
  • 1-3/4 cup heavy whipping cream

Other Groceries

  • 4-1/2 cups lower-salt chicken broth, more as needed
  • 1 1-lb. loaf rustic white bread with crust
  • 2 cups dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup canned coconut milk (not coconut cream)
  • 1/2 cup pecans
  • 1 small cinnamon stick, broken into pieces
  • 1 small star anise
  • 15-oz. can pure solid-pack pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)

Pantry Staples

  • kosher salt
  • 1-3/4 tsp. table salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 tsp. ground cayenne
  • 1/4 tsp. celery seed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 Tbs. paprika (hot or sweet)
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 4 tsp. minced garlic
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbs. white vinegar
  • 15-3/4 oz. (3-1/2 cup) plus 2 Tbs. unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup solid vegetable shortening
  • 2-1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

The Menu

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