Brined Thanksgiving TurkeyThanksgiving SaladSausage StuffingEasy Berry RelishOld Fashioned Pumpkin Pie

Thanksgiving Dinner Recipes

Thanksgiving will soon be here! In this week’s column, we have put together some recipes for the great day of thanks, from the main event (the bird) to dessert.

The holiday season is almost upon us. If you have a favorite dish that you make for the holidays, that you would like to share, we would love to hear from you! Recipes, with photo (and a short story/history), if available, can be submitted to

Brined Thanksgiving Turkey

Prep: 30 mins

Cook: 6 hrs 30 mins

Additional: 1 day

Total: 1 day

Servings: 12

Yield: 1 (20-pound) turkey


4 (32 oz.) containers chicken broth

1 c. apple juice (Optional)

1 c. light brown sugar

1 c. kosher salt

2 T. dried sage

4 peppercorns

4 red apples, halved

5 cloves garlic, crushed

10 lbs. ice cubes, or as needed

1 (20 lb.) turkey whole turkey - thawed, neck & giblets removed

3 apples, cored & quartered

1 onion, cut into 8 wedges

3 cloves garlic

6 fresh sage leaves

3 T. olive oil, or as needed


Stir chicken broth, apple juice, brown sugar, salt, dried sage, and peppercorns together in a large stock pot; add apple halves and crushed garlic cloves. Bring the mixture just to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar and salt. Remove from heat immediately.

Pour enough ice into a large food-safe container to be about half full. Pour chicken broth mixture over the ice; stir to cool liquid completely and evenly.

Gently lower turkey into the liquid with the breast facing down.

Brine turkey 24 to 36 hours, adding ice as needed to keep the brine and turkey cold.

Preheat oven to 500 degrees F.

Remove turkey from the brine and rinse well with cold water. Pat turkey dry with paper towels.

Mix apple quarters, onion wedges, whole garlic cloves, and fresh sage leaves in a bowl; loosely stuff into cavity of turkey. Move the turkey to a shallow roasting pan. Lightly coat the turkey’s skin with olive oil.

Bake the turkey in the preheated oven until the skin on the breast of the turkey is golden brown, about 30 minutes.

Reduce heat to 350 degrees F, cover turkey with aluminum foil, and continue roasting the turkey until no longer pink at the bone and the juices run clear, about 6 hours. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh should read 180 degrees F. Remove the turkey from the oven, cover with a doubled sheet of aluminum foil, and allow to rest in a warm area 10 to 15 minutes before slicing.


Thanksgiving Salad

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 0 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

 Servings: 10 to 12 servings


For The Balsamic Vinaigrette:

2/3 c. extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 c. good-quality balsamic vinegar

1 T. Dijon mustard

1 tsp. honey

1 tsp. lemon juice

1 clove garlic, pressed or finely minced

1/4 tsp. salt, plus additional to taste

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste


For The Salad:

3 medium D’Anjou pears, ripe yet firm, thinly sliced

Juice of 1/2 lemon, or more, as needed

16 oz. salad greens, such as spring mix, with or without baby spinach

8 oz. Brie, thinly sliced and cut into 1-inch pieces

Seeds from 1 large pomegranate

1-1/2 c. pecan halves, toasted


To prepare Balsamic Vinaigrette, measure all of the ingredients into a mason jar. Tightly screw on the lid and shake vigorously until everything is thoroughly combined. Alternatively, you may briskly whisk the ingredients together in a medium bowl, or blend them in a blender or mini food processor.

Immediately after cutting the pear slices, place them in a large plastic baggie and squeeze fresh lemon juice over them. Close bag and gently shake to coat. In a large salad bowl, layer salad greens, pear slices, pieces of Brie, pomegranate seeds, and toasted pecans. Just before serving, dress with desired amount of Balsamic Vinaigrette and toss until salad ingredients are evenly coated.


Sausage Stuffing

1 lb. bulk pork sausage, crumbled, browned & drain

1 T. butter

3/4 c. finely chopped onion

1-1/2 c. chopped celery w/leaves

1 c. chicken broth

8 c. soft bread cubes

1-1/2 tsp. dried sage leaves

1 tsp. dried thyme leaves

1/2 tsp. pepper

1 cup raisins or dried cranberries


In large skillet, sauté onions and celery in butter; add chicken broth. Stir in about 1/3 of the bread cubes. Turn into deep bowl. Add sausage and remaining ingredients; toss. Pour stuffing into a buttered casserole dish, cover with foil. Bake at 350 degrees, covered, for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 15 minutes, or until nicely browned. Yields 9 cups stuffing.


Easy Berry Relish

1 pkg. (12 oz.) fresh or frozen cranberries

2-1/2 c. sugar

1-2/3 c. ginger ale

1/3 c. lemon juice

1 pkg. (3 oz.) raspberry gelatin


In a saucepan, combine the first four ingredients. Cook over medium heat until the berries pop, about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat; stir in gelatin until dissolved. Pour into serving bowl. Cover and chill for 8 hours or overnight before serving. Store in the refrigerator. Yield: 5 cups


Old Fashioned Pumpkin Pie 

Cook time: 1 hour

Yield: Serves 8


2 lg. eggs plus the yolk of a third egg

1/2 c. packed dark brown sugar

1/3 c. white sugar

1/2 tsp. salt

2 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. ground ginger

1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg

1/4 tsp. ground cloves

1/8 tsp. ground cardamom

1/2 tsp. lemon zest

2 c. pumpkin pulp purée from a sugar pumpkin OR 1 (15 oz.) can of pumpkin purée

1-1/2 c. heavy cream or one 12 oz. can of evaporated milk

1 good pie crust, chilled or frozen


Preheat your oven to 425°F.

Make the filling: Beat the eggs in a large bowl. Mix in the brown sugar, white sugar, salt, spices—cinnamon, ground ginger, nutmeg, ground cloves, cardamom, and lemon zest.

Mix in the pumpkin purée. Stir in the cream. Beat together until everything is well mixed.

Pour into pie shell and bake: Pour the filling into an uncooked chilled or frozen pie shell. Bake at a high temperature of 425°F for 15 minutes.

Then after 15 minutes, lower the temperature to 350°F. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes more. The pie is done when a knife tip inserted in the center comes out wet but relatively clean. The center should be just barely jiggly.

(About half-way through the baking, you may want to put foil around the edges or use a pie protector to keep the crust from getting too browned.)

Cool the pumpkin pie on a wire rack for 2 hours. Note that the pumpkin pie will come out of the oven all puffed up (from the leavening of the eggs), and will deflate as it cools.

Serve with whipped cream.


Quote of the Week:

“Whenever you do a thing, act as if all the world were watching.”

~ Thomas Jefferson



The Drummer and The Wright County Journal Press

PO Box 159
108 Central Ave.
Buffalo MN 55313

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