Traditional Thanksgiving Dinner - Foods and Recipes to Serve

Do you need some ideas and tips for preparing a traditional Thanksgiving dinner?

Thanksgiving is a great time to gather with friends and family. It is a time of year to reflect on all the things in your life that you have to be thankful for. And the topper of the Thanksgiving holiday is a wonderful dinner with your loved ones.

While there are many options for this meal, many people still choose to partake of the traditional Thanksgiving dinner.

The most important part of the traditional Thanksgiving dinner is the turkey. The turkey is the crowning jewel of your holiday table and you want to make sure that your bird is perfect. There are many ways to prepare this holiday staple. For example, you can simply rub butter and salt into the skin of the turkey and bake it to a golden brown.

Another variation on this holiday favorite is to serve an herb crusted turkey. Instead of butter and salt rubbed into the turkey's skin, you would use a mixture of herbs and olive oil. Some wonderful herbs to consider when serving a turkey prepared this way are rosemary, chives, thyme, oregano and garlic. After you rub your herb mixture into the skin, you bake the turkey as you would using the traditional method.

Many people are also opting for a deep fried turkey at Thanksgiving. For this, you will need a deep fryer that is large enough to hold your bird. Deep fried turkeys are great for smaller dinner parties as the smaller birds cook much better than larger ones. Just remember, if you are going to deep fry your turkey, take precautions to prevent fires.

The next thing on the traditional Thanksgiving dinner menu will be your holiday dressing. Your turkey won't be complete without the perfect dressing or stuffing. Some people prefer to have a stuffed bird with the dressing taking on the flavor of the turkey while baking. Still others don't want to risk having an undercooked bird by placing the stuffing in during baking.

A wonderful dressing for your traditional Thanksgiving dinner meal is the Southern Cornbread Dressing. For this recipe, you will need the following: 6 cups cornbread crumbs, 3 cups bread crumbs (soft bread), 4 ounces butter or margarine, 2 cups finely chopped onions, 2 cups finely chopped celery (optional), 3 to 4 cups chicken or turkey broth (one way to get turkey broth is to boil the giblets and neck meat until done and use the broth), 2 cups diced chicken or turkey (you can get your turkey by chopping up the giblets and neck meat), 1 tablespoon sage, 1 1/2 teaspoon crumbled, dried thyme, 1 teaspoon dried crumbled marjoram, 1/2 teaspoon dried crumbled rosemary, 1 teaspoon salt (more to taste - a great alternative is sea salt), 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper (more to taste), 2 eggs lightly beaten, and one clove minced garlic (optional).

Combine the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl and blend. Saute the onion, celery and garlic in butter until tender (but not brown), then add to the dry ingredients and mix well. Add the chicken or turkey and mix well. Add just enough broth to moisten the mixture. Stir in the two eggs and mix well. Spread the mixture in a large baking pan and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown in a 400 degree Fahrenheit oven.

Other staples for your traditional Thanksgiving dinner include mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, candied yams, and pumpkin pie. For a variation on your mashed potatoes, you can add garlic or cheese to the potatoes to give them an added kick.

To prepare your green bean casserole, simply combine green beans and cream of mushroom soup in a casserole dish. Add salt and pepper to taste. Top with French fried onions and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes. Add some hot yeast or crescent rolls to your traditional Thanksgiving dinner meal to make it complete.

Whatever you decide to serve this Thanksgiving, you can't go wrong with preparing a traditional meal for you and your guests. With a traditional Thanksgiving dinner, you and your loved ones are sure to find something they will enjoy.

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