So many of us this year are faced with the challenge to cook an ENTIRE holiday dinner in just ONE kitchen - if you’re like me, you may not have a sprawling kitchen with multiple ovens. But there IS a way to balance cooking it all, and you can even do it well!
My kitchen may not be big or be Pinterest perfect, but with the right appliances and proper balance of dishes, it can be done well! For this task, my Samsung Flex Duo Oven came in clutch, with being able to split into two ovens, allowing me to cook two different casseroles at different temperatures! Meanwhile, my Samsung Family Hub Refrigerator played Christmas music and kept the directions up for my Bacon Wrapped Turkey (directions below!).
Here’s the SCHEDULE for cooking:
Bake the pies the night before
Pro-tip: I still split the oven into two if I’m baking two pies, even if the temperatures are the same, so that each cooks more evenly!
Brine the turkey - depending on how you make your turkey, you may want to brine it the night before. For the Bacon Wrapped Turkey recipe I’ll be sharing, no brining is required! Just make sure you’ve already dethawed the turkey!
Morning of the holiday:
Prepare the turkey for baking. You’ll want to give yourself an hour to prepare the turkey, and 13 minutes of baking time for every pound of turkey.
While the turkey is baking, prepare your casseroles
I choose to make the corn and mashed potatoes in the microwave, and the rolls we use are the Pillsbury Flaky layers - choosing these always delicious, but quick and easy options help relieve some of the stress! We also love the canned cranberry sauce more than homemade, so that’s another easy win!
1 turkey (14 to 16 pounds)
1/4 cup butter, softened
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
1 teaspoon rubbed sage
1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1-1/2 pounds thick-sliced bacon strips (about 20-24 strips)
Preheat oven to 475°
Place turkey on a rack in a shallow roasting pan, breast side up. In a small bowl, combine butter, salt, thyme, rosemary, sage poultry seasoning pepper; spread over outside breast and legs.
I also prepared an additional 1/4 cup of similar butter seasoning to stuff under the skin of the turkey, as well as to stuff the inside cavity of the turkey with - this helps create the most moist turkey you could ever imagine!
TIP: Wear disposable gloves! I do this so I can really get hands on with the prep - I use my fingers to carefully separate the skin from the meat of the turkey, and then push softened, seasoned butter all over!
Next up, is the BACON!
Wrap turkey legs in a single layer of bacon strips, trimming to fit as needed, and/or securing with a toothpick. To wrap the turkey, you can use one of two methods:
Method 1: On parchment or waxed paper, arrange 8 bacon strips side by side. Weave 8 slices bacon perpendicular to first 8 strips, making a lattice. Adjust lattice so it is tightly woven. Transfer lattice to turkey breast by flipping parchment over the turkey; carefully peel off parchment paper. Adjust lattice to cover turkey breast and trim edges of bacon to fit. Secure with toothpicks, if needed.
Method 2: Create the lattice directly on the bird (this is what I normally do!)
Add 2 cups water to the bottom of pan.
Roast, uncovered, until bacon is lightly browned, 25-30 minutes. Reduce oven setting to 350°. Bake until a thermometer inserted in thickest part of thigh reads 170°-175°, about 90 minutes longer. Cover loosely with foil if bacon browns too quickly.
Remove from oven. Cover and let stand for 15 minutes before carving. ENJOY!
I made a really simple Sweet Potato Casserole! It was a hit with everyone, and an easy recipe for the kids to help with!
3-4 sweet potatoes ½ cup brown sugar packed ⅓ cup butter softened ½ teaspoon vanilla extract ¾ cup pecans chopped, divided ¼ teaspoon cinnamon or to taste 2 cups miniature marshmallows
Peel 3-4 sweet potatoes
Boil sweet potatoes in water until cooked through. You can dice them before, but I prefer dicing them AFTER boiling so they don’t fall apart as much in the water and maintain more of their flavor
Dice the sweet potatoes
Add to large mixing bowl with butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla. Mash well!
Optional: mix in half of the pecans
Add to casserole dish. Top with mini marshmallows and pecans
If sweet potatoes are still hot, bake for 12 minutes at 375. If sweet potatoes are chilled, bake for 25 minutes
The classic Green Bean Casserole I made took 25 minutes to bake, the Sweet Potato casserole was 12 minutes, and the Pillsbury Grand Biscuits were 12 minutes. So I split the oven in 2, cooked the green bean casserole in one section, and cooked Sweet Potatoes and then Biscuits in the other! They were all done by the time the turkey had cooled and was ready to carve!
Lastly, I made Turkey Gravy with the drippings in the pan! I mixed all the drippings and some slices of bacon for added flavor with pre-made Heinz Turkey Gravy. This gravy was a HIT and had the kids licking their fingers and asking for more!
NEXT DAY LEFT OVERS
We made open faced turkey slop sandwiches!
We reheated the leftover turkey IN the leftover gravy, then took toasted slices of sourdough bread and put the turkey and ample gravy on top. We then added a layer of mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce - DELICIOUS!