We are just cooking for two today so we shall not go overboard as we used to when cooking a thanksgiving meal. This is another occasion where measurement is not a part of meal preparation for me. Also, with just two, I do not want food to go to waste. So I am going with smaller portions and focus on quick and easy, but there are a few things I cannot make compromise on, stuffing, cranberry sauce must be made from scratch. I buy a smaller turkey without the wings and legs it is easy to position it in a way that holds herbed butter under the skin when balanced upright, or should I say… upside down.
I add the herbs and seasoning to unsalted dairy free butter and cook the flavor in gently. I am infusing quite a lot of sage, thyme, parsley, rosemary, salt and pepper into the butter.
The important part is to separate the skin from the meat, getting under the membrane without tearing any holes in it so the liquid cannot escape. If done right there you will not compromise the pocket you have created and you will have a juicy turkey. I cooked it in this upright position the entire time and covered it with tinfoil after the first hour. It seems to cook faster in this position.
In a large crockpot, fill half way with cornbread and a whole grain nut and seed bread, dried and in small pieces. I use more herbed butter for the stuffing, you will need 1 lb of it, divided into two equal parts. I add one portion of the butter to the pan with a chopped onion, mushrooms and celery and cook until soft and beginning to brown. This will seem like an excessive amount of butter but it will pick up the flavor of the onion, mushrooms and celery and in turn they will taste buttery but the important part is that the bread really picks up all of the flavors through the butter. Once the onion is mostly translucent remove the pan from the heat and add onion mixture to the crock pot. Mix everything together really well and drizzle on the remaining half of the butter. From this point on you will want to add turkey broth until you reach a proper level of moisture. Cover the crockpot and cook on high for one to one and a half hours. At the half way point stir and do a taste test to adjust seasoning.
I am cutting corners, the yams are just tossed in on the sidelines, they aren’t in an elaborate desert or candied. I picked up a frozen dairy free pie, but I cannot bring myself to use canned cranberry. They are also selling cranberries in two pound bags this year so I think I may need to make some other cranberry recipes. Perhaps Cranberry bars or a coconut cream cranberry tart… But for now I will just start with jellied cranberries.