Thanksgiving is two days away, and if you've all of a sudden realized that you're in charge of planning, cooking, and hosting a dinner, don't freak out. I've got your back — and an incredibly easy menu that can be put together in just about two hours. For the appetizers, take some help from the store. Pick up your favorite cheese, crackers, dried fruit, and nuts. Use these items to throw together an uncomplicated yet stunning cheese display. When it comes to the main course, the simpler the better. Serve turkey breast roasted with lemon and thyme, mashed sweet potato paprika puree, and a hearty, healthy portion of braised kale.
Thanksgiving isn't about the quantity of food, it's about the quality of conversation you have while enjoying the meal. To savor these dishes with loved ones, get the recipes and
Two 2 3/4-pound boneless turkey breast halves with skin on
One 2 1/4-pound bone-in turkey thigh
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon pepper
1 lemon, halved crosswise
1/2 cup chicken broth
Store-bought cranberry sauce, for serving
- Position a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 400°. Arrange the turkey parts on a rimmed baking sheet, tucking the smaller end of each breast under to make an even thickness. Drizzle with the olive oil and season with the thyme, salt and pepper. Place the lemon halves, cut side down, in the pan. Roast until a meat thermometer inserted in each piece registers 155°, about 55 minutes.
- Transfer the turkey parts to a cutting board and tent loosely with foil; let stand for 20 minutes before slicing.
- Meanwhile, pour the chicken broth into the baking sheet, scraping up any browned bits. Pour into a microwaveable cup; skim the fat that rises to the surface. Microwave on high power for 1 minute. Serve the turkey pan sauce with the sliced turkey and cranberry sauce.
- Poultry, Main Dishes
3 pounds sweet potatoes
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes and softened
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon sweet or hot smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/8 teaspoon cayenne, or to taste
- Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 400°F.
- Prick each potato once with a fork, then bake potatoes in a foil-lined shallow baking pan until tender, about 1 hour.
- When cool enough to handle, peel, then cut away any eyes or dark spots.
- Purée potatoes with butter, cream, paprika, salt, and cayenne in a food processor until smooth.
Make Ahead: Purée can be made 1 day ahead and chilled in an airtight container. Reheat in a double boiler or a metal bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water, stirring occasionally.
- Side Dishes, Potato
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves, very finely chopped
1 1/2 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth
3 pounds kale, stems and inner ribs discarded, leaves coarsely chopped
Salt and freshly ground pepper
- In a very large soup pot, heat the olive oil. Add the garlic and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, just until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Add the chicken stock, then add the kale in large handfuls, letting it wilt slightly before adding more. Season with salt and pepper, cover and cook over moderate heat until the kale is tender, about 5 minutes.
- Remove the lid and cook until the liquid has evaporated, about 3 minutes longer. Transfer to a bowl and serve.
Make Ahead: The braised kale can be covered and refrigerated overnight. Reheat before serving.
- Side Dishes, Greens