Monday, November 23, 2009

Be Here Now: Thanksgiving in a Crock

I talked to Cyndie yesterday and finally gave her the recipe below for what I call Thanksgiving in a Crock. As for Cyndie, she is doing much better now that she is two weeks post abdominal surgery for a diaphragmatic hernia. One more week and she'll be back to work.

She has a lot to be thankful for this Thanksgiving!

We actually ate this meal on Halloween night, after handing out candy to trick-or-treaters all evening. Back then, Cyndie's plans for Thanksgiving were to spend a long weekend in Las Vegas, so we celebrated an early Thanksgiving together. Now post-surgery, her plans for the next week are to continue to gently ease back into her normal routine, wait for her disability check to arrive and stay close to home. Hence the recipe exchange that happened over the phone yesterday evening.

Photo showing some of the aspects of a traditi...Image via Wikipedia
As for our Thanksgiving Day plans, Robert and I will be sharing the day together at home. When we got engaged, Thanksgiving was the holiday designated to be shared with my family. But after my mother's death in 1999 and my father's decline from Alzheimer's disease and eventual death in 2004, Thanksgiving has become the 'on-our-own' holiday.

 Over the past few years, we tried going out to eat and ordering heat and eat meals, but they will never come close to my memories of Thanksgivings spent at my Grandma Devine's home. My chronic illnesses make it impossible to attempt cooking the traditional meal at home, even if I try to do it over several days. But this recipe provides all the comforts of a Thanksgiving meal in an easy-to-prepare fashion. I have to say that the results were surprisingly good too.

So here it is, Thanksgiving in a Crock, adapted from Sandra Lee's Semi-Homemade Slow Cooker Recipes 2:

  • 1 6 ounce box stuffing mix (cornbread or turkey)
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2 8 ounce bags French green beans or haricot verts (young whole green beans) OR 1 8 ounce bag of julienne or young carrots and 1 bag French green beans or haricot verts
  • 1 cup frozen pearl onions
  • 1 teaspoon of salt, pepper and poultry seasoning
  • 1 whole boneless, skinless turkey breast, rinsed and patted dry
  • 1 pop-up thermometer
  • 2 15 ounce cans of cut sweet potatoes OR 2 15 ounce cans small new potatoes OR one of each
  • 1 10 ounce can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 packet of turkey gravy mix

1. Combine the stuffing mix, chicken broth and butter in a microwave-safe bowl. Cover and cook on HIGH for 5 minutes. Remove and set aside to cool.

2. Place green beans, onions (and carrots) on the bottom of a 5 quart crock pot.

3. Mix pepper, salt and poultry seasoning in a small bowl and rub turkey breast with the mixture. Insert the pop-up thermometer into the thickest part of the breast. Place on top of the vegetables and surround the turkey with the sweet potatoes or potatoes.

4. Mix together mushroom soup, wine and gravy mix in a large bowl. Pour over the turkey and potatoes. Spoon stuffing around the turkey, on top of the potatoes.

5. Cover and cook on LOW. Cooking time will vary depending on the weight of the turkey breast you select and can range from 4 hours to 6 hours. It is crucial that you use the pop-up turkey thermometer, as lifting the lid to check the temperature of the turkey breast will disrupt the cooking process. If the meal is done early, simply switch the crock pot to KEEP WARM until you are ready to serve. This recipe feeds 6 people. Consider purchasing extra stuffing mix to serve with any leftovers. This recipe yields the equivalent of a green bean casserole, gravy covered potatoes, stuffing and super moist white meat turkey all in one pot. Yum!

Get Sandra Lee's cookbook at Amazon.com:

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1 comment

Cynthia said...

My many blessings include great friends like Selena and Robert, who came to visit me in the hospital! They are the best! And let me tell you, this recipe is YUMMY! XOXO