Kristine Kidd

Cabin Life, Cooking, Improving Lives

2 Gluten-Free Thanksgiving Menus
Plus Thanksgiving Countdown

Staging a Thanksgiving celebration can be lots of fun, but it can also seem overwhelming. That is, unless you have a strategy, and this post is designed to help with both menu planning and organizing.

I’ve included my 2 favorite gluten-free menus, with links to the recipes or information on where to find them. The first is the meal I created this year for Living Without magazine’s Gluten Free Holiday guide, featuring a burnished herb-rubbed roasted turkey and the best pumpkin pie you’ve ever tasted. The second is the feast I served last year, complete with an easy grilled bird, make-ahead mushroom gravy, and cornbread and sausage stuffing.

I’ve worked out a timetable for the entire Thanksgiving week, including hourly details for Thanksgiving Day. The plan may look daunting, but I’ve included the dishes from both menus, so there are at least twice as many tasks as you will have. Choose the items you want to cook, and find them on the schedule.

I’ll delegate some of the cooking to others, and I encourage you to do the same. On the menus I’ve noted good dishes for guests to make and bring. Or, if you are a guest rather than host, consider bringing one of these items to the holiday meal.

I hope this will help you enjoy feasting and visiting with friends and family.

Thanksgiving Dinner I created for Living Without’s Holiday Guide
+Butternut Squash and Andouille Soup
Herb Roasted Turkey
Make-ahead Shiitake Mushroom Gravy
+Quinoa, Dried Cranberry and Spice Stuffing
+Orange and Ginger Cranberry Sauce
+Fennel and Grapefruit Salad
+Raisin and Mixed Grain Bread
+Brown Sugar and Spice Pumpkin Pie with Gingersnap Crust

Thanksgiving Menu on this Blog
+Butternut Squash Hummus
Grilled Herb-Rubbed Turkey
Make-Ahead Gluten-Free Mushroom Gravy
+Cornbread Stuffing with Andouille, Red Bell Peppers and Pecans
Mashed Yukon Gold Potatoes and Parsnips
+Green Beans with Radicchio and Caramelized Onions
+Cranberry Sauce with Grapefruit, Honey, and Ginger
+Cranberry Relish with Orange, Lime, and Mint
Apple Crisp with Crystallized Ginger

+denotes items that transport well—dishes for you to bring to a party or to ask someone to bring to your feast
Items in lavender can be clicked on for direct links to the recipes

COUNT DOWN
Today
-order the turkey
I use a Diestel American Heirloom Turkey. These are organically raised Bronze turkeys, meaning they are a flavorful breed, free of antibiotics, growth stimulants, and hormones; as a result they deliver a pure, old-fashioned taste. Read this

Saturday or Sunday before Thanksgiving
-pick up the turkey
-shop for everything except the most perishable items, pick up those on Tuesday

Sunday before Thanksgiving
-season the turkey with the dry rub and start marinating

Monday before Thanksgiving
-massage the turkey
-make the turkey stock
-make the Butternut Squash and Andouille Soup (or make the hummus on Tuesday)
-make the cranberry sauce and/or cranberry relish

Tuesday before Thanksgiving
-massage the turkey
-shop for all remaining ingredients early in the day before the rush (Wednesday the stores will be very crowded)
-make the Butternut Squash Hummus, cut celery and carrot sticks and submerge in water
-make the dressing for the Green Beans with Radicchio and Caramelized Onions
-bake the Raisin and Mixed Grain Bread or the Herbed Cornbread (for the stuffing)
-select serving pieces

Wednesday before Thanksgiving This is a busy day, but the more you get done, the easier Thanksgiving will be. I find playing music, very loudly, helps me enjoy the time.
-massage the turkey
-make Quinoa, Dried Cranberry and Spice Dressing
Or
-make the Cornbread Stuffing with Andouille, Red Bell Peppers and Pecans
-cook and season the bell peppers and beans for Green Beans with Roasted Bell Peppers
OR
-cook the green beans for the Green Beans with Radicchio and Caramelized Onions
-prepare the grapefruit and dressing and cut the fennel and radicchio for the Fennel and Grapefruit Salad
-bake the Brown Sugar and Spice Pumpkin Pie OR make the topping for the Apple Crisp
-shortly before bedtime uncover the turkey and pat dry

Thanksgiving Morning Music will be blaring again in my house as I cook
-make the Mashed Potatoes and Kale, OR Mashed Yukon Gold Potatoes and Parsnips then shortly before serving, reheat in the microwave
-prepare the Sweet Potatoes with Pancetta and Sage through step 4, then bake while the turkey rests
OR
-Broil the onions and cut and season the radicchio for the Green Beans with Radicchio and Caramelized Onions. Finish this dish up to 4 hours before serving
-whip cream to serve with the pie OR make the Apple Crisp

Thanksgiving Afternoon
-1 hour before starting to roast or grill, remove the turkey from the refrigerator, pat dry, and season. If grilling the turkey, soak the apple wood chips
-about 3 hours before serving, start roasting or grilling the turkey
– 2 hours before serving, make either gravy, reheat in the saucepan shortly before serving
-1 hour before serving, bake the cornbread stuffing
-heat the sweet potatoes in the oven while the turkey rests
-warm the mashed potatoes in the microwave shortly before serving
-warm the quinoa dressing in the microwave after warming the mashed potatoes
-heat the green beans and peppers in a large skillet
-warm the gravy in its saucepan
-toss the salad while the side dishes warm up
-Ta-da! present the turkey and then ask someone else to carve it while you put out the other dishes. Steve has become an expert at caving, and loves using his parents antique carving tools.

Now, order that turkey.

Photo by Brian Ambrose

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