Thanksgiving dinner revisited

There is a photo of pumpkin pie on the front cover of the November 2005 issue of SAVEUR magazine as well as an article on Kentucky Country Thanksgiving. And reading the article reminded me that we didn’t have a traditional Thanksgiving dinner in October (read about our dinner here).

So last week, operating on the premise that if some is good, more must be better, we decided to have another Thanksgiving dinner. A traditional Thanksgiving dinner. Even though Christmas is just around the corner and we will be having virtually the same thing (with a slightly different dessert) in just over a month. With roasted stuffed chicken, mashed potatoes, gravy, carrots, green beans, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie.

Yes, we realized that we neeeeeeeeeeded a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. Because it was just the two of us, we got only one roasting chicken rather than the two capons we normally do when there are more of us at the table. Before stuffing the bird, I imagined that I was going to put a dried apricot, prune and onion into the crop. But silly me. I made so much dressing that we had to use all cavities for the dressing. Good thing skin is so stretchy. And good thing we weren’t trying to win any contests for looks of the stuffed bird. The poor thing really looked quite bizarre – somewhat goitre-ish, if you know what I mean. But the final result was as wonderful as we expected it to be. No. Better. Oh my. There really isn’t anything else that can be said.

Well, maybe one or two small points:

  • We added onions to the bottom of the roasting pan about an hour before the chicken was finished. The roasted onions were coarsely chopped and used to make the gravy.
  • And we used chicken stock instead of water to make the gravy.
  • (okay okay! it’s one or three small points) Instead of whipped cream on top of the pumpkin pie, we creamed a small amount of sugar into creamcheese and then mixed some heavy cream into the creamcheese until it was the consistency of whipped cream. It was vaguely reminiscent of crême fraiche and quite delicious. I think this creamcheese mixture would be GREAT on its own garnished with fresh fruit or a fruit compote.

Oh, and the wine, you ask? We went into the stash and found a bottle of Pommard Clos de la Platière 1985 that had an attached note to drink by 1996… oh dear. Almost ten years later. But luckily, it was still very good. Of course, it wasn’t nearly as big as the previous bottle had been (we opened the first bottle that we had about twelve years ago) but amazingly, there was still a fair amount of fruit. The wine was light and happy. I got a little mint on the finish. The resident expert said it was faded. I thought it went very well with the dinner. And it was good enough that we didn’t finish the bottle and had to vacuuvin the last quarter for the next night.

All in all, I’d say we have a lot to be thankful for.

Hmmm, T’s grandparents were American. I wonder if we had better celebrate American Thanksgiving as well. Oooooh, that’s next week! Wheeee!!! Let’s see now… should we make cornbread or sausage stuffing? Ooooh and mashed root vegetables! And maybe Brussels sprouts too. So many choices. What to have, what to have!