Karl’s Weekday Thanksgiving with Dried Cranberry Sauce

Jan really loves turkey and she has been running her legs off at work (literally, yesterday she walked 7 miles back and forth across campus, as recorded by her Fitbit). I decided to surprise her tonight with roasted turkey, stuffing and green beans, but I wanted to keep it to a weekday’s level of effort.

Karl's Weekday Thanksgiving

Karl’s Weekday Thanksgiving

I don’t have any dried bread at the moment so I am using Mrs. Cubbison’s Corn Bread Stuffing, but I will not be adding the half pound of butter called for by the box recipe. I plan on simplifying and reducing my regular Thanksgiving stuffing recipe. I then plan to roast the stuffing, turkey and green beans all in the same pan.

One of these days I will have to come up with my own poultry seasoning, but not today. For now I am using McCormick’s poultry seasoning (a powered blend of thyme, sage, marjoram, rosemary, black pepper, and nutmeg.)

It is not Thanksgiving for Jan without cranberries. I did not have any fresh cranberries lying around,  but some quick thinking led me to the dried cranberries that Jan takes every day for lunch.

Karl's Dried Cranberry Sauce

Karl’s Dried Cranberry Sauce

After Dinner Note: I had originally left the skin on and simply set the thighs on top of the stuffing.  The rendered juices from the thighs made the stuffing just under them very soggy.  I have rewritten the recipe to correct this defect by pushing most of the stuffing to the edges of the pan. This edge stuffing was crispy on the bottom and fluffy in the middle. The green beans on top came out as crisp tender as you could wish and prevent the top of the stuffing from over browning.

Karl’s Weekday Thanksgiving with Dried Cranberry Sauce



1 tablespoon butter
½ medium onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
6 cloves garlic, to taste
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and chopped coarsely
½ tsp. thyme
¼ tsp. rubbed sage
¼ tsp. rosemary
Salt and pepper, to taste
4 cups Mrs. Cubbison’s Corn Bread Stuffing
1 ¾ cup chicken broth (1 can)
1 egg, beaten
1 Tbs. parsley


2 turkey thighs, bone in
2 Tbs. butter, melted
1 Tbs. poultry seasoning

Green Beans

1 lb. green beans
1 Tbs. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp. thyme
Salt and pepper (to taste)

Cranberry sauce

½ cup dried cranberries (orange flavored)
1 Tbs. brown sugar
½ cup water
1 Tbs. rum


1.  Heat butter over medium-high heat and sauté the onions and celery until softened.

2. Add garlic and sauté one minute more.

3. Mix in apples, herbs, salt & pepper and sauté for another 2 minutes.

4. Add the broth to the vegetables to cool them and then add the egg, slightly beaten.

6. In a large bowl, add bread, parsley, and pecans. Mix well.

7. Add vegetable mixture to bowl and combine well.

8. Pour into a large Pam-ed 8 x 13 inch baking pan and spread out stuffing, pushing most of it toward the edges.

9. Peel the skin off of the thighs and remove any large lumps of fat. Discard the skins.

10. Brush the thighs with the melted butter on all sides and season them with the poultry seasoning. Lay them in the dent in the stuffing and level the stuffing around the turkey.

11. Bake, uncovered, in a 350°F oven for 50 minutes.

12. While the turkey and stuffing are baking, wash, trim and cut the green beans into two inch pieces.

13. Combine the olive oil and garlic in a bowl and toss the green beans to coat.

14. Remove the turkey and stuffing from the oven and arrange the green beans around the edges of the baking pan.

15. Sprinkle the green beans with the thyme, salt and pepper.

16. Raise the oven temperature to 400°F and return the pan to the oven for 20-30 minutes.

17. Put sauce ingredients in a small pot and simmer for 15 minutes, until the berries are plump and most of the liquid is absorbed.

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Filed under bread, Main Dishes, Poultry, Sauces and Spices, Side Dishes, Vegetables

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