Restaurants like Taco Bell, Chili’s, Pizza Hut and Papa John’s all offer the same simple Thanksgiving meal: a turkey leg, turkey breast and mashed potatoes.
But with many more options available on Thanksgiving day than any other day of the year, it’s no wonder many are opting to leave their traditional turkey leg and turkey breast on the table.
Here’s how to make your own, and how to save some of the most popular Thanksgiving dishes.
What you need:You’ll need a bowl or bowl of cornmeal, a bowl of cold water and a fork.
A good-quality spoon works well too, but you can use a spoon from a food processor or the microwave.
Fill a bowl with the water and stir until the cornmeal is dissolved.
Add the corn meal to the bowl and stir to combine.
Add the water back to the water.
Add about a tablespoon of the mashed potatoes to the corn, and stir together until they are well mixed.
You can add another tablespoon of mashed potatoes or a tablespoon or two of mashed corn if you prefer.
Cover the bowl with a lid.
Place the bowl in the freezer and let the potatoes sit for at least one hour, preferably overnight.
The next day, you can thaw them out in the microwave and reheat them.
The cornmeal helps thicken the mashed potato, and it adds a nice crunch.
You’ll want to keep them in a cool, dark place until you’re ready to eat them.
To make the turkey leg:Heat 1/2 cup (100 mL) cornmeal in a microwave-safe bowl.
Add about a teaspoon of the remaining mashed potatoes, one cup (150 mL) water, one tablespoon of salt, a pinch of pepper and a pinch each of cinnamon and nutmeg.
Stir to combine and set aside.
Add 1 cup (250 mL) cold water to a bowl, stir and add the mashed beans, 1 tablespoon of butter, 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 teaspoon each of lemon juice and vinegar.
Mix well to combine then add the chopped turkey.
Cover the bowl tightly and let sit at room temperature until the potatoes are done.
Remove the lid and cook for 30 seconds, or until the turkey is cooked through.
If it’s too hot, you’ll want the mixture to cool down.
Remove the turkey and transfer it to a cutting board.
Remove and discard the mashed potatoes, and then add 1 cup of cold, filtered water to the microwave-protected bowl.
Stir until the water is gone.
Cook the turkey for another 10 minutes, or just until it’s cooked through, and the skin has cooked through too.
Remove from the microwave, transfer to a plate, and garnish with 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves and 2 teaspoons fresh sage.
Top with more mashed potatoes and serve immediately.