Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Mock Thanksgiving

For an Easy Weeknight Dinner, tonight I did my Mock Thanksgiving.... its basically chicken breasts (instead of turkey--although you certainly can use turkey breast for this)

I basically gather up all the ingredients, and go to town, making all of them at once practically. Its like Rachel Ray gone mad, I tell you! Your kitchen will smell amazing and all the family will come in and want to know: "Mom, Whats for dinner? It smells sooo good!"

First I get my chicken breasts and brine them. This adds extra juiciness and reduces the chances of the dreaded rubbery chicken. Keeps it tender and moist basically.
Step 1 Prep:
Preheat your oven to 400--if convection, use that setting--you'll be cooking all dishes at once
Brined Chicken

Chicken breasts (I used boneless skinless here, but bone-in skin on is great too)
    mix the following in a huge bowl
3 cups water, room temp
3/4 cup salt (I know it sounds horrible, but it will be drained)
4 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon poultry seasoning

Put all this stuff in a bowl together and let it sit at least 1 hour and up to overnight in fridge.

Baked Sweet Potatoes
6 yams or sweet potatoes
Wash them, leaving the skins on, pierce them 4-5 times. Place them in a baking dish lined with foil. Put them in the oven while you prep--they will take at least 1 1/2 -2hrs hr to cook fully. (or microwave till soft, 4-5 mins per potato)

Spinach Stuffing
1 pkg boxed stuffing mix (1 bag)
1 cup water
1-2 tablespoons butter, melted
2-3 handfuls fresh baby spinach
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 egg, beaten
1 small onion, chopped

Mix the water, butter and stuffing mix as the package directs, but don't cook it on the stovetop. Pam a small baking dish. Saute the onion in a nonstick pan, then add the spinach and wilt till reduced by half. Now mix everything together, including the egg, and put it all in the Pam'd baking dish. Set aside till ready to cook (put in fridge if more than 1 hr till cooking time)

Cranberry Relish

1 pkg fresh raw cranberries
1 medium navel orange
1/2 cup sugar

Mix the meat and rind of the orange(don't use the white part--its bitter) with cranberries and the sugar in the food processor. Let rest in the fridge till serving time. (If you like spicy you can add a seeded jalapeno to this:delish!)

Step 2 Cook, simultaneously:
I have a convection oven, so I use all 3 racks at the same time. If you don't, you can still cook this entire dinner at the same time--just put your chicken in the middle rack and turn it over once during cooking so all sides get browned.
Drain from brine, discard brine.
Place flat on foil-lined baking sheet with the uneven side up--drizzle with soy sauce, garlic powder, and a little drop of honey. Bake in the middle rack for about 45min, then turn, discard any juices, and cook till browned on top-another 15 minutes or so.

Bake in the top or bottom rack for 45min-1 hour or until browned.

Use packaged Turkey gravy (or Heinz in the jar---its really good!) prepare according to directions and keep warm on stovetop.

Sweet Potatoes
These should have been cooking the whole timeyou prepped, so check and make sure they are fork-tender. Serve with butter and a sprinkle of brown sugar, if desired. Yum!

Now its time to serve, and enjoy. Let your chicken rest at least 5 minutes before you serve it...keeps it juicy.
Don't forget about your relish. I'm telling you--its almost good as Thanksgiving!

{ Adorable }Hubs diggin in!
Make it a Great Day!


  1. Yum, yum, yum! That spinach stuffing is making my mouth water!

  2. Looks delicious! Thanks for stopping by and visiting my blog!

  3. YUM!!!!
    This looks awesome
    Thanks for your visit :)



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