In preparation for the Thanksgiving holiday, here’s a fantastic meal utilizing the handy-dandy crock pot, aka slow cooker, that makes it a breeze preparing a delicious tasting turkey. To top it off, below you’ll find a fabulous homemade cranberry sauce recipe with a twist (courtesy of my father) that may become your favorite dish for the upcoming holiday season. Don’t be surprised if your family and friends start begging you for this cranberry sauce recipe.
Plus, there’s an easy-to-make leftover idea appropriately titled Turkey Thanksgiving Delights you can use if you happen to find yourself with some food still afterwards. This is a great way to have the entire taste of Thanksgiving in the palm of your hands when you have to head to work the following day!
Healthy Meal of the Week 34
– 10 minutes
– 3.5 hours (for 3 pound turkey)
– 3 pound turkey (with bone)
– 1 onion
– 1 can chicken broth
– 1 12 oz. bag of cranberries
– 1/4 cup white sugar
– 1/4 cup brown sugar
– 2 garlic cloves
– 1/4 cup Triple Sec (liqueur)
– 1 apple
– 1 orange
– olive oil
– Instant Mashed Potatoes (made per directions on box)
– seasonings: garlic powder, seasoned salt, and pepper
For leftover Turkey Thanksgiving Delights
– Multi Grain Sandwich Delights (100 calories each)
Here’s an easy way to make a delicious turkey in your slow cooker. This sample meal used a 3 pound turkey breast with bone which fit perfectly in our 3 quart crock pot. If you’re planning on using this recipe for your Thanksgiving meal where you may be serving 10+ people, increase ingredients and time accordingly. In other words, this 3 pound turkey took 3.5 hours to cook in the crock pot, a 6 pound turkey should take about 7 hours, etc. The time can be less if you use the higher setting for the entire time and/or depending on how well done you prefer turkey meat.
1. Open up the turkey package and cut off any excess/dangling skin. Leave the skin in place that’s still attached to turkey. With clean hands, lightly cover the entire turkey with some olive oil. Next rub seasoned salt, garlic powder, pepper, and the 1/4 cup brown sugar all over both sides of the turkey.
2. Coat the inside of your slow cooker with olive oil. Cut the onion into thick slices to layer on the bottom of the crock pot. You should have a nice platform the turkey can rest on top of. You may have to cut one or two of the onion slices in half so they fit nicely. Pour in the can of chicken broth, add 1/2 cup hot water, then place the turkey on top of the onion pieces. Place two garlic cloves on top of the turkey and cover with the lid. Turn the slow cooker on HIGH and set timer for one hour.
3. When timer rings, change the setting to LOW and reset kitchen timer (or your phone timer) to 2.5 hours. You can also use a baster to carefully squeeze some of the broth all over the turkey. Periodically do this if you’d like to help prevent the turkey from drying out too much, just be careful not to squeeze too hard so you don’t wash away all those good spices from the meat.
4. When you’re ready to make the fabulous cranberry sauce, in a stove top pot on high temperature, put 1 cup of water along with 1/4 cup white sugar and bring to a boil. When boiling add 12oz. bag of cranberries and bring back to a boil. Once boiling reduce to a simmer and add a handful of chopped oranges and apple slices (both no peels) along with a 1/4 cup of Triple Sec liquor. Stir occasionally for a total cooking time of about 15 minutes. You will see the cranberries slowly turn from round berries to a pasty mush which is a sign they’re nearly finished. You may need to mash the leftover ones if you’d like.
5. Finally the last and easiest part of the meal are the mashed potatoes. If you purchased an instant style or microwave-type brand, simply follow the directions on the container so you will have those ready about the same time the turkey is finished. Remember, these usually take only about 5 minutes to prepare so you may want to save these for after the turkey has been sliced and diced.
6. When turkey is finished, carefully remove the crock pot cooking portion and drain either with a colander or with a ladle, whichever is easier and more convenient (and safer) for you. Let the meat cool for a bit before using a knife and fork to cut turkey slices for you and your family.
7. When everything is ready, serve an appropriate portion size for everyone and enjoy your tasty Thanksgiving meal
Healthy Leftover Idea: Turkey Thanksgiving Delights
Here’s a really easy way to have a Thanksgiving meal all packed into one little delight. The only items extra you’ll need to buy is your preferred type of lettuce (if you want) and healthy low-calorie bread like these Sandwich Thins used in this example that weigh in at only 100 calories per two slices. If your market does not offer this brand, something comparable will suffice.
To make these tasty Thanksgiving delights all you need to do is break open the slices, and on one side place a couple of pieces of washed, clean lettuce, then spread a layer of cranberry sauce on the other slice. On top of the cranberry sauce cover with sliced pieces of turkey ensuring there are no bones contained within. Finally top with a tablespoon or two of mashed potatoes and then cover with the other slice of bread that has the lettuce. Presto, a Turkey Thanksgiving Delight that is all ready to either be enjoyed right then and there, or wrapped up in a piece of foil to be taken with you to work the following day.
*Note: If you don’t enjoy a cold sandwich, you can always warm it up in the microwave on high for 20-30 seconds.
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