This Thanksgiving meal will stun your guests when they gather around the table. Here's how to make a wow-worthy traditional Thanksgiving menu with all of the classics: turkey, potatoes, cranberry sauce, and more

Classic Roast Turkey


1.Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Rinse turkey neck and body cavities; pat dry with paper towels. If desired, sprinkle body cavity with salt and pepper. If desired, spoon stuffing loosely into neck and body cavities. Skewer turkey neck skin to back of turkey.

2.Tuck ends of drumsticks under band of skin across the tail or into wire or nylon leg clamp. If there is no skin or clamp, tie drumsticks to the tail with clean 100-percent-cotton kitchen string. Twist wing tips under the back of turkey.

3.Place turkey, breast side up, on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. Brush with oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper. If desired, insert an ovenproof meat thermometer into the center of an inside thigh muscle. Thermometer should not touch bone. Cover turkey loosely with foil.

4.Roast turkey for 2-1/4 hours. Remove foil; cut band of skin or kitchen string between drumsticks so thighs cook evenly. Continue roasting for 30 to 45 minutes more (60 to 75 minutes, if turkey is stuffed) or until the meat thermometer registers 180 degrees F and the center of the stuffing (if using) is 165 degrees F. (The juices should run clear and drumsticks should move easily in their sockets.)

5.Remove turkey from oven. Cover loosely with foil; let stand for 15 to 20 minutes before carving. Transfer turkey to a cutting board. Carve turkey. Serve with Turkey Pan Gravy.

Double Cranberry Sauce


1    .12 ounce bag fresh or frozen cranberries

1    .cup dried cranberries

1    .cup pomegranate juice

1/3 .cup mild flavored molasses

1    .tablespoon finely shredded orange peel

        ¼   .teaspoon ground cinnamon

              .watercress (optional)


Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Cook until cranberry skins begin to burst. Taste and add more molasses, if necessary. Top with watercress, if desired. Serve warm or at room temperature. Cover and chill any leftover sauce up to 2 days.

Classic Dinner Rolls


1 .cup whole milk

6 .tablespoons butter (room temperature)

1 .package active dry yeast

¼ .cup warm water (105 degrees F to 115 degrees F)

2 .eggs, lightly beaten

3 .tablespoons sugar

4-41/4 .cups all-purpose flour (not unbleached)

1 .tablespoon kosher salt

   .Melted butter

   .Softened butter


    1.Heat the milk to 120 degrees F to 130 degrees F; add the butter and set aside to cool to room temperature. Meanwhile, in a large bowl dissolve yeast in warm water. Add cooled milk, eggs, and sugar to dissolved yeast and stir to blend. With a wooden spoon stir in 2 cups of the flour and the salt; stir until smooth. Add 2 cups of remaining flour, 1 cup at a time, stirring vigorously for 3 to 5 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic and only slightly sticky. (Only if needed, after 3 minutes of stirring and dough is overly wet, stir in 1 tablespoon flour at a time.

    2.Cover the surface of the dough with lightly oiled plastic wrap. Cover the top of the bowl with a second piece of plastic wrap. Let rise until doubled (1 to 2 hours).

    3.Lightly butter 24 muffin cups. Gently press the dough to deflate. With lightly buttered hands pinch off generous 1-inch pieces of dough. Fold the dough over, turning and tucking the edges to form a ball. Pinch the seam together to seal. Dip in melted butter and arrange three dough balls in each muffin cup. Let rise until fully doubled (about 1 hour).

    4.Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Bake rolls for 20 to 25 minutes or until well-browned. If needed, to prevent over browning, cover rolls with foil during last few minutes of baking. Remove from oven. Brush with softened butter. Return to oven for 1 to 2 minutes.

    5.Remove rolls immediately from cups to a wire cooling rack. Let cool about 5 minutes before serving.

    Makes 24 dinner rolls.

    For extra-light rolls, let the dough rise a second time (1 to 2 hours) before shaping.

      Chardonnay Glazed Carrots


    2 .pounds assorted carrots

    1 .cup Chardonnay verjus or 3/4 cup white grape juice plus 1/4 cup white wine vinegar

    ½ .cup honey

    2 .tablespoons unsalted butter

    1 .teaspoon kosher salt

    2 .cinnamon stick

    2 .bay leaves

    2 .tablespoons sliced chives


      1.Peel large carrots. Slice carrots lengthwise and/or crosswise. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add verjus, honey, butter, salt, cinnamon, and bay leaves. Bring to boiling, stirring to combine. Add carrots; return to boiling. Reduce heat to medium. Cook, uncovered, 25 minutes, stirring often, until carrots are tender and glaze thickens.

      2.Remove from heat. Remove and discard cinnamon stick and bay leaves. Sprinkle with chives.

      Makes 8 servings

                              Porcini-Chestnut Stuffing


      1 .pound fresh chestnuts (3 cups)

      1 .cup dried porcini mushrooms (1 ounce)

      1 .cup boiling water

      ½ .cup butter

      1 .cup finely chopped fennel or celery

      ½ .cup chopped onion (1 medium)

      2 .cloves garlic, minced

      3 .ounces Genoa salami, sliced and chopped or cubed, or thinly sliced prosciutto, cut into strips

      ¾ .cup finely shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (3 ounces)

      1 .tablespoon snipped fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed

      ¼ .cup snipped fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley

      ¼ .teaspoon ground black pepper

      1/8 .teaspoon salt

      12 . cups 3/4-inch cubes dry Italian bread

      1-1 ½ .cups chicken broth


        1.Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. With a knife, cut an X in the shells of chestnuts. Spread chestnuts on a large baking sheet. Roast for 15 minutes; cool. Peel and coarsely chop chestnuts; set aside. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees F.

        2.Meanwhile, place mushrooms in a medium bowl; cover with the boiling water. Let stand for 15 minutes; drain. If necessary, snip any large pieces of mushroom. Pat dry with paper towels.

        3.In a large skillet melt butter over medium heat. Add mushrooms, fennel, onion, and garlic; cook and stir until onion is tender. Remove from heat. Stir in chestnuts, salami, 1/4 cup of the cheese, the thyme, parsley, pepper, and salt. Place the bread cubes in an extra-large bowl; add onion mixture. Drizzle with enough broth to moisten, tossing lightly to combine.

        4.Transfer bread mixture to a 3-quart casserole.*** Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cheese. Bake, covered, for 40 to 45 minutes or until heated through.

          To make dry bread cubes, preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Spread cubes in a 15x10x1-inch baking pan. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until cubes are dry, stirring twice; cool. (Cubes will continue to dry and crisp as they cool.) Or let bread cubes stand, loosely covered, at room temperature for 8 to 12 hours.

          If you like, use one 8-ounce jar or one 10-ounce can whole peeled chestnuts, drained and chopped, in place of the fresh chestnuts.

          Prepare as directed, except do not bake. Cool stuffing. Cover with plastic wrap; chill for up to 24 hours. To serve, preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Remove plastic wrap; bake as directed.

          If you like, use bread mixture to stuff an 8- to 10-pound turkey.

Candied Sweet Potato Casserole with Parsnips and Carrots


2 .pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces (about 3 medium)

1 .pound parsnips, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces (about 6 medium)

1 .pound carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces (about 6 medium)

¾ .cup whipping cream

2 .tablespoons butter, cut up

2 .tablespoons maple syrup

1 .tablespoon finely shredded lemon peel

½ .teaspoon salt

1 .13 ounce jar marshmallow creme


    1.In a 5- to 6-quart Dutch oven cook sweet potatoes, parsnips, and carrots, covered, in enough boiling salted water to cover for 15 to 20 minutes or until tender; drain. Return potato mixture to Dutch oven.

    2.Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Mash potato mixture with a potato masher or an electric mixer on low speed until smooth. Gradually add whipping cream, butter, maple syrup, lemon peel, and salt, beating to make potato mixture light and fluffy. Transfer to a 2-quart square baking dish.

    3.Spoon small spoonfuls of marshmallow creme onto potato mixture; spread evenly to cover surface. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until marshmallow creme is puffed and light brown.

                                              Turkey Gravy

    The perfect time to start your gravy is before you begin carving while you're waiting for your turkey to rest. Your finished bird should sit outside of the oven for 15 to 20 minutes, so you'll have plenty of time to complete these five easy steps.

    1.After moving the turkey to a cutting board, pour the pan drippings into a large glass measuring cup. Then, scrape the browned turkey bits from the pan into the cup.

      2.Skim and reserve the fat from the drippings. Pour ¼ cup of the fat into a 2-quart saucepan, discarding any remaining fat.

      3.Stir in ¼ cup all-purpose flour. Add enough reduced-sodium chicken broth to remaining drippings in the measuring cup to equal 2 cups.

      4.Add the broth mixture to the flour mixture in the saucepan. Cook and stir over medium heat until bubbly. Then, cook and stir for 1 minute more.

      5.Strain the gravy into a serving dish. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.

                                    Mashed Potatoes

1 1/2  . pounds baking potatoes (such as russets or yukon gold) peeled and quartered
1/2     .teaspoon salt
2        .tablespoons butter or margarine
3-5    .tablespoons milk
          .Black pepper
          .Butter or margarine (optional)


1. In a medium saucepan cook potatoes and the 1/2 teaspoon salt, covered, in enough boiling water to cover for 20 to 25 minutes or until tender; drain. Mash with a potato masher or beat with an electric mixer on low speed. Add butter. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Gradually beat in enough milk to make mixture light and fluffy. If desired, serve with butter.

2. Makes 4 servings.

                                                           Silky Pumpkin Pie

3        .large eggs
1/3    .cup sugar
1        .14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1 1/2  .cups cooked pumpkin puree or one 15-ounce can pumpkin
3         .tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1         .tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/2      .teaspoon nutmeg
1/2      .teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2      .teaspoon ground ginger
1/4      .teaspoon ground cloves
1         .prebaked 9-inch pie shell


1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, sugar, condensed milk, pumpkin, and butter to thoroughly combine.

2. In a small bowl, mix together flour, nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and a pinch of salt; stir into pumpkin mixture. 

3. Pour pumpkin filling into pie shell. Lace filled pie tin on rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until filling is set around edges and slightly loose in center. Cool on wire rack for 1 hour. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.

Pumpkin Puree:
Cut one small pie pumpkin in half; scoop out seeds. Place pumpkin, cut side down, on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees F for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until soft. Scoop flesh from pumpkin into a bowl. Mash pumpkin with a potato masher.