How to Cook a Turkey Dinner

A tutorial on how to make your first Thanksgiving turkey dinner, complete with mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce and gravy recipes!


1 whole turkey (about 12 pounds) fresh or defrosted. Giblets removed, rinsed and patted dry (inside and out).
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 stick of unsalted butter, room temperature
Bread Stuffing (see recipe in slideshow. Optional)

Bread Stuffing
2 loaves sliced white sandwich bread, stale and torn into bite-size pieces
1/2 stick of unsalted butter, plus more for baking dish and foil
4 celery stalks, sliced
1 large onion, cut into medium sized cubes
Coarse salt and ground pepper
2 teaspoons dried rubbed sage
1 teaspoon celery seed
3  large eggs
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth

Cranberry Sauce
1 bag fresh cranberries
1/2 cup sugar
1 orange

Mashed Potatoes
6 large yellow potatoes, peeled and cut into 2 inch cubes
2-4 tablespoons of unsalted butter
1/2 cup heavy cream
Coarse salt and pepper
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Pan drippings from Turkey
1 to 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup dry white wine
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon cider vinegar

Tools you will need in your kitchen arsenal
Large roasting pan
Meat Thermometer
Potato masher or immersion blender

p.s. If a big spread is not your cup of tea, make this year a Low Key Thanksgiving!