Now for me, Thanksgiving wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without cranberry sauce for the turkey. I must have it. You can get the stuff from the can, but the fresh homemade stuff is so much better and it really isn’t hard to make at all. You can even make it a day or two before and keep it in the fridge.
There is a recipe on most bags of fresh cranberries to make the sauce. I have changed up the basic recipe by using orange juice in stead of water and I also throw in a little orange zest. Love it! It adds just a slight orange flavor which goes so well with cranberries.
Cranberries have their own natural pectin in them, so you don’t need anything to help jell or thicken the sauce. Give the fresh cranberry sauce a try. You won’t be disappointed. In fact, you just may never use canned again.
Now let’s talk turkey. If you weren’t aware, Butterball has a Turkey Talk-Line lady that is available to answer your Thanksgiving meal questions, share ways to save or to gobble up any turkey-day cooking myths. So if you encounter any problems along the way with preparing your Thanksgiving meal, you can give them a call. No question is too tough for these turkey talkers, and they are ready and excited to tackle any challenge you throw at them. Give them a call at 1-800-BUTTERBALL throughout November and December.
You can also go to Butterball website to plan the perfect amount of servings you need in their perfect portion planner. Just plug in the amount of adults and kids you plan on serving into the planner. There are boxes you can check to say we want leftovers, we are big eaters, or we are light eaters. Then it will tell you the size of turkey you need along with the amount of stuffing. So simple.
So I must admit that I do not do anything fancy when I cook my turkey. The turkeys you buy today usually have stuff injected into them and are pre seasoned. All I do is throw that baby on my rack in my roaster and put some kosher salt and fresh ground pepper on the skin. That’s it. I know some of you are in shock. I have heard the only way to do a turkey is with a brine. Maybe one day I will give it a try, but I have been successful with doing nothing more than salt and pepper and my turkey has been perfect and moist.
- 1 bag of fresh cranberries
- 1 cup of sugar
- 1 cup of orange juice ( can use fresh, but juice made from concentrate works just fine)
- 1 tsp of orange zest
- Put all ingredients into a sauce and mix well.
- Cook over medium heat and bring to a boil.
- Boil for about 10 minutes until the cranberries pop. There may be a few light colored ones that don’t pop, but don’t worry. They soften as the sauce cools. I like to serve my sauce at room temp or slightly warm. The sauce can also be made up to 2 days before and kept in the fridge.
This is the original photo from this post. The above photo was updated in November 2016.