Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Turkey Day Troubles - Installment #1

My mom is having surgery the week of Thanksgiving and will be down for the count for the duration of the week. She is the family cook for the holidays - she does the entire spread every year. When I am home for Christmas I usually contribute with a dish or two, but she is the Turkey chef and the chef for the majority of the other dishes. With the main holiday chef out of the game it is only natural that I would wear that hat this year since I am the other cook in the family. There is one big problem with that assumption - I don't go home for Thanksgiving. It is too expensive to travel to New Orleans for both Thanksgiving and Christmas and Christmas always wins that battle.

So in an attempt to help my other non-cooking family members I have decided to do some Thanksgiving Dish Installments to give them some pointers (a suggestion from my sister). I will cook several Thanksgiving dishes over the next couple of weeks and post them on my blog for them to decide and learn from. It is my way of helping since I can't be there in the flesh to do so.
In addition, anyone who isn't going to be part of my family's Thanksgiving meal can also get some ideas in the coming weeks while planning their own T-Day Menus.

This first recipe is one I have had my eye on in the William Sonoma catalog for quite a while. It was pretty involved but well worth the work. It is actually two recipes: one for the homemade biscuits and a second for the main recipe in which the biscuits are an ingredient.

Cream Biscuits
William Sonoma Catalog


2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 Tbs. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2 Tbs. sugar
2 1/2 cups heavy cream


Preheat an oven to 425°F.

In a bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Add the cream and stir until no lumps remain.
For each biscuit, drop 1/4 cup batter onto an ungreased baking sheet, spacing the biscuits about 1 inch apart.
Bake until the tops of the biscuits are pale golden and the bottoms are golden brown, 15 to 18 minutes. Makes 12 biscuits.

Smoky Bacon Biscuit Dressing
Wiliam Sonoma Catalog


Twelve 4-inch cream biscuits (recipe above), cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
1 lb. sliced smoky bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 yellow onions, diced
5 celery stalks, diced (I omitted this ingredient - next time I would substitute green onions)
8 oz. white button mushrooms, brushed clean and sliced
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 Tbs. chopped fresh sage (I omitted this ingredient)
2 Tbs. chopped fresh thyme
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
5 cups chicken stock


Position a rack in the lower third of an oven and preheat to 350°F.

Spread the biscuits out on a baking sheet. Toast in the oven until lightly browned, 25 to 30 minutes. Set aside.
Increase the oven temperature to 375°F.

In a deep sauté pan over medium-high heat, cook the bacon until crisp, 7 to 9 minutes.

Transfer to paper towels to drain.

Pour off all but 3 Tbs. of the fat from the pan. Set the pan over medium heat and add the onions. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft and lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Add the celery, mushrooms,

parsley, sage and thyme and cook until the celery is soft, about 5 minutes. Transfer the onion mixture to a large bowl. Add the bacon to the bowl and season with salt and pepper.

Add the biscuits and stock and stir to combine.

Transfer the dressing to a baking dish and cover with aluminum foil. Bake for 30 minutes, then remove the foil and bake until the dressing is lightly browned, about 20 minutes more. Serves 10.
This dressing had an amazing flavor. The smokiness of the bacon pieces coupled with the hearty biscuits were amazing. I really think my family would love this dressing and although it is only my first installment...........I am highly recommending that someone in my family bring this dish to dinner that day.


Gabriela said...

OMG you're killing me! You're breaking my heart. I'm so sorry to hear about your mother's upcoming surgery. I hope she'll be back on her feet soon. I also think that your Thanksgiving Day contribution is sheer genius. Your cooking tutorials will be exactly what makes your family's Thanksgving so special this year.

Anonymous said...

WOW! I was JUST looking at this recipe! Looks like a winner! So sorry about your mom. I'll keep her in my prayers.

Anonymous said...

Ok ... I know this is the first suggestion but I call this one. I can bake the biscuits and Robbie can make the dressing. That way I feel like I am helping.

Keep 'em coming!

Your sis,

Ally said...

The biscuits alone look amazing! Can't go wrong with smoky bacon!
Hope your mom feels well soon, you are a sweet daughter (and family member) for helping keep the tradition alive!

Anonymous said...

Bizzy that looks great! can almost smell it! You know yourself that the family will have to all take turns cooking as they all can't leave the tiki bar at the same time!

Woody said...

I love bacon!

Anonymous said...

Great job Bizzy! A break from tradition! Have my son-n-law install web cam so that you can see the procress(s). I just know he will do his part to make it a success. . . EAT!

n a m m o in alabama

Anonymous said...



Anonymous said...

That looks amazing and I'm very hungry now!

Colleen said...

Oooh that stuffing/dressing looks divine! I love a good bacon post!