We've got some chefs (I'm looking at you, Beau Jackson) and some experienced home cooks on this site, so I thought we could trade tips on Thanksgiving cooking.
Post your tips for turkey preparation (or your alternative entree if turkey doesn't do it for you), your menu or recipes below. To get it started, I've posted recipe for fantastic mushroom soup after the jump.
Serves 6 Adapted from The New Basics Cookbook
When my wife and I had our first winter holidays together, we discovered that both of our moms have made a tradition of making this soup as a first course. It's a great rich soup.
1/2 cup Madeira
2 3/4 cup chicken stock
1 oz dried morels (you can substitute dried shiitakes)
3 leeks - white part only, diced roughly
1 large onion, diced roughly
4 Tbs unsalted butter
3 Tbs unbleached all-purpose flour
2 1/4 cups beef stock
1 lb button mushrooms with stems removed
salt and black pepper
creme fraiche (you can substitute sour cream or greek yogurt)
1) In a small saucepan, combine madeira, 1/2 c of chicken stock and morels, bring to boil, remove from heat, let stand for 30 min
2) In a large pot (you can use a dutch oven or a soup pot), melt the butter over low heat in a skillet, add roughly diced leaks and onions, and cook over low heat until vegetables are wilted, but not browned about 10 minutes
3) Sprinkle flour over leeks and onions, stir, and cook 5 minutes more
4) To the large pot, add remaining chicken stock, beef stock, button mushrooms, and morels and their soaking liquid
and simmer, uncovered, until the mushrooms are soft, about 30 mins
5) Blend until mushroom bits are no bigger than pea sized, either by using an immersion blender or by allowing the soup to cool slightly and then processing in batches using a blender or food processor.
6) add salt and pepper to taste
7) serve with creme fraiche and chives