The traditional way to celebrate Thanksgiving is to gather around a long dinning room table thats adorned with all of the worlds best known side dishes that warm our hearts, and fill our bellies. You of course can’t forget about the star of the show, and the centerpiece of the whole meal.. the Thanksgiving turkey!! However.. this year is being planned very differently for everyone all over which is causing stress, and confusion on what the menu will be, and how much of it they’re going to make. These seem like hard questions considering when you think of a Thanksgiving meal you think of course after course with bowls of delicious comfort foods piled sky high, but it doesn’t have to be exactly like that to celebrate exactly like you normally would. You may be wondering how you would succeed at having such an amazing meal with a variety of choices, without serving a 20lb. turkey, and 10 different accompaniments… but with this beautiful big roasted chicken board, it is absolutely more than possible! Now I know it’s not classic to serve roasted chicken instead of turkey, but there is no better time for change of traditions than right now considering everything else that is changing around us.
Due to celebrations of the Thanksgiving holiday not being like they were of prior years.. you might not even want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen, or let’s be real.. money! There were an unlimited amount of people without jobs this year, and because of that some of you out there will really be looking to keep some of the money that you do have in your wallets, but that fortunately does not mean that you have to eat flavorless! Roasting a chicken, or just buying one from your local supermarket is the absolute way to go! It comes in handy, and they’re just as scrumptious from the grocery store as they are homemade to be honest with you Diamonds. If you feel like you’re against it for some reason.. don’t be! I wouldn’t steer you wrong!
- Years ago on the Food Network I remember loving a show called “semi-homemade” and what she did was buy from the store that she felt was necessary, and make what she thought she needed to in the comfort of her own kitchen! Every single time after it was all said and done, she was left with a gorgeous table-scape, and a mouthwatering meal that she spend very little time on, nevertheless making it look just down right stunning! It just goes to show that you don’t have to sweat all day in the kitchen, and wonder what you’re going to do with 10 pounds of turkey left over, along with everything else that the five people that live in your house-hold couldn’t eat.
I think the most important thing you need to keep in mind when putting something like this together (especially if you did not make everything from scratch) is that presentation is everything and then some! Diamonds.. you know first hand that us foodies eat with our eyes first, and if something looks laid out extremely elegantly, and is decorated in theme then it is sure to be a crowd pleaser!
Whenever you decide to only make a few things from start to finish with scratch made ingredients.. pick what matters most! Ask yourself what everyone would be missing out on, and what you would be wishing you would have made all by yourself, but didn’t. The two things I felt that you can’t get nearly as delightful tasting in a store would be macaroni & cheese, along with the classic, candied yams! They’re both essentials for a Thanksgiving feast for my family and I, so buying them would just not cut it for us in the least bit.
- These two recipes are as easy to make as they are to indulge in, so I really really did not want to bore you with the step by step instructions that I normal love to give, and usually.. feel the need to, so that you Diamonds know what’s what!
- As for the macaroni & cheese.. it is a one-pot wonder, as my dad and I enjoy calling dishes like these! All you do is pour a carton of chicken stock inside of a pot on high heat as if you were boiling water. Once the stock comes to a boil, throw in the noodles of your choice, and then finally, after the noodles look softened.. mix in a block of cream cheese, and literally any other cheeses you would like. You could even use milk instead of the chicken stock, but to me.. that’s what gives it such great flavor! I used half of a bag of cheddar cheese, and half of a bag of mixed Italian cheeses. You could even use pepper jack, or you’re welcome to stick to that gooey iconic Cooper sharp! It’s all up to you, and either way it’s going to turn out perfect, and as cheesy as it needs to be!
- What’s a Thanksgiving dinner without yams or sweet potatoes?! You can choose between the two iconic options of candied yams, or sweet potato casserole. I chose to do candied yams because they’re seriously so good, but even more so.. they’re easy peasy!! All you have to do is melt half a stick of butter in a sauce pan with a 1/3 cup of brown sugar, and 2 tablespoons of honey. After the sweet succulent butter gets bubbly and brown, you may add your can of yams. You can also mash them up as I did, or leave them chunky. It’s all preference!
If you purchase a roasted chicken instead of roasting it yourself, you can also buy a good gravy to drizzle along top of it for that extra bite of savoriness! Whether you make your own gravy with the left over meat drippings, flour, and cream, or you heat it up straight out of the jar.. you have no other option that to serve your gravy in a gravy boat. It is the go to move, especially on Thanksgiving, or for any holiday where you want to leave a lasting impression.
- Corn is a no brainer! You can either take a bag out of the freezer, and let it thaw, or crack open a can. All you have to do is add butter, salt & pepper!
- Corn bread from a bakery is just as good, if not better than if you would either make it from a box, or at home. Unless you have a slamming recipe that you make time & time again, than by all means go for it!
The greatest part about this roasted chicken board is that it’s exactly that. A BOARD! Which means very little clean up, very little left overs (if any at all) and let’s face it.. boards are just down right beautiful. Everything on this board is going to be mouth-watering, enticing to all guests, and exquisite. Boards are honestly all the rage, especially for parties, gatherings, and get togethers of any kind.. so why not make them the new Thanksgiving tradition?! I think it fits right in to the new lifestyle that we’re all trying to get used to. New ways of living = new traditions, so let’s make it amazing Diamonds!