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    You are in: Home / Community Forums / Holidays & Entertaining / STRESS-FREE Turkey for a crowd! No kiddin'!
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    STRESS-FREE Turkey for a crowd! No kiddin'!

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    Glori-B
    Tue Nov 21, 2006 3:34 pm
    Semi-Experienced "Sous Chef" Poster
    A Blessed Thanksgiving to All! wave.gif

    I wanted to contribute my 2 cents ... I too have had to feed 25 plus for "T" Day. Over the years, I've crock-potted where ever possible, borrowed banquet tables from my church, involved everyone in the production and so forth. It's challenging, but exciting and (in a weird way) FUN! The part that has saved my "blessed assurance" is my clipboard. Hung on the refrigerator, everyone can tell at a glance what they are responsible for and when it's due, so that the next step can get done on time (as in the case of the oranges studded with cloves for the wassail.) Here is a snapshot:

    what who when time done

    Turkey FB start wed. 10 pm
    carrots Liz on arrival 1 pm
    tea me thurs 10 Am
    cut lemons me thurs 10:30
    wassail me thurs 11 AM
    cloves in oranges Pete thurs 10:30
    make truffles me tues 4 pm xx

    It takes some time to figure out the first one, but the next year it's almost automatic.

    I hope this helps!
    I can't seem to get this to retain the spacing so you can see the columns. Sorry.

    Wildflour
    Wed Nov 22, 2006 12:05 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    *How much broth:

    For just one crockpot: I buy 2 cans chicken broth. Just open one first, then you still have a second one for more if needed. You don't want the meat to be floating/swimming in it, you just want to keep adding a little at a time to "just cover" the meat after each layer.
    For more than one crockpot: I love those new boxes of broth they came out with! (I think they are 32 0z.) The top snaps closed, and any extra, (if you have some left), can be stored in the fridge! icon_biggrin.gif Then you're sure to have plenty enough. *The leftover broth can be used for many different T-Giving dishes, too! Such as mashed potatoes, veggies and even gravy! icon_biggrin.gif


    *How to heat:

    I always take my crockpot out of the fridge at least a half an hour before putting it into the metal heating part. I don't know if this is necessary or not, but I'm always afraid of them cracking or breaking. Then start it on High, just to get it started, say for even just 15 minutes. Then switch to Low, and if it's really packed in there, it should take approximately 2 hours, maybe a lil' more. *You can rotate the meat, too. So that the meat in the middle is on the bottom about half-way through. The bottom, sides and top will heat a lot faster of course. So, I use tongs and pull the slices from the bottom and place them on top. That way then, the meat that WAS in the middle, is now the bottom layers. Boy I hope I explained that right! icon_wink.gif icon_lol.gif icon_biggrin.gif

    Oh! And don't forget! If not wanting to serve out of a crockpot on a pretty table all decorated...just take the meat out and serve on a pretty platter! icon_biggrin.gif Your guests will never know it was ever even IN a crockpot! icon_wink.gif *Make sure while you're in the kitchen, that you bang some pans, turn the electric slicer knife off and on a few times while plating, throw a little flour on your face, and emerge from the kitchen like you just did it. Hee, hee. icon_wink.gif icon_lol.gif They'll think ya slaved!! icon_lol.gif icon_lol.gif icon_lol.gif
    *A little kitchen humor to relieve some of the stress for ya's! icon_wink.gif icon_lol.gif
    Angiei812
    Wed Nov 22, 2006 1:39 pm
    Semi-Experienced "Sous Chef" Poster
    I love you wildflour! You changed my life. Went out and bought that new, improved crockpot I've been wanting for a few years. I'm a big believer in doing ahead, as I hate to put on a "show" trying to slice, saute, whatever in front of my company. Usually I've had a glass of wine or two, and everyone is talking and millling around the kitchen. Just too much confusion for me at the last minute. PLUS we may need to feed the kids at the kitchen table so..... Not only did you free up my oven, but you freed up my kitchen table too.
    Wildflour
    Wed Nov 22, 2006 1:56 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    Angiei812 wrote:
    I love you wildflour! You changed my life. Went out and bought that new, improved crockpot I've been wanting for a few years. I'm a big believer in doing ahead, as I hate to put on a "show" trying to slice, saute, whatever in front of my company. Usually I've had a glass of wine or two, and everyone is talking and millling around the kitchen. Just too much confusion for me at the last minute. PLUS we may need to feed the kids at the kitchen table so..... Not only did you free up my oven, but you freed up my kitchen table too.


    AW!!! So glad I helped ya!!!!!!!! Here's a GREAT recipe for mashed potatoes, too!! I've made them several times, and my mom is making them this year!! She's thrilled!!!!! Her house at T-Giving is TOTAL CHAOS!!! icon_eek.gif icon_lol.gif My sister and I both have been teaching her how to "do-ahead!" It sure saves your sanity!!!!!!

    A Mountain Of Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes *these will keep up to 2 hours in a crockpot, after that they start to dry out a bit.
    Chef #1036564
    Fri Nov 21, 2008 11:02 am
    Newbie "Fry Cook" Poster
    can you share your menu? I will have 27 people at my house this Thanksgiving. esther
    Wildflour
    Mon Nov 24, 2008 8:15 am
    Food.com Groupie
    Sure! icon_biggrin.gif This is pretty much what I made, and Someone brought the green bean casserole and the cranberry sauce. Oh, and I also made a mandarin orange and beet dish, that I should've tripled!! I didn't realize how many people (including all the kids!) actually loved beets! icon_biggrin.gif It was a Taste of Home recipe that was really good! I can find that for you, too, if you'd like! icon_biggrin.gif

    Thanksgiving 2007

    Ok, I think this is the recipe...

    Mandarin Glazed Beets
    Chef1MOM~Connie
    Tue Nov 25, 2008 3:56 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    Wildflour- I too do large holiday dinners. This year I am trying to take it as easy as possible due to medical rehab. This will be my smallest dinner in over 15 years with only 16 people coming. Except for my brother, it is for in-laws and their families.
    Anyway- checking out your information and boy will it help me out. I am in question of the mashe dpotatoe recipe. I think what I am reading is that you use that recipe but keep wamred in the crockpot. If that is the correct interpretation, then do you put them in your crock an hour or thereabouts before dinner starts? If so this will be great because then my stovetop is freed for making gravy and veggies. (I use a stock pot to make mashed for holidays!
    Your tips for make ahead are fantastic and I for one am so appreciative!
    Chur B
    Wed Nov 26, 2008 12:10 pm
    Newbie "Fry Cook" Poster
    Thanks for the tip! I never would have thought of that and I'm so excited I looked on the site today. My turkey is now in the oven a day earlier and I am looking forward to having a stress free Thanksgiving. I really like the idea of cleaning the turkey and disposing of the carcass and cleaning up the day BEFORE. To me, that is the most time/energy consuming part of the day, especially AFTER dinner, who wants to clean the carcass and the big turkey dish etc? Not me. Great tip! Thanks for sharing!
    Wildflour
    Thu Nov 27, 2008 6:54 am
    Food.com Groupie
    Chef1MOM wrote:
    Wildflour- I too do large holiday dinners. This year I am trying to take it as easy as possible due to medical rehab. This will be my smallest dinner in over 15 years with only 16 people coming. Except for my brother, it is for in-laws and their families.
    Anyway- checking out your information and boy will it help me out. I am in question of the mashe dpotatoe recipe. I think what I am reading is that you use that recipe but keep wamred in the crockpot. If that is the correct interpretation, then do you put them in your crock an hour or thereabouts before dinner starts? If so this will be great because then my stovetop is freed for making gravy and veggies. (I use a stock pot to make mashed for holidays!
    Your tips for make ahead are fantastic and I for one am so appreciative!


    Yes, when I'm doing them in a crock pot I make them about an hour before and keep them warm in the crock. If I'm baking them, I make them the day before and do the baking method as in the recipe. icon_biggrin.gif Either way, it's nice to have them done ahead of time and out of the way! icon_biggrin.gif
    Chef Chessie
    Fri Nov 28, 2008 2:04 am
    Food.com Groupie
    I just did this with a brined turkey and it works great. Does not change the flavor or anything. I used low sodium broth and unsalted butter.
    tessmick
    Mon Dec 22, 2008 11:53 am
    Newbie "Fry Cook" Poster
    icon_lol.gif icon_lol.gif icon_lol.gif
    You guys are all just wonderful! I am anticipating another stressful Chrismas Eve where I'll be doing both turkey & ham, and you've saved my life. My sister & I have both tried somewhat unsuccessfully in the past to keep things warm in crocks, but this answers all my questions. Thank you so much! Merry Christmas to all!
    Chur B
    Fri Dec 26, 2008 9:15 pm
    Newbie "Fry Cook" Poster
    I can't believe it took me this long to respond after I made this for Thanksgiving. This was AMAZING. Forget the fact that it was so much less stressful on Thanksgiving day, the fact that FINALLY FINALLY FINALLY the Turkey was moist and juicy is what sold me. The BEST TASTING Turkey ever. EVERYONE RAVED! It was even still moist as left overs. My only request.......please post this as a recipe so that I can save it as a recipe....and find it easier next time I need it. I realize it's a tip, but I bet you could do it and I want to post my crockpot picture. THANKS SO MUCH!!!!
    internetnut
    Fri Dec 11, 2009 6:49 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    Bump ~ So I can easily find this post. Christine (internetnut)
    maddymad27
    Mon Dec 19, 2011 9:24 am
    Newbie "Fry Cook" Poster
    I will be making everything the day BEFORE Christmas this year! Yes the day before, all my meats, Turkey ham and roast beef along with maybe some casseroles and stuffed mushrooms, they will all go in disposable pans and wallah! Buffet style served Christmas Day ! Too much hassle to go through on the day and with kids now makes everything more hectic. If nobody likes it we can eat at their house next year lol. I have done this before and it was fine, cook everything the day before and just store in fridge in pans and put on sterno's and hr before company comes, turkey you make want to separate some juice I find its good when it sits in some overnight but in the am you would want o incorporate some more juice into the pan. Merry Christmas! icon_biggrin.gif icon_lol.gif
    Lvs2Cook
    Mon Dec 19, 2011 10:49 am
    Food.com Groupie
    maddymad27 wrote:
    I will be making everything the day BEFORE Christmas this year! Yes the day before, all my meats, Turkey ham and roast beef along with maybe some casseroles and stuffed mushrooms, they will all go in disposable pans and wallah! Buffet style served Christmas Day ! Too much hassle to go through on the day and with kids now makes everything more hectic. If nobody likes it we can eat at their house next year lol. I have done this before and it was fine, cook everything the day before and just store in fridge in pans and put on sterno's and hr before company comes, turkey you make want to separate some juice I find its good when it sits in some overnight but in the am you would want o incorporate some more juice into the pan. Merry Christmas! icon_biggrin.gif icon_lol.gif


    Sounds wonderful!
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