Easy Thanksgiving Dishes

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By Cooking with Paula Deen Magazine

People often assume that a Thanksgiving meal requires lots of side dishes to go with a huge bird that takes hours to cook. And while that might be true if you’re entertaining a large crowd, a turkey breast and pared-down sides are perfect for an easy meal for just a few people. You’ll get all the holiday flavors you love with much less time and effort spent in the kitchen.

imageMaple-Hickory Roasted Turkey Breast
Makes 4 to 6 servings

1 cup maple syrup
2 teaspoons hickory-smoked marinade
1 (5-pound) fresh or frozen and thawed bone-in skin-on turkey breast
3 tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 cup chicken broth
Garnish: fresh sage leaves

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Spray a roasting pan and roasting rack with nonstick cooking spray.
2. In a small bowl, combine maple syrup and marinade. Reserve half of syrup mixture for sauce. Using a meat injector, inject remaining syrup mixture into several places in breast.
3. In a small bowl, combine butter and next 3 ingredients; rub under and over skin of breast. Place, breast side up, on rack in prepared pan.
4. Bake for 1 1/2 hours or until a meat thermometer inserted into thickest part of breast registers 165°. Transfer turkey to a serving platter, and cover loosely with aluminum foil; let stand for 15 minutes before slicing.
5. While turkey is resting, in a saucepan, bring reserved syrup mixture and chicken broth to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes or until thickened. Serve with turkey. Garnish with fresh sage, if desired.

imageRoasted Sweet Potatoes and Apples
Makes 4 to 6 servings

2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch-thick wedges
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
4 medium sweet potatoes, peeled
6 tablespoons firmly packed brown sugar
4 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped pecans

1. In a medium bowl, combine apple wedges and lemon juice, tossing to coat.
2. In a large Dutch oven, bring sweet potatoes and water to cover to a boil over medium-high heat; reduce heat, and simmer for 10 minutes or until potatoes are just tender. Drain and let stand until cool enough to handle. Cut potatoes into 1/2-inch-thick slices.
3. Preheat oven to 400°. Spray a 9-inch square baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Arrange potato slices and apple wedges alternately in prepared pan.
4. In a medium saucepan, bring brown sugar and next 5 ingredients to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat, and simmer for 8 to 10 minutes or until mixture is syrupy. Pour over potatoes and apples.
5. Cover with aluminum foil, and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake for 15 minutes. Sprinkle with pecans, and bake 15 minutes more.

imageCranberry-Bourbon Sippers
Makes about 7 cups

2/3 cup water
2/3 cup light brown sugar
4 cups chilled cranberry juice
1 cup chilled pomegranate juice
1/2 cup bourbon
1/2 cup chilled fresh lime juice
1/4 cup chilled fresh lemon juice
Garnish: fresh cranberries

1. In a medium saucepan, bring 2/3 cups water and brown sugar to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring just until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat, and let cool completely.
2. In a large pitcher, combine sugar mixture, cranberry juice, and remaining 4 ingredients. Serve over ice. Garnish with cranberries, if desired.

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Reader Comments:


Hi Paula , I can see that big smile on your face as you too prepare for this holiday season, after all it is YOUR season. We love your recipes an hope to share with our family this year. Best wishes to you and yours during this wonderful "thanksgiving" time. Our blessing are abound as I am sure are yours. Our Best, The Trivett's in Tennessee

By Anonymous on November 27, 2013


I am looking for the recipe for apple crisp that Paula gave at thanksgiving 2012. we made it and it was fantastic! but I can't find my recipe! Help Paula! I love you

By mariette granger on November 24, 2013


Look forward to your newsletter and recipes. Love them. The ones I have tried always work out first time. Miss your TV shows

By Betty Ginger on November 18, 2013


Love you, Paula, and miss you!

By Anonymous on November 16, 2013


How about gluten free additions. Let's not for get the value of organically!

By Linda mckeever on November 16, 2013


Do you have any recipes for Diabetes I have family members who is a Diabete

By Patricia Benton on November 15, 2013


Hey Miss Paula! Love your magazine and I hope to see a lot more of you and your recipes real soon. Hang in there- Take Care! Mary

By Mary on November 15, 2013


Sharon Friedle said it all!!! You are already blessed with your wonderful family and my prayers, this year, are that you will be in the coming years!!!

By Ruth Nesbitt on November 15, 2013


Paula, I hope you actually get to read some of the comments being left for you. Love your recipes of course, but more than that it is important that you know how much you are loved, respected and valued for who you are, and all that you have brought to many who have been devoted to you over the years. You are missed so very much, but that (FN) was only one place that we could see your beautiful face, remember that, and I think they need to rethink things. This is one family that keeps you and your family in their prayers on a daily basis. God Bless you sweetie! Keep on keepin' on girlfriend! MUAH!♥ Sharon Friedle

By Sharon Friedle on November 15, 2013


Love all the recipes and of course Paula keeps everyone smiling .. and keep hoping one day I can have some of your merchandise sent to Canada ...I've been trying without any luck but I'll keep trying

By Marilyn Bergeron on November 15, 2013


I just wanted to say that I love you from the start and that I miss you very much, I love your cooking they remind me of some of my Grandmothers cooking and for that I became a very good cook. Love you ,miss you and keep up your head up and continue success.

By Rochelle Harris on November 15, 2013


Love your recipes!

By Anonymous on November 15, 2013


I love all your recipes you are one of my favorites .you bring back memorys of my mom thank you for all you do and make .have a great and wonderful turkey day.

By joeann on November 15, 2013


I just miss you so very much girl...I have watch you on TV from the get. Would love to meet you but just can't afford the trips you offer. Will always try to stay close....Love you Girl!

By Linda Hogan on November 15, 2013


Love my Paula Deen. I love to cook and you have given me a lot of good advice. I do try a lot of your recipes and try it out on other people. Keep up the good works

By Anonymous on November 15, 2013


Paula, would you be so kind to make suggestions as to how to make some low calorie desserts that still have great taste. Thank you

By Janet on November 14, 2013


So glad you are in the limelight as many of us prayed for you during your recent setback. I have a lot of respect and admiration for you and your family. Keep up with all you are doing. Prayers for you and your family.

By Diane Simmons on November 14, 2013


In need of a gift basket for holiday gift that will ship safely to Tampa. Ideas? Photos? Hints?

By Becky on November 14, 2013


Dear Paula, I think this would be even better if you came and helped us cook. I'm glad to see you posting so many receipes. I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving and a beautiful Christmas. Sincerely, Jan

By Jan Bryant on November 14, 2013


Wish you were still on tv. Love you Paula. I have some of your cookbooks. I made my son your sweet potato pie. He love it.

By Ruthie Leaman on November 14, 2013

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Paula, I love watching you and your family. I miss seeing your show, I watched you everyday. My son lives in Charleston S.C. He took me to the Lady & Sons to eat. Oh my goodness! People are always telling me that I look just like the cooking lady Paula Deen. I always tell them that you are my hero. May God Bless You Mary Ann
Mary Ann Tharp in A Summer of Burgers on August 15, 2014 at 10:48 pm

Add a few spoonfuls of parmesan cheese to the flour and cornmeal breading and it kicks the tomatoes up another notch. Bev
in Crispy Fried Green Tomatoes on August 15, 2014 at 10:33 am

I just bought Paula's Peach Salad Dressing and wondered if anyone has a good recipe that they use it in?
Melissa in Taste Testing 101 on August 13, 2014 at 8:36 am

Congrats Bobby. Loved the family picture miss you Paula on TV will be watching online. Jack is getting big. Looks like his mom but Matt aka moose has your face. Your eyes cheeks hair even falls to his face like yours except to the left. Good luck on your next venture. You give us other 60+ yr women strength to move on. Keep up the good work.
Carol Bryant in Love at Last on August 11, 2014 at 6:12 pm