At my house we sort of have 3 main dishes for Thanksgiving most years. Although sometimes when there's not that many people coming I leave off one of them.
So here goes my main dish recipes:
I use the Reynolds oven Turkey roasting bag to cook my turkey. I put margarine and salt on the thawed turkey and put it in the bag with the breast side down. The bag gets a little flour in it before the turkey and then bagged turkey goes in a roasting pan. It cooks in a medium hot oven about 4 hours. This is the main dish that most of my family thinks could be skipped. I like turkey though and it just seems like you are supposed to have turkey.
I like to get a bone in half ham and cook it in the Crockpot with brown sugar and pineapple. Using the Crockpot for the ham saves oven time and its so juicy and sweet and tender.
Now this is the main dish that most people would consider a side dish. But at my house, everyone thinks this is number 1. THIS dish is by far the family favorite and I could never not have this at Thanksgiving. We often have it for Christmas dinner too. It is quite a chore to make it, but it freezes well. It can be made ahead of time and frozen.
Okay on to the recipe:
2 skillets of cornbread (recipe following)
Boiled boned chicken (a baking hen is the best)
Broth from chicken
1 large can evaporated milk
1 C chopped onion
1 C chopped celery
Poultry seasoning to taste
6 slices of toast (or biscuits)
1/2 can cream of chicken broth
Cook onion and celery together in water until tender. Crumble cornbread in a large container and add toast or biscuits broken into small pieces. Add milk, broth, eggs, onion and celery with liquid stirring until the bread is lump free. Add salt, pepper, poultry seasoning, and sage to taste. You can adjust the broth and can use additional regular milk or a little water if needed. You want a medium gravy consistency. (This is one of those recipes that you learn how to make watching your Mama make it every year. Then one day, you have to make it.) So then you stir in the chicken pieces and pour into greased large baking dish or dishes. Bake at 375 degrees until done. Usually about an hour.
Serve with giblet gravy.
Cut up the liver, gizzard, and other pieces of scrap chicken (or turkey). Add 1/2 can cream of chicken soup and 3 cups chicken broth. Add about 2 Tbsp of uncooked dressing, 2 boiled eggs sliced, pepper, small jar of pimentos.
1 heaped Cup cornmeal
2/3 cup flour
1 tsp baking pwd
1/2 tsp soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 Cup (or so) of Buttermilk
Mix together dry ingredients, add egg and milk and stir until you have a pourable batter. Put 2 Tbsp Crisco into a 12'' cast iron skillet and put into 425 degree oven until Crisco is melted and skillet is very hot. Sprinkle skillet with cornmeal and then pour cornbread batter into skillet. Bake till the top is a little brown. You can add a little sugar to the mix if you like sweet cornbread. This is the very best cornbread you will ever eat!!!! And it is the star ingredient in the Dressing recipe above.