Thursday, December 2, 2010

Turkey Cranberry Wreath

I decided to make all the fixings for turkey cranberry wreaths in honor of Thanksgiving. Turkey Cranberry Wreaths are the perfect thing to make with the leftovers from Thanksgiving dinner. I, of course, had to make everything first!

I started with the stuffing the night before. I try to pace myself. ;) I started by chopping celery. I also added already chopped onions (that's my fatigue and laziness at work).
I always use Mrs. Cubbison's stuffing mix. That's what my mom used to use and I've stuck with it.
I melted down the butter for the three full packages of stuffing I made. Yep, that's 4 sticks of margarine!
I also added organic chicken stock to the stuffing mix, although I usually use beef stock. I haven't decided which one I like better. I cooked the stuffing for about 40 minutes. I usually like my suffing a bit crunchy, but I didn't make it that way because for the Turkey Cranberry Wreath, you need softer stuffing.

The next morning I woke up and prepped the turkey. When I was a kid, it was my dad's job to prep the turkey (he usually did it the night before, however). I washed the turkey and took out the neck and giblets and rinsed the turkey. We always used cooking bags for the turkey and it's the easiest way to get a well-cooked turkey.
Well, the oven bag and more butter!
The key is to put a stick of butter in all the important places of the bird, like in the neck, in the creases of the wings and inside the bird.
Then you close the bag and put 6 1 1/2 inch slits in the bag for ventilation. Then you pop it into the oven and set the timer and viola!
The turkey generally needs 30 minutes to set and cool off. I had to take all of the meat off the bird. I bought a 15lb bird and that filled a roasting pan with white and dark meat.

The next step is to mix the stuffing and the turkey meat in a separate bowl (about 2 cups of meat and 4 cups of stuffing). Then you add dried cranberries (about a cup) and some mayonnaise to make sure all the filling sticks together.

The next step is to make the "wreath" using 2 containers of Pillsbury crescant rolls. Make sure to keep them cold until you have to do it, it makes it easier to mold the shape. On an ungreased cookie sheet, place one of the triangles with the short edge towards as the inside of the wreath. You need to alternate from the pointy side in next and then the flat (short) edge toward the center. It looks like a jumbled mess, but it does make sense once you make it!

Next, take the prepared filling and place it in the thickest part of the dough like so:

Next, take the pointy ends and drape over the filling. Repeat all the way around the wreath.
What is nice about this is that you can see the filling and if you put enough cranberries, it has a nice festive look when it's cooked.

Here is the wreath's shape come to life!

You can follow the crescant roll directions, although I've found that it takes about 20-30 minutes. I usually cook 13 minutes and then turn the cookie sheet to make sure it's evenly cooked.

It makes for a nice decoration on the table if kept in tact.
If you cut the wreath in pieces, the name "Turkey Cranberry Wreath" name loses it's meaning. My friend, John, helped me come up with "Pilgrim Puffs" in lieu of the technical name in this case! :D
But, whatever you call it, enjoy!

1 comment:

Ginny said...

I wish you could've been in NJ for Thanksgiving! I will have to make this wreath would look really cute with Christmas dinner leftovers, too! I miss you!! Love you, Alexis!