Over the next nine days – including yes, the very day of – we'll be sharing our time-tested hosting tips and recipes, as well as plenty from chefs, hospitality experts, celebrities (that's always fun, right?), hosts and home cooks we love. Our goal – sending you into Thanksgiving with a confident smile on your face, and seeing you emerge on the other side with your sanity intact.
There’s a bicycle built for two; two for tea (and tea for two); and everyone knows it takes two to tango – so what about a Thanksgiving feast for two?
CNN.com writer Lisa Respers France recently submitted this Turkey Day quandary to Eatocracy:
If anything, we are not afraid to be servicey - especially in the ever-dwindling days leading up to the big feast.
Point blank: you are not responsible for whipping up cranberry chutney for ten if there are only two of you this year. You can have your turkey and roast it too, without skimping on the fixings and gobbling up refrigerator space. Here’s how:
Forego the WWE wrestling match with a heavyweight Tom turkey and go with a smaller type of poultry: chicken, duck or Cornish hens. Even game birds like capon or quail work too. Because you aren’t entertaining anyone other than yourselves, feel free to get experimental when it comes to the main event.
In a moderate oven, Cornish hens bake for a little less than an hour; duck should be allowed 30 minutes per pound; and roasted chickens, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
If you’re sold on the idea of having turkey, you can buy individual turkey breasts at most supermarkets nowadays. If you’re a dark meat kind of guy or gal, ask the butcher to de-bone a couple of turkey legs or thighs for you.
Scale down the sides
When it comes to vegetables, single serving size works wonders. Roast a whole sweet potato for each of you. Pierce each with a fork several times and bake on a foil-lined baking sheet in a 400 degree oven for about 45 minutes - or until tender. When the potatoes are ready, slice them open and top with a tablespoon of butter, cinnamon, brown sugar or even maple syrup.
Or try roasting butternut squash: a half for you and a half for your counterpart. Roasting instructions and recipes can be found here.
If you’re really sold on casserole - just halve or even quarter the recipes, depending on the serving size. We're not trying to reinvent the wheel here - nothing a little calculator or elementary division can’t solve. If you do halve any recipes, we recommend you do some mise en place - that is, get all your ingredients measured out before you cook. This ensures that you indeed avoid confusion and halve all your ingredients, and aren't left mixing in waaaaay too much thyme and not enough flour.
When there are only two of you, both of you need to decide which dishes it wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without. Pick the two or three that are really sentimentally essential to you and your dining partner and go from there.
Don't be afraid to be cheesy
Tomorrow: Thanksgiving appetizers