Early Paleo Thanksgiving Menu

Last weekend I went to Whole Foods and got my “sale” (40% off) organic Diestel Heidi’s Hen No GMO turkey.  I decided why not do an early Paleo Thanksgiving.  Turkey is one of Fred’s (my husband) favorites.   We  enjoyed the turkey and froze some for when we have a penchant for turkey in the coming weeks.  Here’s  my early Paleo Thanksgiving Menu and favorite paleo Thanksgiving recipes.

Roast Turkey with Thyme Butter and Fresh Sage

Zenbelly’s Best Ever Paleo Stuffing

Zenbelly’s Acorn Squash with Pears, Butter, & Cinnamon

Paleo pumpkin and maple syrup custards

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Roast Turkey with Thyme Butter and Fresh Sage

Ingredients

15 pound turkey (I used a fresh Diestel Organic Heidi’s Hen)

4 ounces butter (I used 1/2 a stick of Kerry’s Gold unsalted butter)

2 TBSP fresh thyme

8 -10 fresh sage leaves

4 sprigs fresh thyme

2 stalks celery

1/2 onion chopped in eighths

1/2 – 1 lemon

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (optional)

Directions

1.  Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

2.  Rinse turkey inside & out and pat dry with paper towels.  Remove turkey innards from both neck and turkey body cavity.

3.  Soften butter and add 2 TBSP chopped thyme.  Add salt if desired.

4. Loosen the skin above the turkey body cavity with your fingers.  Spread about a third to half of thyme butter mixture under the turkey skin all over as far back as you can reach.

5. Gently push each fresh sage leaf under the skin as far back as you can reach on each side of turkey breast.  Arrange sage leaves in a pattern under the turkey skin (four leaves per each side). This will look very beautiful after the turkey is cooked.

6.  Rub some thyme mixture in the turkey cavity.  Fill turkey cavity with a 1/2 -1 lemon, 4 springs of thyme, celery stalks and onion.  Truss the turkey legs with kitchen twine.  Tuck the neck skin underneath the turkey.  Rub the rest of the thyme butter all over the entire outside of the turkey.  Place turkey on a rack set in a large roasting pan.

7.  Cook at 425 degrees F for 1/2 hour.  Make sure to check if your turkey is too  brown too quickly after 15-20 minutes of cooking.  If the turkey is getting too brown, tent the turkey with tin foil to prevent further browning.

8.  Lower oven temperature to 350 degrees F and continue to bake turkey for 2 1/2 more hours. Total estimated cooking time is about 3 – 3 1/2 hours total.  Baste turkey with the melted butter from the bottom of the pan every 1/2 hour.  Start checking turkey temperature after 1 1/2 hours.  Use an instant read thermometer.   The temperature should be at least 165 degrees F under the thickest part of the thigh when turkey is done.  Be sure thermometer is not touching the bone.

9.  When done let the turkey rest for 20 minutes before carving.  Save the pan juices for pan gravy.

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Zenbelly’s Best Ever Paleo Stuffing

One of my favorite Paleo food blogs is Zenbelly.  I used her Best Ever Paleo Stuffing recipe and substituted Italian Sausage for ground pork.  I would increase the amount of fresh thyme, fresh rosemary, and fresh sage by another teaspoon each.  I added 1 cup pecans, which gave the stuffing a lot of crunch which I recommend.  The texture of the stuffing is wonderful!  This is an excellent addition to your paleo Thanksgiving menu.

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Zenbelly’s Acorn Squash with Pears, Butter, & Cinnamon

This  Acorn Squash with Pears, Butter, & Cinnamon recipe is one of my new fall favorites.  The acorn squash looks so elegant with the pear slices filling the center.  It’s  super easy to make.  I’ve substituted a Granny Smith apple for the pear slices with the result similar to a baked apple in the center of the acorn squash.  Very delicious!

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Paleo pumpkin and maple syrup custards

For dessert I recommend my Paleo pumpkin and maple syrup custards recipe.  They are delicious and can be topped with whipped cream, whipped coconut cream, or coconut chips.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday & enjoy!

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