Continuing our series of answers to readers' Thanksgiving questions, today I'm going to address a query from pavlina20: How to make a nice Thanksgiving meal for a very small group (in her case, just two adults and two children). The biggest challenge in this situation is the turkey: Even a small bird would be far too much food. There are several ways around this problem:
-Cook just a turkey breast. This works well if your group particularly likes white meat. This recipe explains how to roast two turkey breast halves, on the bone, over a mound of stuffing to create an attractive dish that will provide some of the same visual appeal as a whole bird. The recipe will serve four people generously.
-Roast a turkey in pieces. This is great because you can choose exactly how much white and dark meat you want. This recipe serves eight, but it could easily be adapted for a smaller group simply by cooking fewer pieces.
-If your group is up for a bit of an adventure, why not skip the turkey entirely? There are numerous other types of meat that come in smaller portions and, to be honest, are a lot more interesting than turkey. Some options:
*roast duck or goose
*quail (though this might be a bit of a tough sell with the kids)
*of course, roast chicken would also work well, though it might not feel as special.
Once you've solved the turkey issue, the rest of the meal shouldn't be too complicated. At most Thanksgiving dinners, there are so many side dishes that people take only a small amount of each. Make fewer sides, people will eat more of each dish, and you'll end up with a more appropriate amount of food. This easy winter squash soup would be a nice starter, and makes only four portions. Add your favorite mashed potato recipe, some cranberry sauce, and a green veggie, and you're all set. (If you're not making the turkey breast above, you might want to add stuffing as well.)
For dessert, you could make a pie, though four people will likely only eat half of it. If you don't want leftovers, go for individually portioned desserts such as these pumpkin crème brûlées cut the recipe in half to serve four). They're not complicated, and the flavor will be familiar to anyone who likes pumpkin pie.
If you have other Thanksgiving-related questions, feel free to post them in the comments section below. We'll do our best to answer as many of them as we can before the holiday. And for tons of Thanksgiving recipes, menus, and how-to videos, see our complete Thanksgiving package.
By Sarah Kagan
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