I know this week’s post is a little late. You can blame our wonderfully generous and thoughtful Thanksgiving hosts for that. TD and I had planned to spend Thanksgiving hiding out and attempting the invention of what is sure to be a holiday classic (bah!). But, we got invited someplace better (much, much better), and so, our Thanksgiving cooking plans had to wait a day.
Here is how this all started. We were hanging around one afternoon (probably watching college football) when the idea of putting an entire Thanksgiving dinner into a single vessel arose. Could it be done? How would it work? What about layering strategies? Of course, once we’d thrown down the guantlet, we had no choice but to respond.
Now, before we go any further, you all know I’m solid on the Thanksgiving meal front right? You know 99% of the time everything is made not only from scratch, but with the best ingredients. Right? Right? So, you’ll forgive me for what you are about to witness (and maybe, just maybe, you’ll try it with your leftovers).
Since we weren’t doing an entire turkey this year, we began with a slow-cooked turkey breast half. I just added 12 ounces of chicken stock, a split head of garlic and some aromatics. When all was said and done, this half produced about a pound of shredded breast meat.
While the breast was cooking, we also mashed a couple of potatoes and made a package of stove-top stuffing (per TD’s request). To add some flavor to the chicken breast, I sauteed some onion, carrot, mushrooms and a little celery. Do this part or skip it, your choice. To top it off, we added about 2 cups of prepared turkey gravy.
We knew that the only way a one-dish Thanksgiving would work was if it could be removed from the pan in a relatively neat manner. Insert a crescent-roll dish liner here.
Two-and-a-half packages of rolls provided casserole-dish coverage, Frankenstein style. Of course, the reason we all love crescent rolls is their light and flaky texture. This wouldn’t have worked here, so I blind-baked the whole thing for about 15 minutes.
The rest is about assemblage. First layer: turkey and gravy.
Second layer: mashed potatoes.
Finally, we topped it all off with stuffing.
Because everything was pre-cooked, the entire dish needed only about 30 minutes in the oven. During this time we assembled our minimal sides. Some charred brussels sprouts for green. And of course, the cranberry sauce. We’re purists like that.
At this point, we had no idea if this was going to work. So, we started drinking.
The drinking helped, but you know what? I think we pulled it off!
The crescent roll crust kept everything orderly and while this wouldn’t work for people who need their food options separated, TD declared it Methodist-lady hot-dish appropriate. And, our third dinner guest, sitting just off camera to my right, seemed very interested.
In all seriousness though, this is a pretty handy way of using up holiday leftovers. If you assemble everything in a freezer-safe dish, wrapped it up tightly and froze it, I bet you could just defrost and reheat say, about February. Just a thought…
We called it the Gobbla’ Cobbla’ (because suddenly we’re from Boston). And really, there is no recipe. If using leftover, just use what you have. If assembling from scratch, here is what we used to fill a 9X13ish casserole dish.
- 1 lb cooked turkey (light meat, dark meat shredded or cubed, whatever your fancy)
- Mashed potatoes from 2 large potatoes (I’d say about 3 cups)
- 1 package Stove-Top stuffing (you know, I’d never had the stuff until now)
- 2 C turkey gravy
- 2-3 packages crescent rolls
- Whatever else you think would go well with this hot mess of ingredients (sweet potatoes, rice, green breans).
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Oil the casserole dish and line with crescent roll pieces. Be sure to fuse any weak seams. Line un-cooked crust with parchment and fill with either pie weights or beans. Bake for about 15 minutes. Remove beans and parchment, bake for another 5-7 minutes, until the bottom is just baked.
- In a large pan, combine turkey and gravy. Gently heat to combine (add in desired veg).
- Once the crust is out of the oven, eyeball the volume of the dish you have to work with. Then, add each of the three filling ingredients accordingly. We distributed the ingredients equally. You may decide to alter the ratios depending on preference for certain Thanksgiving side dishes.
- Once assembled, bake in the over for 20-30 minutes.