It’s the day after Thanksgiving and the sun is shining in Pasadena, California. I hope that you had a wonderful night with your family and friends and that the evening was everything that you have hoped for.
Since last night was the first time we ordered a turkey, I promised to report back to let you know how it went. I have to say that I was very, very skeptical when my family insisted on ordering the bird from Gus’s Barbecue in South Pasadena. Not because I didn’t like Gus’s. I love pretty much everything they serve. But, somehow the thought of getting the turkey, already cooked, the day before Thanksgiving and trying to warm it up, didn’t warm my heart. I truly didn’t think that we would have a juicy turkey.
So, Wednesday, around noon, my husband picked up the turkey and the sides. Off to the refrigerator everything went and I tried not to think about it. Thursday was a bit strange. For the first time, I really didn’t have much of anything to prepare. So… we decided to take the day and do a photo-shoot for our holiday cards. All had a great time and came home with plenty of time to read the instructions and begin preparing for our feast.
The pecan smoked turkey came with cornbread stuffing, gravy and cranberry sauce. We added creamed corn and southern greens to our order.
The instructions from Gus’s were to have the turkey out for an hour at room temperature and to add 1/2 a cup of luke-warm water to the roasting bag. Preheat over to 375, place the turkey in and lower to 325. For crispy skin, the instructions said to cut open the bag and pour 2 tablespoons of melted butter over the breast of the turkey for another 15 minutes or so. Cornbread stuffing needed to be warmed for a half an hour as well.
Because of lack of space in the oven (note to self – next home I buy has to have a double oven!), I decided to put the cornbread in first for about 20 minutes and then add it back to the oven after the turkey was done.
I took the cranberry sauce out of the refrigerator and let it rest so that it would be served at room temperature. I couldn’t resist a taste. Unbelievably delicious. It had a nice orange cranberry flavor that just screamed fresh!
I placed creamed corn and gravy into sauce pans and let them simmer on the stove top. The greens went into a large skillet and just simmered as well. It took about 45 minutes to fully heat them up.
I have to say that I was still quite worried about the turkey when I removed it from the oven. It looked a bit dry and I was not able to achieve the crispy skin. However, it was the juiciest, most delicious bird we have ever had. Everyone at the table couldn’t stop talking about how good it was. Not only was the dark meat delicious, the breast just melted in your mouth. The sides were all fantastic. The gravy was smooth with the hint of mushroom and maybe plums? Creamed corn disappeared almost immediately. I am not a huge fan of stuffing generally, so can’t really tell you whether or not it was better than average. My guests seemed to like it. The only thing that I would not order again would be the greens. They were good, but overkill.
We added mashed potatoes and dessert and voila, perfect Thanksgiving Dinner, with absolutely no hassle!
Next year, I’m off to Gus’s again to order my turkey. How was your turkey dinner? Did you cook or order in?
READ MORE: Gus’s BBQ as featured on 365 Things To Do In Pasadena®
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