When asked by my editor if I could whip up an entire Thanksgiving dinner in 30 minutes, I shuddered, visions of Sandra Lee sugar plum pops dancing in my head. Could I bring myself to make a boxed dinner for my favorite holiday, even if it was for my job?
But then I started to get excited. It didn't have to be boxed, artificial, uninspired. There had to be a way to make a worthy, delicious Thanksgiving dinner in just 30 minutes. What about the crisp deliciousness that is turkey skin, the succulent oozing of brined bird, and the perfection of slow-roasted stuffing, you ask? I'd have to improvise. But if you're wondering if I could actually make it good, the answer is yes -- and my guests were going to love it.
Keep in mind that this is no Rachael Ray affair -- you can't stroll around the kitchen, casually chopping ingredients, checking the weather and chatting with guests while preparing this dinner. But you may actually have time to catch up with your friends and family without a gizzard in your hand -- it just takes a little scheduling and an extra set of hands. Here's how I did it, dish by dish, followed by a step-by-step guide to getting them all cooked in half an hour.
Check out the slideshow above for some recipes and tips on how to whip up a Thanksgiving dinner from scratch!