Cooking a Thanksgiving feast for a big crowd can be hectic, and so the impulse to cut corners on side dishes—reaching for a box of stuffing or a can of cranberry sauce—can prove powerful. Take it from the cast of ATK TV, though: homemade is always better. Below, our cast members discuss their all-time favorite ATK Thanksgiving recipes, from turkey on the grill to simple roasted Brussels sprouts.
Erin McMurrer: Grill-Roasted Turkey
This recipe isn't very traditional, but my family loves it. The turkey is first brined overnight and then smoked on a charcoal grill and yields a dark mahogany-hued bird. The beauty of this recipe is that if your grill is large enough, you can cook 2 birds at one time—enough to serve a crowd—which frees up your oven for all of the other sides that you will be cooking. Because there are no drippings to make the gravy with, I always make a double batch of the All-Purpose Gravy. Before starting the recipe, though, I brown the neck and giblets and then simmer them in the gravy to infuse it with more turkey flavor.
Becky Hays: Bread Stuffing with Sausage, Dried Cherries, and Pecans
Everyone knows that stuffing is the best part of the Thanksgiving spread, and this is my go-to recipe every year. Even when we're not hosting Thanksgiving, my husband insists that we bring a double batch of this along with us. The sausage makes the bread taste meaty and rich, dried cherries provide fruity sweetness, and toasted pecans give it crunch. But the real key is browning a few turkey wings and arranging them on top of the stuffing before baking. The result is that every bite of stuffing tastes as if it had been cooked inside the bird. Trust me when I say it's worth the little bit of extra effort!
Adam Ried: Cranberry Chutney with Apples and Crystallized Ginger
A confession: I love the cranberry sauce that slithers out of the can with the ridges imprinted on it. But I have to eat that by myself, in a dark corner, far away from judging eyes. So when the grill-roasted turkey (also my favorite ATK turkey recipe) hits the table, alongside it I serve Cranberry Chutney with Apples and Crystallized Ginger. The chutney is livelier and more complex than garden variety cranberry sauce—its sweet, tart, tangy, fruity, spicy flavors are a terrific counterpoint to the lightly smoky bird.
Lisa McManus: Roasted Brussels Sprouts
These Brussels sprouts are super easy and really, really yummy. It’s also a great recipe for putting your rimmed baking sheet to good use.