How to cook a thanksgiving dinner on the stovetop.
This year I celebrated the American thanksgiving with the Extreme family. Maya, our architect and Zach, our trainer are both from the states. Since Monica and I didn’t get around to baking a feast of our own this October, we decided it was only appropriate to bake a feast for all of us.
For a number of reasons, this Thanksgiving feast was going to be a unique challenge. Other than the fact that our ingredients were going to be slightly different due to the fact that we’re in the Dominican, Monica is doing the Wild Rose cleanse which prohibited her from eating certain foods and I am going through my own allergy discoveries that has forced me to cut out some basic food groups.
So between the two of us, we had to cut out:
- Added sugar
- Fermented products
As you can imagine, this makes cooking a thanksgiving meal slightly more difficult. Oh, and did I mention that our oven didn’t work so that we had to make everything on the stovetop? Yah, that’s right. But in true Amazon fashion (Monica and I are known as Amazons) we saw these restrictions purely as fun challenges. Maya on the other hand, could eat anything and was surely not letting our food limitations stop her from having the true American Thanksgiving she’s grown to love and cherish. She still made a point to buy stuffing, cranberry sauce, and gravy.
Because the oven didn’t work, I made a roast chicken and veggies in a soup pot, and pumpkin pie in a pan. I have to admit that I was little worried about how everything was going to turn out. Cooking a pumpkin pie without sugar, eggs or an oven sounded like a waste of ingredients. It was going to taste like poop. But I figured if Martha Stewart can make apple crumple in microwave while locked up in the slammer, I can make this pie turn out half decent. I started by searing the chicken before filling the pot with big chunks of veggies and chicken broth. I let it sit on the stove at a low temperature for at least two and half hours. When it was almost don’t, I started on the pie.
The first step for the pie was pressing and cooking the pie crust mixture in a pan on the stove. Then I added the pumpkin pie mixture, put a pot lid on it and let it warm up for as long as I could without burning the bottom.
When the chicken was finally ready, it was fall-off-the-bone-perfect! Because it was cooked in a broth, it was incredibly succulent and delicious. The vegetables were soft and flavourful, and after we finished eating the food on our plates, we all started eating out of the pot like a group of domesticated (starved) cats.
When it came to dessert I cheated a little. I knew for fact that this pie was going to taste like a science experiment gone wrong, so I decided to flambé some apples in some Brugal rum to throw on top. I was amazed to see that the crust was crispy! The pumpkin part wasn’t quite as solid as if it had been whisked with eggs and baked… but it was warm. Success? I was quite surprised when it didn’t taste like pumpkin ass, but simply a diabetic version of pumpkin puree with a nice toasty crust. Since only Monica wasn’t allowed to have any added sugar, we all added some maple syrup to our pie… or liquid gold as I like to call it.
All in all, I think it was a total success. So much so that I’ve made three more chicken this way since Thanksgiving!
Here are my recipes, enjoy:
- 2pd whole chicken with skin
- Handful or garlic
- 500ml to a liter of chicken stock
- 3 Tblp of coconut or olive oil to sear chicken
- Roughly cut up all veggies.
- Turn on stove to medium-high. In a large soup pot, put in oil and half the onions and garlic.
- Put in chicken and sear on all side: this means allow the chicken to get crispy on all sides.
- Add veggies and broth. Put a lid on top, turn to low and let sit for at least 2 hours. Periodically base the chicken with the broth.
- When chicken is nearly done, take off the lid and let the broth evaporate a little.
- Test chicken by seeing if the drumstick bone pulls off the chicken easily.
- 1 ½ cup of coconut flour
- 1 ½ cup of sunflower flour
- 1 Tblsp of vanilla
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 2 Tblsp coconut oil
- ¼ cup of warm water
- Mix all ingredients together and firmly push into pan.
- On low-medium heat cook pie crust. Move pan around to make sure all sides are evenly cooked.
- One large can of sugar-less pumpkin puree
- 1 ½ tsp of cinnamon
- 1-2 tsp vanilla
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1. Whisk all ingredients together and place in pie. Smooth out top and sprinkle raisins or nuts if you’d like.
- 2. Turn to low, place lid on top and leave until pumpkin filling is hot..warm..decent.
- 1-2 apples
- 1/3 cup of rum
- Place apples with a bit of water in small pot on the stove and turn to medium. Let them boil a little bit.
- Add rum, then slightly tilt pot to the side and light with a lighter. Be careful not to put too much rum and burn your eyebrows.
Serve pie while hot and add drunken apples on top, add maple syrup of honey as you wish.
A reminder: Cooking is very different than baking. Baking involves chemistry, while I follow my taste buds when I’m cooking. The measurements I use are estimates. Taste as you go along, and if you want more spice, salt or oregano, just do it! As long as nothing is burnt or undercooked, everything will be just fine.