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Nov 24, 2013 03:50 PM

What do you think is the easiest Thanksgiving to make for two?

Store-bought items are okay... just not Trader Joes (they only just opened the first one in Florida and it's an hour's drive from here!) I was enthusiastic about Turkey Day but now I'm just feeling tired and washed out and unwell and highly unimaginative and I want to make the minimum possible amount of fuss for something that tastes delicious without costing a fortune. (money is tight) No seafood (allergies) and no MSG or overly much salt (blood pressure issues), but anything else is okay... and NO CHICKEN - we've been living on the stuff for the last two weeks and I think I'm about to grow feathers!

I'm thinking Bob Evans fresh hash brown casserole (tastes great and only needs microwaving) and a Marie Callenders coconut cream pie (delicious if you thaw it in the fridge overnight). Does anyone make a dressing that doesn't have MSG in it? Unfortunately at the moment I can only stand for ten minutes at a time before the sciatica kicks into my leg, so my options are limited...

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  1. Would cornish hens work? That's what I made last time I did Thanksgiving for two. Very little effort involved too.

    1. Some supermarkets which have roasted chickens also roast turkey breasts.

        1. re: Veggo

          Exactly what I was thinking. So very different than chicken!

          1. re: chefathome

            Everything tastes like chicken -- ducks included.

            1. re: Chemicalkinetics

              That's what the duck lobbyist would have you think. The truth is they are much tastier.

              1. re: Veggo

                <That's what the duck lobbyist would have you think. >

                Why would duck lobbyists do that? Do you mean chicken lobbyists?

                1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                  A duck lobbyist's job is to keep ducks alive at the expense of other critters.

                  1. re: Veggo

                    Oh, that kind of duck lobbyists. Got it. Kind of like cows are the spokemen for Chic-Fil-A:


                      1. re: Veggo

                        Has it occurred to you that I am A duck lobbyist?

                        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                          I wish you could persuade the 16 muscovys to stay in my lake and stop shitting in my driveway. They were fun when they were young, but it's time to move on.....
                          Oh, and one of them just had 11 chicks, so it's like groundhog day with ducks here.

                          1. re: Veggo

                            In all seriousness, have you considered having certain animals to drive them off? Like a dog or a swane?

                            1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                              I'm a cat person, no dogs for me. I'll see how the winter goes. I thought the early hatch of 16 would have fanned out to get a life by now, which they didn't, and now there's more. If things don't change by spring, I'll be posting more duck recipes. And pate. And duck fat uses. I don't feed them or encourage them, but they eat well and have no predators on my property. Their mama didn't raise no stupid ducks.

                              1. re: Veggo

                                You have my sympathies... sweet little ducklings are VERY sweet - but they grow up fast and those muscovys are the biggest, ugliest, STUPIDEST pooping machines on the planet! They have to forcibly relocate them from our lake every few years because the neighbourhood gets overrrun and you can't move for stepping on a pile of duck poop. Even all the car-fatalities don't keep them under control (I cried my eyes out when I saw one of our neighbours hit three adults at once with his SUV...) But to keep this more on-topic, I don't think you'd want to eat a muscovy duck - anything that looks that ugly and smells that bad can't possibly taste good!

                                1. re: Kajikit

                                  Yeah they're ugly and stinky, but males produce huge and delicious breasts. Females do too, just smaller.

                            2. re: Veggo

                              Muscovys make a great 'coq au vin'. All dark meat and tough as hell cooked any way but low and slow braised.
                              They are always in a perpetual 'bad mood' in my experience having raised some (never ever again!).

                              1. re: Puffin3

                                I enjoy a local flock of 34 Amazon parrots also, and although they can be noisy, I enjoy everything about them. They remind me of my Yucatan days with countless parrots, such pretty birds. As Kajikit pointed out, Muscovy's are truly ugly.

                  2. re: Veggo

                    For me, duck eats like beef. Most chicken today is flavorless.

                    1. re: treb

                      Nah, I think it tastes more like buffaloes.

                2. re: Veggo

                  I'm going to third this. Growing up, we were a long day's drive from extended family, and a duck was just right for Thanksgiving for 4, but I've made it for two with just enough leftovers to make cassoulet or something a few days later. When it was just me, I'd roast a couple of duck legs - one to eat for dinner, one for soup later, and a bit of leftover duckfat to keep me warm and fuzzy for a couple of months later.

                3. Since you said no chicken, how about ham? Or is it too salty? Duck is definitely an option as Veggo has pointed out.

                  If you don't like ham, you can roast your own pork...

                  1. Duck is a great ida, but could be a little pricy....

                    Have you considered sticking to traditional Thanksgiving fare and just scaling back to something manageable? It shouldn't take more than an hour to cook, and just a little bit longer to prep. A modest observation, with costs and salt in consideration, a home cooked meal would be a far better option than a store bought casserole...

                    I once had to spend Thanksgiving alone and really enjoyed cooking for one! (Actually, it took my mind away from being so far away...) The quality of the food ended up better!

                    I dry brined and roasted a small turkey breast (best leftovers ever). Mashed two potatoes with some roasted garlic. Canned Cranberry Sauce, Stove Top, and a simple gravy done with a simple Roux + Chickenstock (which is still a staple). I did a few other things too, but this was the simplest part that I think would be a great option for someone looking for simplicity.

                    Happy Thanksgiving!

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: redips

                      I agree with this, I've been alone before and this year it's only 2 but somehow it's still fun to cook for a few. No pressure.