In the quest to make the perfect Thanksgiving dinner there always seems to be some panic when it comes down to crunch time: Will the side dishes be ready at the same time as the turkey? Did I make enough stuffing? Do I have the right serving bowls and platters for each food? In an attempt to cut back on the stress on the day of Thanksgiving, make a few items ahead of time and feel good that you’ve checked something off your endless to-do list. Start with this cranberry sauce. Make it a few days (or a week) ahead of time and this Thanksgiving staple will be ready, delicious, and waiting for you and your guests.
This recipe doesn’t differ much from the standard cranberry sauce recipe listed on the back of the OceanSpray bag of fresh cranberries but the addition of orange zest and juice makes this a sauce for a special occasion. Double the recipe if you have a crowd and hope that you have some sauce leftover because this cranberry sauce is fantastic on a turkey sandwich!
3/4 cup water
1 cup sugar
The Juice and Zest from 2 oranges (approx 1/4 cup fresh orange juice)
1 12 ounce package of fresh cranberries
1. Zest the oranges and set aside the zest.
2. Juice the oranges and add the orange juice, water and sugar to a saucepan. Use a medium to large saucepan. The sauce will bubble up as it boil and could easily overflow if you use a small pot.
3. Cook the mixture for 5 minutes. It will come to a boil then reduce it to a simmer as you stir, making sure the sugar dissolves.
4. Add the cranberries and bring to a boil again. Reduce the heat and cook for another 5 minutes. You can leave the berries whole but I prefer to use a potato masher to break down most of the cranberries. Add the zest in the last minute of cooking.
5. Let the cranberry sauce cool to room temperature before you refrigerate it. Refrigerate until ready to serve.