real life test kitchen: domino's one-hour thanksgiving

We published this post last year, but thought it was worth sharing — and cooking — again.


I was a little suspicious of Domino’s November feature Thanksgiving Dinner, From Scratch, In ONE HOUR but I had a good reason to test it out this weekend. Chad had gotten an out-of-town assignment (FAR out of town) and was scheduled to leave on Saturday night for three weeks. We decided to have an early Thanksgiving dinner so he wouldn’t feel like he was missing out too much. His flight was at 8 pm, the guests were arriving at 3pm and I didn’t start cooking till 2:30! Talk about putting a theory to the test!

Domino’s meal was pieced together by Jennifer Rubell, and it includes all the things I love most about Thanksgiving: turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce and sweet potatoes. The green was a side of lemony broccoli, and the recipes were pretty easy to follow. There’s a page in the magazine which actually walks you through the cooking minute by minute (1 minute, turn the oven on…. 13 minutes, slice onion, celery, dates….. 34 minutes, add 4 cups of water, etc), but trying to follow that was like competing in somekind of torturous reality show. In the end, it was easier to refer to the recipes themselves than the minutes. And, I must confess, I had help! Without my friend Lisa (who also hosted in her spacious pad) helping it would have been impossible to do alone so fast. But together we managed to pull it off — dinner for eight in just about an hour (one hour and fifteen minutes to be exact). Click through to the next page for some specifics and more pix! Click here for recipes at Domino’s site. — Angela M

Photos by Chad Hunt

the details

The Turkey — the key to being able to cook a full-Thanksgiving meal in one-hour is to buy turkey pieces. (Rachael Ray does the same thing for her 60-minute recipes. You can check them out here). This meal required two 2 1/2 pound boneless turkey breasts, with skins (along with a couple of drumsticks). The only place I could find this was at a fancy butcher shop, so keep that in mind if you go this route.

The Stuffing — This dish was amazingly yummy. Sausage & date stuffing. You combine sweet Italian sausage — removed from its casing — in a large pot with a sautéed onion and celery stalks. Add spices (1 tsp each of thyme, parsley, sage, rosemary), chopped dates, and cook till meat is no longer pink. Stir in 4 cups of water and add 1 and half toasted baguettes, chopped into one inch bites. Domino says to turn off the heat and serve, but we cooked a little longer, and added a splash or two more water to keep things from drying out.


The Cranberry Sauce — another amazingly simple recipe from Jennifer Rubell, the only ingredients here were cranberries, 2 cups sugar, and two sliced clementines. You cook that mixture in a pot ’til it’s well combined and very sauce-like. About fifteen minutes. Add a handful of chopped walnuts before serving.

Baked Sweet Potatoes — no magic here. Just toss ’em in the oven along with turkey for 50 minutes at 500. Serve with a butter that’s blended with pecans and maple syrup. Yum.

Thyme-Roasted Turkey — The only prep we on the turkey pieces was to rub a bit of olive oil on all sides, and cover generously with thyme, salt and pepper. That’s it!

Here’s the link to the recipes online, as well as a link to a page which gives some great suggestions on what to do with all those leftovers (though honestly, we didn’t have many!). Let me know if you have any other suggestions on how to do the holidays without a lot of fuss.

From our partners

Wow! I’m impressed! Domino is my new favorite magazine, and I was quite suspicious of this article as well.

I made the turkey from this article this past weekend. I bought boneless, skinless turkey breasts along with some drumsticks from Kroger, and it turned out really good. I think the recipe works just fine without using breasts with skin if people have trouble finding them.

Another interesting thing we tried from this issue was the Black Velvet cocktail – Guiness and champagne. They were a little odd at first, but good. Even avid non-beer drinkers liked them. I’d make them again.


Which reminds me of a fantastic dessert served here in Chicago at Handlebar ( Guinness floats! A scoop of vanilla in a pint of Guinness. They sound and are a little odd at first but are fantastic.


I love hearing from people who actually try out these recipes. You can bet that when they promise a whole meal in an hour, it’s based on THEIR level of expertise and familiarity with their kitchens. I always tack on more time to account for rummaging through my cabinets for tools or dishes, ingredients, etc.

I once made a whole meal straight from Rachael Ray’s 30 minute meals show, and I can tell you it took more like an hour and that was me working flat-out, non-stop. But the results were great!

I was also cooking at my mom’s house instead of my own kitchen, so that accounted for most of the time.


Actually the recipes are now posted on Domino’s website…here’s the link.

Angela M.

thanks Chris. I’ll add link now to first page!

That’s so funny. I tore the article out of Domino to bring home with me to try and make the broccoli and cranberry sauce for this year’s Thanksgiving. But like you, I was a little dubious about the actual time it would take to make the items. It always seems that when something is only supposed to take just a few minutes, it ends up taking way longer. It’s nice to know that it wasn’t so hard (or long). :-)

By the way…I like your blog. I’ll have to check back in.


I prepared all of Domino’s Thanksgiving recipes last year for my husband and myself. Everthing turned out great. I prepared the cranberry sauce the night before. To save a little time, I also used store bought stufrfing instead of the baguette in the sausage and date stuffing. I am not a huge fan of baked sweet potatoes. So, this year, I will be substituting Bourbon-walnut sweet potato mash. (recipe in this year’s Bon Appettit)

Ami the Great

Oh! This is one of my favorite articles in Domino. When their first issue came in the mail, it was like love at first sight [until the February 2006 issue when I realized Domino is starting to become more like Architectural Digest (a magazine to hang your decorating dreams) and less like Blueprint (you’re young, broke, but empowered!)]. Anyway, I tried all of those dishes when I was invited to an un-Godly number of holiday potlucks, out of money from buying presents, and out of time from shopping. And the only downside, was that I’ve been the first invite for potlucks for all of 2007! Thanks Domino!

shelterrific » Blog Archive » post off: do you brine your bird?

[…] for more Thanksgiving dinner ideas? Check out our Real Life Test Kitchen on Domino’s one-hour feast. […]

This year my wife decided to have a dry run thanksgiving day to test out her recipes. We soaked the bird in a brine solution she got at William Sonoma, it really kept it moist. OMG, the turkey was so good and I get to do it again in a few days!

Thanksgiving Rescue « Aggregating the fascinating

[…] A Complete Thanksgiving Dinner From Scratch In About An Hour from Domino Magazine via Shelterrific. (A good starting point even if, like us, you have a dozen+ relatives contributing food). […]

Time will Tell « Innside Montana-Your Home at the Range

[…] often seem too short on time – not enough time to cook everything fast enough! Shelterrific tested Domino’s one-hour Thanksgiving meal again already and it worked just as well. Dinner for eight in 1 hour 15 minutes!  But I […]

Sara Bee!

I would recommend looking into trying Rachael Ray’s one hour Thanksgiving as well. I cooked one the year before last for my parents & everything was wonderful.

Time will Tell « Manely Montana

[…] often seem too short on time – not enough time to cook everything fast enough! Shelterrific tested Domino’s one-hour Thanksgiving meal again already and it worked just as well. Dinner for eight in 1 hour 15 minutes! But I […]

shelterrific » Blog Archive » post off: will you be a guest or a host on thanksgiving?

[…] Brendon’s pecan pie. Don’t have three-and-half hours to cook? I gave Domino’s one-hour Thanksgiving a try and it was […]


the links don’t work. help! i remember reading that article, tearing it out of the magazine and now i can’t find it!


Agreeing with Michelle! I have spent the last half hour scouring Architectural Digest and Bon Appetit …please help!


Anybody have this any more? So sad that domino went under, and all of it’s great resources were lost! I loved that mag…