Thanksgiving Aboard

Even a modest galley can produce a feast.

November 24, 2010

| |Associate editor Chris White celebrated Thanksgiving at sea last year in fine style.|

One of the finest Thanksgivings I remember I had aboard a boat. Specifically, I was dockside on a Grand Banks 36, which I was taking a five-day course aboard, before I bought my own trawler. The whole boating thing was new to me, but as I sat on the bridge with a stryofoam container of turkey with cranberry sauce and mashed potatoes on my lap, and an icy seabreeze in my hand, I felt anything but sorry for myself. I watched a sunset spread across the warm Florida evening and — family-gal and Yankee-to-the-bone — I still felt like I’d come home.

I have spent enough time aboard now to know that even a galley with two-burner stove can do better than my mediocre take-out, though most yachts have galleys with plenty of shoreside features.


The key is to simplify. Don’t roast a whole turkey; roast a turkey breast, and do the stuffing on the side. In fact, you can easily do a breast on the grill. Here’s a recipe for grilled chicken with cranberry glaze that I like:

Cranberry Glaze
1 16 oz. can whole-berry cranberry sauce
1/4 cup (packed) brown sugar
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon ground ginger

1 fresh or thawed 3-9 lb. turkey breast
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, mixed with kosher salt


Mix the glaze ingredients together in a bowl. Place the turkey breast in a ziplock bag full of glaze to marinade for a few hours before grilling.

Heat the grill to about 325 degrees Fahrenheit and put the turkey breast on, breast side up. Let the turkey start to brown, then baste with more glaze and turn; repeat the process periodically. A 3–9 pound whole turkey breast will take 1 1/2 to 3 hours to cook; the final temperature should be about 170 degrees in the thickest part.


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