A Thanksgiving feast for two, featuring recipes for sheet pan half chicken with roasted Brussels sprouts and onions, and a simple gravy made with the pan drippings. Serve with mashed potatoes and mac and cheese, and you have the perfect Thanksgiving for two (with plenty of leftovers!). This post was created in partnership with Farmer Focus.
Last year’s unconventional (and decidedly smaller) Thanksgiving meal taught me that even our most precious traditions and menus don’t have to be unchanging. Our special holiday dishes come with years of nostalgia and familiarity – things I would never want to give up – but we can also reimagine old favorites to better suit our tastes and the scale of our celebration.
With that in mind, I’ve got recipes for a cozy Thanksgiving for two that’s nearly as decadent and carb-rich as a traditional feast, but with manageable portions and a few smart shortcuts that won’t have you spending the whole holiday in the kitchen.
Thanksgiving for Two
Cooking for two – even Thanksgiving dinner – doesn’t need to be complicated and this meal features a huge time-saver: pre-seasoned Toasted Lager Half Chicken from Farmer Focus. Turkeys are enormous, and seasoning and cooking one is a huge project, especially for just a couple people. A turkey breast is often presented as an alternative, but I’d suggest that this pre-seasoned half chicken is nearly effortless to cook and gives you and your guest a chance to each have light and dark meat. And you can make a lovely gravy with the pan drippings.
Cooking with Pre-Seasoned Chicken
Featuring smoky notes of hops, paprika, garlic, and lemon, Farmer Focus pre-seasoned Toasted Lager Half Chicken is richly flavored and roasts up beautifully. There’s no need to season or salt the chicken ahead of time – Farmer Focus’s balanced seasoning has already fully permeated the meat, meaning all you’ll need to do at cook time is set the chicken on a pan, roast, carve, and enjoy! The nutty, smoky notes of toasted lager go wonderfully with the flavors in this Thanksgiving menu. As they cook alongside the chicken, the Brussels sprouts and onions take on the flavor of the chicken. Later, some of the onion is minced and added to the pan gravy, along with all the pan drippings.
- 10 ounces Brussels sprouts, ends trimmed (and halved if sprouts are larger than 2-inches)
- 1 large yellow onion, trimmed with core in tact, and cut into quarters or eighths
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon chipotle chili powder
- 1 Farmer Focus Toast Lager Pre-Seasoned Half Chicken
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- Sea salt and pepper
- 4 cup chicken broth, homemade or store bought
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Toss the sprouts and onions with 1 tablespoon olive oil, sea salt, pepper, and chili powder, and spread out on a large rimmed baking sheet. Place the half chicken in the center. Drizzle just a bit of olive oil over the chicken and vegetables. Roast for 20 minutes, flip vegetables, and then roast until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F, about 15 - 20 minutes longer.
Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and let the mixture darken and thicken (add a splash of broth to loosen the butter as needed). Whisking frequently, slowly add the broth a little at a time; allow the mixture to thicken up again before adding more. Edge heat down if the gravy starts to pop and bubble. Once you’ve added all the broth, turn heat to the lowest setting and cook 20 minutes, stirring frequently. Gravy will continue to thicken as it warms. Add more broth, or white wine, to thin the gravy as needed.
When chicken is ready, remove chicken and vegetables to a cutting board. Mince one of the onion wedges and fold into the gravy. Scrape all the pan drippings into the gravy and stir.
Carve the chicken, and serve alongside the roasted vegetables, gravy, and other sides like mashed potatoes, mac and cheese, and salad.