In the kitchen with Sharon

Sharon Hughes Staff columnist

Sharon Hughes Staff columnist

This is a picture of Patricia Nichols’ turkey.

Courtesy photo

Hello! In the kitchen with Sharon this week is our favorite cook and baker.

It’s time to get ready for Thanksgiving, so I called on Patricia Nichols to tell all the new cooks how to prepare a turkey and not be intimidated by fixing a turkey for the first time or, like me, I just like a refresher course. Along with that I put in a few recipes of my own that always are favorites at my house.

Patricia Nichols, I love your recipes. And it is always a pleasure to have you in my kitchen anytime.

I hope you enjoy these four great recipes, and when you see Patricia thank her for sharing them.

From my house to yours, happy Thanksgiving. Please share your favorite recipes by sending them to [email protected] or calling me at 937-393-3456.

Turkey and oyster dressing

Hey, y’all. This is my turkey and oyster dressing recipes, which explain my version of how to cook a turkey and dressing. Try not to overthink it.

First, pick out a turkey. They recommend one pound per person, but there is usually extra. Decide which brand and whether you want a whole turkey or just turkey breast. The whole turkey has both white and dark meat, while the breast just has white meat.

If your turkey is frozen, figure out thawing time. I’ve always thawed my turkeys in a sink full of ice water, changing the water every hour. If you’re thawing your turkey in a fridge, allow at least five days.

Once thawed, clean giblets (neck, heart, liver, gizzard, etc.) and gravy packet out of the chest cavity.

Rinse well, and pat dry.

Next, season your turkey. I make it simply with salt, pepper and butter.

Run your fingers under the tip of the breast to loosen the skin, and then apply butter under the skin with your hands.

Add 1 stick of butter or margarine in the chest cavity.

Next, place your turkey in a roaster pan. I add a can of any broth and two cups of water. Cover with foil and place in the oven at 350 degrees for two hours.

Remove the turkey from the oven and poke the breast with a fork to release broth bubbles before placing back in the oven for another 90 minutes. If my turkey has a pop timer, I cook for 45 minutes after it pops. You can also use a thermometer.

If you do not have a timer, I usually judge doneness by the legs falling off. It never fails.

When done, pull the turkey from the oven, and let cool for a few minutes before transferring the turkey to a platter. Cover in foil.

Oyster dressing


One loaf of bread or more if needed, toasted

3 tablespoons of sage, or more if needed

3 eggs

1 stick of butter or margarine

3 cans of Select Oysters


Next is the part I anticipated as a kid: the oyster dressing. My dad loved it, and he always made it himself.

Before you begin, make sure there are no loose bones from your turkey in the roaster. Check that there are no shell pieces in your oysters.

Gently combine bread, onion, sage, eggs, butter, and oysters with broth left in the roaster from your turkey. Be careful not to mush the bread. The bread should only be slightly wet. Add more toasted bread if necessary.

Cover and place in the oven for 45 minutes.

Remove cover and gently stir before returning to the oven for an additional 45 minutes, or until a brown crust forms on the top.

It’s done when the oysters are slightly firm and easily cut with a fork.

Reheat turkey if necessary and enjoy.

Green bean casserole

Serves 3-6 people


3 cans French-style green beans

1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup

1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

3/4 cup fried onions


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Drain green beans, and place in a large bowl.

Add mushroom soup, cheese, and 1/2 cup of fried onions to bowl and mix well.

Transfer to a 9-by-9-inch baking dish.

Cook in the oven for 25 minutes.

Top with remaining fried onions, and cook for an additional five minutes.

Easy Jiffy corn casserole


Cooking spray or butter for the baking dish

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter

15 ounces canned corn kernels

8 ounces (1 cup) sour cream

2 large eggs

15 ounces can creamed corn

1 box (8.5 ounces) Jiffy corn muffin mix


Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven, and heat oven to 350 degrees.

Coat an 8-by-8-inch or other two-quart baking dish with cooking spray or butter.

Melt eight tablespoons unsalted butter on the stovetop or in the microwave in a large bowl. If melting on the stovetop, pour melted butter into a large bowl. Set aside until warm to the touch.

Drain the can of corn kernels.

Add sour cream and eggs to the butter and whisk to combine. Add corn kernels and creamed corn and stir to combine. Add Jiffy mix and stir until well-combined.

Pour into the baking dish, and smooth the top.

Bake until the casserole is puffed, slightly browned, and the center is firm, 45 to 50 minutes.

Cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Sharon Hughes is the advertising manager at The Times-Gazette. She is also a mother, grandmother and chef.

Sharon Hughes Staff columnist Hughes Staff columnist

This is a picture of Patricia Nichols’ turkey. is a picture of Patricia Nichols’ turkey. Courtesy photo