Some people insist they prefer the jiggly jellied cranberry sauce that comes out of the can in one piece and is then sliced (traditionally, with the can lid). I don't think anyone really does think it's better, though. I think it's just one of those nostalgia things, and I of all people understand that. If that's what you grew up with, then that's what you want. So I like to serve both.
Cranberry sauce goes with any meat or poultry, especially rich ones like goose and duck. And, of course, it's classic with turkey. I love it on a turkey and dressing sandwich. (And, yes, I say "dressing" rather than "stuffing" for two reasons: 1. that nostalgia thing, and 2. I always bake it in a dish rather than inside the bird.)
Another cool thing about homemade cranberry sauce: People who don't make it have this crazy idea that it's a big deal. So you take 15 minutes to make this simple dish with half a dozen ingredients, and people think you're some kind of culinary genius. Gotta love that! Make it really easy on yourself and cook it a day or two ahead. It thickens as it cools. The sauce below was room temperature, and the firmer sauce above was slightly chilled.
(And make your turkey gravy ahead -- a month ahead, if you like -- with my Make-Ahead Turkey Gravy and Turkey Broth recipe.)
Where do you stand on the great cranberry sauce debate? (PS Be sure to come back next week to enter the giveaway of an essential kitchen tool.)
(Makes about 3 cups)
3/4 cup water
1 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon mace, optional
1 12-ounce bag (3 cups) cranberries
1 medium orange, chopped
In 2-quart saucepan, dissolve sugar, salt and mace in water. Bring to boil; add cranberries (I used organic). Return to boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and stir in chopped orange and the juice that came out while you were chopping. Cool completely at room temperature. Chill. Serve in a pretty clear glass bowl.