The cold, crisp air can only mean that Thanksgiving is around the corner and with it comes all the fixings–a Thanksgiving feast for the masses. If you’re lucky enough to be invited as a guest for a delicious meal with your nearest and dearest then all you have to do is show up with a host gift and eat. If not there is still time to have a delicious meal come out of your own kitchen and have it be easy as pie–hopefully pumpkin
Stop Doing the Turkey Wrong
A turkey is only as good as the person making it. Some people got it and some don’t, although it doesn’t have to be that way. Turkey is something that takes a lot of thought before-hand and a lot less cooking time than most people think.
I always believed that a good bird required lots of basting and was stuffed full of delicious stuffing. It was the main attraction at any Thanksgiving table and although I would never turn down a turkey dinner I know there was better, juicier bird out there.
And then I was introduce to Alton Brown’s method of turkey that tells you there is absolutely no need to baste your turkey. You heard me–stop opening the oven door and for the love off all things gobble-gobble stop putting the stuffing in the bird. It increases the risks of salmonella and leaves your wonderful bird super dry. Plus the constant opening of the oven door decreases the heat inside bringing up the cooking time and making dinner time further and further away.
The Amazing Alton Brown Method
Alton believes that a turkey need to be brined and after doing it myself I am a firm believer of the method. Brining is soaking the bird in a salt solution with aromatics for about 24 hours prior to cooking the bird. It infuses the bird with flavour and makes basting no longer needed. You can get a lot of recipes online by searching ‘turkey brine recipe’. I find the easiest way to brine a turkey is by using special turkey brining bags you can buy right on Amazon or your local grocers.
Once you have brined, rinsed and are ready to roast yo’ bird you gotta do it a solid and prep it for the hot, hot, HOT oven. We’re talking 500 degrees for 30 minutes and than 2-2.5 hours at 350 without opening up the oven door at all. The secret is getting a great roasting pan like this CUISINART Non-Stick Roasting Pan with V-Rack to ensure that your bird cooks all around and doesn’t sit in a puddle of juices getting a wet and mushy bottom. My house can’t be the only one that fights over crispy skin.
Your also going to want to grab a meat thermometer that you can leave on the bird while it cooks to 161 degrees at which time you will promptly remove from the oven and cover with some aluminum foil to let it rest. This MeasuPro Instant Read Internal Meat Thermometer has a large LCD display and beeps to let you know when dinner is almost ready, so you can focus on making sure the guests are happy and the wine is pouring freely.
I am blessed with family that always helps out by bringing sides. If you can delegate side dishes to your guest, do it. If your Aunt Fran makes the best mashed potatoes on this side of the continent you let her know you’re expecting her to bring them to dinner.
Now it’s time to get back to the party while the turkey rests and gets its juices back in the right places. Why don’t you pick up a set of Thanksgiving photo props like these and set up a designated hashtag so your guests can share all of the fun times they’re having on social. #blessed
If you have an older crowd make sure you get yourself a fun game to play like What Do You Meme? It is a best seller on Amazon for a reason and the laughs are well worth the price tag!
Now when you all gather round the table to give thanks to all you have do yourself a favour and get yourself some fancy plastic plates. These Party Essentials Hard Plastic Disposable China Salad/Dessert Plates with Lace Rim not only looks fancy but will make dinner clean-up a breeze. You’ll thank me when you’re full to the brim with turkey and Aunt Fran’s famous mash potatoes.
Now tell me your best tips and tricks to make a Thanksgiving get-together go off without a hitch