Thanksgiving Day Tips

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Jacob Burton
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Thanksgiving Day Tips
Thought I'd start a thread so people can chime in with their Thanksgiving day cooking tips. Here are a few of mine:
  1. If you're unfamiliar with how to make great mashed potatoes, listen to SCS 5| Basic Starches. We go over mashed potatoes extensively.
  2. I recommend breaking down your turkey into separate pieces, using the same method demonstrated in this video on how to butcher a chicken. You can then make a roasted turkey stock that can be used for your gravy, that is of course thickened with a nice brown roux. I then prefer to brine the turkey breasts and confit the legs and thighs.
  3. Also, if you plan on serving any type of green vegetable, you may find it helpful to review this video on blanching or listen to our blanching audio lecture.
So what are your Thanksgiving day cooking tips?
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messychef24
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Biggest one for me: Hold the party in the kitchen. 
I find most magazine articles about thanksgiving reflect on spending as little time in the kitchen as possible, and more time out in your dolled up living room with your guests.
But for me, and I'd guess for many of the other stella stars, my friends and family expect to find me in the kitchen anyways, and it's big enough and cozy enough for them to chill comfortably in there without getting in the way.
This way I don't feel obligated to brew a steady conversation with people, while also cooking in the kitchen. 
Smooth Sailing....then again, my thanksgivings past, being in Canada and all

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Koopdaddy
1. Brine that turkey 2. There are much better options than marshmallows with sweet potatoes 3. Don't be afraid to try new recipes Just a few words of advice I have.
BrianShaw
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My tip is to cook with a glass of decent wine in one hand, but not drink too much of it.  Being relaxed and enjoying the experience of making friends and family happy are important.

Second tip is to balance the "traditional" with the more tasty and/or more creative options.  For example, my family has requested mashed sweet potato with marshmallow topping.  There will be two sweet potato offerings: one per their request and another that I'm willing to eat.  They also requested green bean casserole.  (Y'all know what I'm talking about, don't you?)  I'm putting my foot down on that request and they will be eating green beans with butter and shallots. After they get over their disappointment I'm sure they will thank me.  :)
Wisconsin Limey
Here we are, the evening before T day and all is well.  My tip for you all...I'm done!  I did all my prep today, tomorrow I saute and roast, nothing more.  Oops, I guess it's a bit late for this tip, but, I've been busy.

My menu:

Thanksgiving Menu

November 24th 2011

 

 

Appetizer

 

Deviled Eggs – curried egg yolk mayonaisse

Angel-ed Eggs – roasted red pepper hummus

Terrine de Foies de Volaille – chicken liver pate
toast points

 

Entre

 

Slow Roasted Turkey

Mashed Potatoes

Sage & Onion Dressing

Sweet Potato Casserole

Brussel Sprouts w/bacon & onion

Roasted Carrots

Steamed Green Beans

Steamed Corn

Yorkshire Puddings

Cranberry Sauce

Turkey Gravy

 

Dessert

 

Pumpkin Pie - whipped cream or coolwhip®

Yorkshire Pudding w/lemon & sugar

Old Fashioned Vanilla Ice Cream


Melampus
I'd say the best tip is exemplified by Limey's current position... that is "chilled out" due to proper preparation. The 5 P's are Proper Preparation Prevents Piss-Poor Performance. Write lists ahead, plan ahead, shop ahead, be ready ahead...
Koopdaddy
Here is how my turkey turned out...very moist and tasty!






Stuffing



Scalloped Corn



Sweet Potato



My mother made the last 3 items, I did the turkey.
Wisconsin Limey
That bird looks delicious!
Jacob Burton
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Stella Stars: 17890
Yum!
Koopdaddy
Thanks!
Zalbar
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That corn dish is making my mouth water. What's in it?
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