This year, the family is finally coming to your house for Thanksgiving, which means you’ve got to put together the perfect feast. In your ambition, you’ve invited your neighbors and colleagues from work. The time has now come to prepare your menu and get everything ready for a streamlined, fantastically flavored Thanksgiving feast. Here are our gourmet tips for spicing up your turkey, gravy, and desserts.
How to Roast the Perfect Turkey
The turkey is the star of your feast, so you want to make sure it’s perfectly moist, browned, and flavored. Before you even think about cooking the turkey, pull it out of the deep freeze and let it defrost for at least three days. If you bought your big bird fresh, then you don’t have to worry about defrosting. The turkey will roast more evenly if you keep stuffing to a minimum. Add a handful of onions, garlic, and carrots or a few sprigs of fresh herbs to enhance the aroma. In terms of seasoning, less is more. Brush the surface of the turkey with olive oil and sprinkle salt and pepper. Then tightly cover the turkey in aluminum foil to prevent the over-browning. For a more exotic flavor for your turkey, try this recipe for Maple Roasted Turkey with Sage Smoked Bacon.
Schedule Your Cooking
If you’re creating a feast worth boasting about, then you’re sure to have multiple side dishes, casseroles, breads, desserts, and appetizers, not to mention the turkey itself. Consider how much time and space is required for each recipe; you have to buy, prep, and cook ingredients for each recipe. You only have a finite amount of oven, stove top, and counter space, so creating a cooking schedule is essential. Start with what you can make in the days before the big day. Prepare ingredients and cook as much as you can so that you don’t have to do anything but reheating or light mixing and baking on the day of the event.
On the day of the big feast, ask your children, nieces, and nephews to help set the table, locating extra tables and chairs if need be. You can also ask each person you invited to bring one or two small side dishes. Guests are often delighted to share favorite family recipes or Thanksgiving traditions, so let them! A dish brought by a guest means less work for you.
Appetizers to the Rescue
Turkey roasting running a little late? Have appetizers ready to go when your guests start arriving. If the turkey is taking longer than expected, your guests will wait much more patiently if they’ve got some munchies to tide them over until it’s ready. Here are a few suggestions for gourmet appetizers: cheese board, assorted olive and pickle tray, spiced nuts, deviled eggs or chips with spinach dip.
Gourmet Tips for Your Thanksgiving Feast.