When it comes to Thanksgiving, some people live for stuffing (or dressing, if that's what you call it). Personally, I love all stuffing, even the boxed kind. However, even the classics can start to feel a little staid and dull after a while.
When I was 12, for some mysterious reason, my dad put me and my little brothers in charge of cooking the Thanksgiving turkey. Naturally, my brothers and I spent the rest of the day playing hide-in-seek in the backyard and forgot all about the humble bird defrosting in the sink. When we realized our dad would be back soon, we ran into the kitchen, shoved the turkey into the oven and—reasoning that time was short—set the temperature to 500°F.
Roasting turkey is a topic that inspires endless debate among cooks. How do you get the perfect mixture of juicy meat, crispy skin, and flavor? Everyone has a favorite technique, whether it's brining the bird or spatchcocking it (removing its backbone so it cooks almost flat).
It's bad enough messing up in the kitchen when it's just for you or your family, but when you're cooking for a big event with a lot of guests, it can be mortifying. And on a holiday like Thanksgiving that's all about the food, the last thing you want is to botch a key component of the meal.
Gravy is a relatively simple dish, yet it's remarkably easy to mess up. We've all experienced the disappointment of excitedly pouring gravy onto our mashed potatoes, only to realize the gravy is too runny, too lumpy, or too bland. And because gravy is so simple, even if you don't mess it up, it's still difficult to make it memorable and delicious.
What's better than stuffing yourself during Thanksgiving dinner? Gorging on leftovers the next day, of course. Everybody loves a good turkey and cranberry sauce sandwich, but what are some other creative ways to re-purpose all the leftover turkey meat, mashed potatoes, stuffing, and everything else sitting in your refrigerator?
Autumn is a time of year when everything looks, smells, and tastes good. The scents of cinnamon and spices are everywhere you go, and even the dead leaves that fall off the trees are pretty. In particular, the fruits and vegetables of the season are gorgeous.
I've never been a huge fan of the traditional roasted turkey at Thanksgiving. Different parts of the bird finish cooking at different times, so by the time the legs are cooked through, the breast meat is totally dry. If you don't want to go the deep-frying route, how can you still end up with a moist and delicious turkey?
Mashed potatoes are universally beloved and for good reason—they're cheap, tasty, and relatively easy to make. What's more, they're adaptable to just about every dietary regimen, whether you're vegan, gluten-free, or lactose-intolerant.
The debate over whether to deep-fry or roast a Thanksgiving turkey can get pretty heated. Both have their merits, but it's hard to argue with that crispy, golden brown skin and moist texture that the fryer gives. But what's better than a deep-fried turkey?
Oven space is scarce on that fated fourth Thursday of November. Even if you can find a spare space for pumpkin pie on the bottom shelf, you risk turkey drippings overflowing from above and ruining your beautiful dessert—not to mention a burnt crust from different temperature requirements. The bottom line is: oven real estate is valuable, and it's tough to multitask cooking for Thanksgiving when every dish requires baking or roasting.
How often do you make a pie from scratch? If your answer is "only during the holidays," you're not alone. Unless you're an experienced baker, homemade pies can be pretty tough to tackle.
Why can't Thanksgiving be a celebration of fireworks, too? This year, it can be with an innocent looking pumpkin pie that erupts an insane fountain of flames and fire! In fact, the pie filling is actually a flammable mixture of sugar and potassium nitrate, which was made using the same process as my DIY smoke flares with fuses.
Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and the belts are already loosening in preparation. Besides the copious amounts of turkey, stuffing, greens, and pies, you may have enough room for some classic cake.
Thanksgiving is pretty much the only day out of the year when you can be a complete fatass. It's totally expected, if not encouraged. In fact, if you aren't stuffing your face with a bunch of delicious and unhealthy food, people start to look at you funny.
A turkey baster is one of those single-use kitchen items that most people only need once or twice a year (although you can use it for a few other things). You never seem to miss having one until the holidays roll around and it's time to cook your Thanksgiving turkey. But do you really need a baster to end up with a moist, delicious bird?
Thanksgiving is just around the corner, but there's no need to spend a lot of time or money on a fancy centerpiece for the dinner table.
There are those who prefer Thanksgiving leftovers to the actual official meal, much like people who prefer cold pizza. I'm definitely in the latter camp. There's something luxurious about enjoying your perfectly cooked turkey and stuffing while wearing sweatpants and not having to make small talk with your weird uncle who drinks.
From choosing the right potato to the movement at which you mash your cut and boiled spuds, making the perfect mashed potatoes requires more attention to detail than you might think.
After the turkey is carved and the leftover meat is refrigerated, don't get rid of the remaining carcass and bones just yet. You can make some delicious turkey stock with them. Just add them to a big pot of carrots, celery, onion, and water — then simmer.