Creative Hacks for Hosting Thanksgiving Dinner

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Cooking a big meal, especially for a high pressure occasion like Thanksgiving, can be a intimidating and overwhelming. Chef Rob shares some of his tried and true hacks for getting through this big day.

For your turkey:

  • The best way to cook a turkey is overnight, slowly and on a low temperature. Chef Rob suggests 20 minutes per pound in a 350 degree oven for a defrosted turkey and if it’s a fresh turkey, 10 to 15 minutes per pound.
  • In the morning, let the bird rest for about 30 minutes and carve it. Don’t worry about carving it in front of everyone because that can be nerve wracking.
  • Once it’s carved, place the turkey into a baking dish or a casserole dish, add a little bit of chicken or turkey stock to the bottom and then put it back in the oven, with foil over it, at 350 degrees when it’s time to reheat it. It should take between 40 to 45 minutes to bring the temperature back up. 
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For your sides:

  • The biggest favor you can do yourself is doing as much prep work as possible the night before. Something like chopping vegetables can be time consuming work, so doing it in advance will save you time and stress the day of your dinner.
  • Mashed potatoes are something you might be tempted to make in advance, but once they get cold, it’s hard to get them back to their original fluffiness. An idea for this dish is to cook them in the slow cooker on low. This will also save you space on your stove top.
  • Since stuffing needs to be baked, a fun idea is to make individual portions in muffin tins. Enlist the help of your kids to stuff the tins.

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