During Thanksgiving, our homes begin to fill with loved ones—family and friends who feel like family, and possibly an overwhelming feeling of feeding exponentially more people than we’re likely used to. While not everyone works in a kitchen environment like myself or my team, I have a few tips that will help relieve some of the prep pressure and allow for more relaxed enjoyment of time with your loved ones (and a glass of Priest Ranch wine!) Check out my tips on how to prep like a chef and get ready to soak in this special time of year with everyone you’ve welcomed into your home.

  • I prefer a spatchcocked bird vs. a traditional turkey roast
    • Will cook quicker and more evenly
    • Will have much more crispy, brown skin
    • Opportunity to add more flavor via marinade, basting, butter (under the skin)
    • Just ask your butcher to take the backbone out or find a YouTube tutorial
    • Bon Appetit Magazine has an excellent recipe for a classic dry-brined roast turkey (my only edit is to spatchcock your bird!)
  • Don’t be afraid of salt!
  • Don’t be afraid of butter!
  • Keep the stuffing moist by:
    • A) Not cooking it inside the bird (spatchcock the bird instead!)
      • By the time the stuffing reaches the correct temperature, the turkey will be WAY overcooked.
    • B) Using plenty of stock in the recipe, and keep extra on hand as the stuffing cooks to “baste” as needed
  • Get your side dishes cooked early, and while the turkey rests, finish the sides in the oven until they are nice and hot again.

I hope these tips teach you something new or validate some current practices while readying your Thanksgiving meal. From our team at The Kitchen, we hope you have a great Thanksgiving and visit us for a delicious meal after your celebration. Cheers!

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