You’re a resourceful person. Regardless of what mishaps come your way, I am confident that you will pull off a lovely Thanksgiving dinner.
Nonetheless, I’m here to help you anticipate and solve some common snafus by sharing the knowledge I have gleaned from hosting dozens of Thanksgiving dinners.
ONE. Few people mind overcooked turkey, if you have good gravy.
THREE TIMES!!! Three times, I’ve panicked that the turkey is overcooking and have taken it out of the oven too soon. Raw turkey became my signature Thanksgiving dish. I know the signs of properly cooked poultry: juices run clear, drumsticks are loose. Turkey cooking is just not in my wheelhouse. Plus there’s all the pressure from the guests: Don’t you think it’s getting too brown? Maybe you should put some foil over the breast to keep it from drying out and rotate the pan every 20 minutes while standing on your head. Did you brine it, baste it and rub it?
Now, I just cook the crap out of the bird and make a vat of gravy. I save drippings from roasted chicken in the months before Thanksgiving and buy a couple packages of powdered turkey gravy in case I need to stretch it. If you’re trying to keep your fat intake at a minimum, you should give it up for today, but these separators are handy to have if you insist.
And that gravy will look even better in a lovely serving vessel…also known as a boat. This one has the option to pour or ladle.
Preheat the boat with hot water before adding the gravy to keep it hot longer…otherwise it’s going to congeal. And then you’ll have to microwave it like you did your undercooked turkey. Not cool.
TWO. Stay focused and avoid distractions.
I usually set up the turkey carving station in another room away from the crowd, or occupy the crowd e
lsewhere during this important step. Even a big, strong, manly man who was on the varsity wrestling team in high school has to concentrate while lifting the resting bird from its roaster and placing it strategically on the cutting board. But here’s a great tool: Turkey Lifters.