Over the past 10 years, I have cooked Thanksgiving dinner many times. It is one of my favorite days of the year. I love family and friends getting together and sharing a good meal. Here are some tips that will help you have a great Thanksgiving dinner:
- Make a list and a schedule. Determine everything you want to make and when each item need to go into the oven or cook on the stove top.
- Print out recipes for everything you're going to cook. This will help keep you organized and you can make sure that you have all the ingredients you need.
- Make sure you move the turkey from the freezer and refrigerator a few days early so it can thaw.
- Thanksgiving dinner is not the time to experiment. Use recipes that you are familiar with and that you made in the past.This will help alleviate any Thanksgiving disasters.
- If guests want to help, let them.There is no reason why you need to make the entire meal yourselves. Let guests bring appetizers, wine, side dishes, or dessert.
- Don't feel like you need to make everything yourself. There's nothing wrong with buying a pre-made pie or salad in a bag.
- If you don't have one, buy a meat thermometer. The little pop-up timers in turkeys are incredibly inaccurate.
- Buy a carving board. A carving board is the one that has a channel around it to catch any juices.
- Also purchase an electric knife. It comes in very handy when it is time to carve turkey.
- Let the turkey rest for at least 30 min. before carving. Don't tent with foil or the skin will not remain as crisp.
Below is a recipe for my grandmother's stuffing. All of the ingredients are pretty common, and they taste amazing together in this recipe. I am a firm believer in stuffing the turkey, but if you don't want to do that you can certainly bake this in a casserole – with some chicken or turkey stock added if needed to keep it moist.
2 onions, chopped
3 stalks of celery chopped
1 loaf of white bread
3 Italian pork sausage links, removed from skin
1 to 2 eggs
salt and pepper
- Preheat the oven to 250°F. Dice the bread into 1 inch cubes. Bake for 30 to 60 min. until the bread is dried, but not browned.
- Browned sausage in large skillet over medium-high heat. After fat renders, and onion. Cook for 5 to 8 min. until brown.
- And celery to skillet. Cook for 3 to 4 min. And bread cubes to pan and mix thoroughly. Cook for 3 to 5 min., then and 1 to 2 cups of chicken broth until bread i just moistened.
- Scraping pan to remove any browned bits. Cook 10 min. over low heat, stirring constantly.
- Play stuffing mixture in large bowl. Beat in one egg (two if a large turkey). Stir in Italian seasoning. Season to taste with salt and pepper. If stuffing is too moist, and bread crumbs