4 Tips To Pull Off A
Thanksgiving dinner is a big production that requires strength, stamina and coordination, but even if you have all of those characteristics, something is bound to go wrong. You can reduce your risk of dinner disasters if you know what to look out for. Here are 4 tips to pull off a perfect Thanksgiving.
Outline The Meal Prep
When you're having a big meal of any kind, it's ideal to have the meal start when you say it's going to start. You don't want hungry people to arrive when they're supposed to with just the turkey on the table, two dishes in the oven and more being prepped. Start planning as soon as you can. Sit down and figure out how long it will take everything to cook, what you can make ahead, and what needs to be hot at serving time. Having an outline of what you need done helps ease the stress of entertaining a crowd, ensures no one will be hungry, and makes cleanup easy.
Keep It Simple
Don't get too ambitious with your Thanksgiving menu. There are a couple of reasons for this: If you have a lot of guests from different backgrounds, standard Thanksgiving dishes will likely please them all and you won't get stuck with something fabulous that no one wants to eat. The other reason for serving standard dishes is you won't risk ruining a dish you haven't had much practice making. Everyone will be just as pleased with regular mashed potatoes as they would be with sunchoke and cauliflower mash. People don't expect fancy food for Thanksgiving, just a good meal with friends and family.
Cooking The Bird
Everyone wants a perfectly cooked, juicy bird to go along with the stuffing and cranberries, but it can't be perfect if you don't know how to cook it properly. A common complaint about Thanksgiving turkey is it's too dry; which comes from over-cooking. For a safely cooked turkey, the USDA recommends cooking poultry to 165°F. However, that's the temperature you want the bird to reach not exceed, and that doesn't mean it has to be that temperature when you take it out of the oven. Because turkeys are big pieces of meat, there's a significant amount of carry-over cooking (that's when an item is so hot that it continues cooking even when it's removed from heat). If you take turkey out of the oven when its internal temperature is 165°F, it will get hotter as it rests, making it dry at serving time. For a juicy turkey, use a meat thermometer to determine the internal temperature by sticking it into the thickest part of the thigh where it meets the breast making sure it does not touch a bone. When the internal temperature reaches 155°F, take it out of the oven. Loosely cover it with foil and it will continue to cook. At serving time, it will be thoroughly cooked and thoroughly juicy.
Accept Help...And Ask For It
You don't have to be a hero for Thanksgiving, just a host. Thanksgiving is a huge meal and it's hard to pull off even for the best cooks and entertainers. On top of the food, you have to make sure you have all the right bathroom accessories and chat with your friends and family. If someone wants to bring a dish that you want to make, don't fight it; accept the offer. There are so many elements that make up Thanksgiving dinner and you'll be so busy tying up the loose ends, you'll be glad you let someone else pick up some of the work. Thanksgiving is a big meal; don't try to wing it! With the right planning, the right food and the best friends and family, it can be an event you'll want to host year after year.