Thanksgiving comes along but once a year, so you’d better make the most of this great American holiday that hinges on eating all that is good. If your goal is to make it to the pumpkin pie without losing your cool, start the day with a sensible eating plan so you don’t reach capacity before the feast even begins.
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On Thanksgiving Day it’s all about getting the most done with the least amount of stress. And saving space in the oven, which is at a premium on turkey day, with these stovetop recipes can do just that. (Besides, if your house is like mine, you’ll have your hands full setting up the Thanksgiving Bingo game.)
Creamed Kale with Caramelized Shallots
It’s the best mix of old-school flavor and updated ideas about nutrition.
According to Alex Guarnaschelli, “Thanksgiving is not Thanksgiving unless everything is bathed in gravy.” And we don’t disagree. But given the rush of last-minute turkey carving, the warming of countless side dishes and the process of getting your whole family seated ahead of the feast, it can be tricky to devote the necessary time to turning out a silky gravy right before dinner is served. That’s where this go-to trick comes in. Believe it or not, you don’t need turkey drippings to make a winning gravy. The secret ingredient to be used instead? Oil.
Click the play button on the video below to see how it’s done.
I’m all for saving a buck. But more than that, I believe in spending with purpose and intent — saving where I can but splurging a bit where it counts. So as you go into your Thanksgiving holiday shopping, I’ve created a handy list to show you where to splurge and where to save on turkey-day groceries.
I’m starting with my favorite part of Thanksgiving: the stuffing. But just because it’s my favorite doesn’t mean I will spend a ton of money on it. Stuffing is mostly just dried bread — cheap! And bags of stuffing or dried bread are usually a “loss leader” in the grocery store around the holidays, meaning something the store sells really cheaply to get you in the door (and buying the rest of your full-price groceries). My cheapie hack: Buy the premade, inexpensive bread cubes, but add some homemade bread cubes you cut yourself from bakery bread. Swing by the day-old-bread rack (usually near the dairy aisle, not the bakery). For stuffing, you want your bread to be a day or two stale anywayso pick up a rich, dark bread or a tangy sourdough loaf to pump up the premade cubes; it will add homemade flavor and texture on the cheap.
No matter how many side dishes you’ve prepared or how lovely your tablescape may be on Thanksgiving, when it’s finally time for dinner on turkey day, your friends and family will be looking for, well, the turkey. This year, guarantee your juiciest, most-impressive bird yet with the help of the cast of The Kitchen. On this morning’s brand-new episode, the co-hosts shared a trio of holiday-worthy turkey recipes for both classic and creative takes on the traditional bird. Check out their picks below, then hear from all five co-hosts as they offer tried-and-true Thanksgiving hacks.
By cooking the turkey in pieces, as opposed to cooking a full, intact bird, Jeff Mauro guarantees his Easy Roasted Thanksgiving Turkey takes far less time to cook than a roasted turkey usually would. He dry brines the turkey with a salt rub, then roasts it with fresh celery, onion and garlic, as well as plenty of butter, for top taste.
Turkey and mashed potatoes may be staples you don’t dare mess with, but this year, have some fun in the dessert round. Friends and family will survive without the usual slice of pumpkin, apple or pecan pie, so make something fun and unexpected (which we often think means adding chocolate). Below is our roundup of unconventional pies that deserve the spotlight at your feast.
Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Pie (pictured above)
As difficult as it may be to believe, not everyone is a pie person. But we’d have a hard time finding anyone who could pass up a freshly baked cookie, especially if it was oatmeal raisin. With a chewy cookie filling baked into a traditional pie crust, this recipe will win everyone over. If you usually prefer an oatmeal chocolate chip cookie to the raisin kind, go ahead and swap in chocolate chips. No one will judge.
Turkey day may be all about the, um, turkey, but that doesn’t mean your Thanksgiving guests won’t appreciate a refreshing sipper or two to celebrate the holiday. This holiday season, instead of serving everyday beer and wine, try infusing some of the flavors of fall, like cranberries and apple cider, into easy-to-make cocktails. Check out Food Network’s best Thanksgiving cocktails below to see how it’s done.
Instead of playing bartender all night and shaking your guests’ individual drinks, mix up Food Network Magazine’s big-batch apple cider-cinnamon punch spiked with apple brandy; let guests help themselves.
Spatchcocking: Tyler Florence’s Revolutionary Technique for Cooking Your Thanksgiving Turkey in 90 Minutesby Michelle Baricevic in Holidays, How-to, November 19th, 2015
Three hours. On average, that’s the amount of time it takes to adequately cook a Thanksgiving turkey. Thanks to an innovative technique from Chef Tyler Florence, however, 90 minutes is all you’ll need this year. During an appearance at last month’s Grand Tasting at the New York City Wine & Food Festival, Tyler gave audiences a demo on spatchcocking a turkey. The process involves removing the poultry’s spine and flattening its breastbone, which not only cuts cook time in half, but also allows for greater heat distribution, making your bird juicier and crispier than ever before.
Here at Food Network, Thanksgiving means turkey — a whole lot of turkey. In the weeks leading up to our favorite Thursday of the year, we’re knee-deep in recipes, videos and new techniques about the feast’s headliner. All the while, we know it wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without the sides (and lots of them). Without stuffing, mashed potatoes and the whole nine yards, your family’s holiday dinner simply wouldn’t be complete. That’s why we’re running down the list of the top-five favorite sides — from Ina Garten, Bobby Flay and more star chefs — that belong on your table.
When Ina serves Brussels sprouts as a part of her Thanksgiving menu, she transforms them into a sophisticated and indulgent treat. Her Balsamic-Roasted Brussels Sprouts are joined by salty, crispy pancetta and roasted under high heat until they reach crispy caramelization; she finishes the side with a drizzle of syrupy balsamic vinegar.
There are two schools of thought when it comes to Thanksgiving leftovers: classic and creative. You can either keep the day-after eats exceedingly simple, with fixings smashed between slices of bread for rustic sandwiches, or you can dress up the goods that remain and turn them into all-new meals worthy of their holiday. FN Dish checked in with some of your favorite Food Network chefs to see how they put leftovers to work, and as it turns out, they, too, lean toward either easy-does-it sandwiches or inspired, next-level creations. Read on below to see what they have to say, and then leave a comment telling us how your family enjoys leftovers.
The first day, you eat a sandwich, you eat a salad, you’re just kind of eating, you’re grazing again, because you’re having the meal again. But, then the day after, if you still have a lot of leftovers, you’ve got to get creative, because people start to get that look in their eye, like they want to order a pizza. I like to make what’s called a hachis parmentier, which is like a shepherd’s pie. And you just chop up whatever turkey meat — and this way you can use the not-so-pretty pieces and the little scraps — and put that in the bottom of some gravy or some stock and then cover it with the leftover mash or the leftover potato gratin, or the leftover sweet potatoes, and you bake it with a layer of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese on top, until it gets all bubbly. And it’s sort of, like, a really beautiful garbage to throw all your leftovers in, bake it and have, like, this delicious, bubbling hot thing.