Tag thanksgiving turkey

Top Thanksgiving Recipes and Tips for Holiday Success

Thanksgiving is approaching so bring out the seasonal garland, gourds and get ready for the tryptophan induced food comas!

One of tastiest turkeys I have ever had was created from our Parties That Cook team. This brined turkey recipe calls for soaking the whole bird in a brine which is essentially a solution of salt and sugar, flavored with spices. Brining the turkey helps even the white meat stay moist and flavorful when roasted to perfection. But if you don’t have time or the space in your fridge, our easy 3-step turkey breast is the perfect solution. You’re guests will not believe how quick and easy this dish is!

Can’t decide which side dishes to create? Here are some of our favorite Thanksgiving recipes that are a delicious departure from the traditional spread of pureed root vegetables and pearled onions:

Sweet Pea Galettes with Bacon and Sour Cream Recipe

Butternut Squash and Cider Soup with Sage Crème Fraiche Recipe

Easy Spinach and Roquefort Bread Pudding Recipe

And the gravy! Quite possibly the best part of Thanksgiving (a three-way tie between the turkey and stuffing of course). Try this recipe: Pan Gravy with Bourbon Recipe

In my opinion, the food alone serves as the perfect Thanksgiving decoration, but here are some easy tips to spruce up your spread:

Place Cards: HGTV.com has created the perfect touch for your table with these printable place card designs. Print them onto cardstock and write your guests’ names for each table setting.

Fringed Tweed Table Runner: Tweed is not only a fall trend in fashion, but in holiday tabletop decorations as well. This rustic design from the craft guru herself, Martha Stewart, is an inexpensive and simple design element for any table.

Gourds, Gourds and more Gourds: Of course, the quintessential fall decoration cannot be overlooked! Gourds and pumpkins add the finishing detail to your Thanksgiving spread. Place them at your front door and use Indian corn or acorns for an extra autumn touch.

Got any favorite tips and recipes? Share them with us! Check out the rest of our favorite recipes. Until next time, bon appétit!

10 Steps to Perfect Thanksgiving Turkey

After today’s election, there will be nothing left for America to argue about, other than what to serve for Thanksgiving dinner. Perhaps a spinach gratin and butternut squash and cider soup to spice up the usual fare of stuffing, yams and green beans… garlic mashed potatoes are a must and pumpkin bread pudding with caramel, too!

Of course, the unequivocal star of our annual harvest holiday is the turkey. In recent years, we’ve noticed all sorts of culinary treatments and trends for cooking the bird: deep fried, smoked, bbqed, glazed, basted, curried, brined or stuffed beyond stuffing – by this we mean the infamous turducken (a turkey stuffed with a duck stuffed with a chicken).

turkeyWe’re all for adventurous cooking, but when it comes to Thanksgiving, I choose not to mess with a good thing. Here are my 10 Simple Steps to a Perfectly Roasted Thanksgiving Turkey:

1. Order your turkey from a reputable meat purveyor at least one week prior to Thanksgiving, and pick it up the day before. A fresh turkey is more flavorful than a frozen turkey.

2. Ask your butcher to remove the wishbone. This way, you can slice the full-length of the breast.

3. Buy one pound of turkey per person or 1½ pounds if you want leftovers. Smaller turkeys are more tender, so order two small turkeys versus one large.

4. Once home, remove the bag of giblets from inside the cavity, rinse the turkey inside and out, and pat it dry with paper towels. This helps prevent bacterial growth. Refrigerate immediately. Bring to room temperature one hour before cooking.

5. Stuff the turkey just before roasting to prevent bacterial growth. Don’t overstuff. The stuffing expands while cooking and may cause the bird to explode!

6. While trussing the bird makes a prettier presentation, it is isn’t necessary and the bird will actually cook faster if untrussed. If you do truss the bird however, use kitchen twine not dental floss!

7. Rub the skin of the bird with butter or oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper and sweet paprika. The paprika makes the bird a turn a beautiful golden brown. Put the turkey, in a roasting pan, on a rack, so the heat can circulate. Fill the pan with 1/2 inch of water for basting and pan gravy.

8. Roast at 450 degrees for 30 minutes. Then cover the breast meat with aluminum foil to keep the bird moist, and cook at 350 degrees until done. Baste every 30 minutes.

9. The turkey is done when a thermometer inserted into the thigh reaches 160 degrees. The breast may be a higher temperature since it cooks faster.

10. Before carving, let the bird rest for 30 minutes on a warmed platter covered with foil.

Brining the turkey before cooking will produce an even juicier roasted turkey. You’ll find my recipe for brining and roasting a turkey here. Oh, and let’s not forget the gravy. Try this favorite: Pan Gravy with Bourbon Recipe.

Stay tuned in the coming weeks for more great cooking tips and tricks for Thanksgiving Day. Parties That Cook’s Thanksgiving recipes can be found here.