Welcome to Thanksgiving 101!
Last year I hosted my first Thanksgiving in decades. It went really well. It was a group effort with everyone bringing a dish. So, I didn’t have to do all the work. I served some new dishes and some old favorites. In the next few posts, I’ll go through the whole meal. Whether you’re a seasoned Thanksgiving chef or a nervous first time host, I hope you’ll find some easy and delicious ideas.
You know, even though I cook all the time, I was a little nervous about cooking the turkey (it has been so long!), so I went straight to Ina… I love her story about this recipe. Apparently a friend was cooking a turkey and forgot to turn the cooking temperature down. She thought she’d ruined the turkey. Instead the result was a great moist turkey. I must agree.
The key to this is a CLEAN oven. You’ll be cooking the turkey for 45 minutes at 475 degrees F – so make sure you clean the oven the weekend before.
Because I was out of the country until a couple of days before Thanksgiving, I opted for a fresh turkey instead of worrying about defrosting a frozen turkey. I ordered a pre-brined turkey from Whole Foods and picked it up on Tuesday evening, after work. Easy, peasy !! If this is your first time cooking a turkey , I highly recommend a fresh turkey. Who wants to mess with defrosting or, worse yet, find out on Thanksgiving morning that the turkey isn’t fully defrosted.
Here she is – isn’t she lovely?! Such a beautiful brown. I was so pleased. In the pic below, she’s about to start resting while I dealt with adding the drippings to the gravy… and speaking of gravy…. we’ll talk about gravy next time.