Turkey day will be here before you know it. Rach and “Chopped” stars Ted Allen, Marc Murphy and Amanda Freitag share their expert tips so your holiday can be tasty and painless!
Allen says you can cook stuffing inside the turkey as long as the stuffing is cooked to 165°F -- but that might overcook the bird. if you want to go that route, you should still always have a separate pan of stuffing in addition to what’s in the turkey. He prefers not to take the chance and just cooks it separately -- his secret is to put a lot of butter in the stuffing to make it rich and moist! And who could forget Rachael’s ingenious way to cook and serve stuffing? Her stuffin’ muffins are perfectly portioned and ensure everyone gets a bit of crispiness without a war breaking out over the dinner table.
How to Cook Turkey Faster
Rach says she spatchcocks her turkey so it lays flat and cooks faster. Another option is to roast pieces of the turkey separately (think keeping the dark and white meat separate). Or, cook up two smaller turkeys so there are more legs to go around. Win-win!
What to Do with the Bag Of "Parts" Inside the Turkey
Freitag says you shouldn’t throw it away! Chop it up and put it in your gravy for extra flavor, or roast the neck to add to your stock for richness.
How to Make Turkey Skin Crispy + Golden Brown
Allen says to take the turkey out of the freezer early so it safely thaws out. The day before Thanksgiving, leave it in the fridge uncovered so the skin dries out. Pat it dry before getting it into the oven and at the end of cooking, crank up the heat (Make sure you watch it though!) so the skin gets crispy.
The Safest Way to Defrost a Turkey
Allen says to get the turkey out of the freezer and into the refrigerator 4-5 days before Thanksgiving -- it’s the easiest and safest way to thaw a turkey. Just make sure it goes in the fridge and not the garage!
How to Save Your Turkey if it’s Dry or Undercooked
Stock up on stock! Rach says that if there is one thing you must have on hand this Thanksgiving, it’s plenty of stock! If your bird is dry, carve it up before serving and let it soak for a few minutes in stock -- it’ll moisten it right up. What about if it’s undercooked? Carve the whole thing and finish cooking in the stock -- it’ll be moist and ready to eat in no time.
Rach’s Most Important Tip of All Time
Open the wine by 10AM! Happy Thanksgiving!
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