Easier Roast Turkey and Gravy
We loosen the skin of the turkey and apply a mixture of salt and sugar to the meat to season it and help it retain more juices as it cooks. A baking powder rub ensures thorough browning and crispy skin. We preheat both a baking stone and a roasting pan in the oven before placing the turkey in the pan. The stone absorbs heat and delivers it through the pan to the turkey’s legs and thighs, which need to cook to a higher temperature than the delicate breast meat (which we protect with a foil shield). This means the white and dark meat finish cooking at the same time—no overcooked turkey here.
How to Set a Schedule for Thanksgiving Success
Want to get as much done as early as possible? Figure out what you're going to do when. What can be prepared in advance and refrigerated or frozen? What must be done the day of the holiday meal? Pay close attention to oven times and temperatures when making the timeline for the day of the meal. We outline the days leading up to Thanksgiving so you can feel prepared and ready to cook like a pro on the big day.
Veg Out on Thanksgiving
Modern Cauliflower Gratin
To create a cauliflower gratin that was rich and flavorful without the heft, we relied on cauliflower’s natural ability to become an ultracreamy puree, using it as a sauce to bind the florets together. We removed the cores and stems and steamed these until soft; we then blended them to make the sauce. We cut the florets into slabs, which made for a more compact casserole and helped them cook more evenly. For a streamlined, efficient cooking setup, we placed the cauliflower cores and stems in water in the bottom of a Dutch oven and set our steamer basket filled with florets right on top. Butter and Parmesan (plus a little cornstarch) gave the sauce a richer flavor and texture without making it too heavy, and a few pantry spices lent some complexity. Topping the gratin with Parmesan and panko gave it savory crunch, and a final garnish of minced chives added color.
6 Common Thanksgiving Cooking Mistakes (and How to Avoid Them)
Gluey mashed potatoes? Greasy gravy? A big gap in your deep-dish apple pie? These kitchen-tested tips will help you overcome potential holiday pitfalls and turn out the best Thanksgiving meal ever, whether it's your first time hosting or you're a seasoned pro.