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10 Easy Thanksgiving Tips From the Fairway Catering Team!

Your one stop shop for Thanksgiving catering!

1. Rub the outside of the turkey with butter or oil to make the skin crispy.  Cut the butter into pats and push them under the skin for crispiest skin and a juicy bird.

2. Does your turkey breast dry out?  Try roasting the bird upside down for 2/3rds of the cooking time.  The indirect heat will cook the breast without drying it out.  Flip it over for the last third of the cooking time to brown the breast and crisp the skin.

3. Use a thermometer to determine whether your turkey is cooked.  Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh, when it registers 165 it is done.

4. Remove the bird, cover it with aluminum and let it rest for 20 minutes before carving.  The juices will redistribute while the turkey rests and yield a moister bird.

5. Want to make a natural gravy out of the turkey juices?   Put a full layer of coarsely chopped carrots, onions and celery in equal parts in the pan and set the turkey on top of the vegetables.  If you want to add a touch of sweetness to your gravy, add butternut squash and sweet potatoes to the mix.  Remove the turkey after its reached 165 degrees, and continue to cook the vegetables for another 20 minutes, while the turkey rests.  Pour the drippings from the pan into a bowl.  Let the drippings sit for a few minutes, the fat will separate from the gravy.  Pour the gravy into a gravy boat and serve.

6. Use chicken stock, preferably an all-natural low sodium stock, instead of water wherever possible.  Use stock in your stuffing, if you are making wild rice, use stock not water.

7. For fluffy mashed potatoes, start with russet potatoes and use a ricer.  Push the potatoes through the ricer, then put them back into the pot and heat them for 5 minutes to evaporate extra water.  Remove the pan from the heat, and add the butter.  Add the milk or half & half for extra creamy potatoes.

8.  Make all the sides except for the green vegetables up to 2 days before Thanksgiving.  Prep the turkey the day before.  Set the table the day before.  Leave only the green vegetables and cooking the turkey for Thanksgiving day.  You’ll have time for your guests and few pans to clean up after the big meal.

9. Appetizers!  Have a few appetizers ready just in case you hit a road bump.  4 pieces per person is the right quantity.  Pick appetizers that need only a few minutes in the oven or do not need to be heated.  Prepare your appetizers the day before Thanksgiving.

10. Put your napkin anywhere but to the left of the plate.  A simple fold between the dinner and appetizer or soup plate looks modern.  A folded napkin across the plate is stylish.  Sick of mini pumpkins and gourds?  Eggplant is a sleek, underused color perfect for thanksgiving.    Can’t use an eggplant tablecloth or napkins?  Incorporate turnips & eggplants.  Have a modern house?  Play it up with black and white, add a shock of wheat in a vase for a thanksgiving harvest touch.

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