(NAPSI)-A good entertainment plan that saves time and
money is something to be truly thankful for. With the
right plan, all that cooks will need to do on
Thanksgiving Day is put dishes into the oven and remove
them when they are done.
A few hints from professional chef Jim Coleman can
help you save money while affording you more time to
spend with your guests.
Plan and Prepare
- Start freezing stale bread a few weeks before
Thanksgiving so you can use it to make stuffing.
- Plan the menu the weekend before Thanksgiving.
Compile recipes into a recipe booklet for easy
- Save gas and time by making lists of ingredients so
you will only need one trip to the store.
- Cut up celery, carrots, etc. and store in
ziplock bags for ease of use
during the next few days of prep.
- Make stuffing the night before and make it a little
dry so you can add gravy on Thanksgiving day to moisten.
- Cranberry sauce, pie, gravy, and side dishes can be
made a few days ahead.
- Save money by asking guests to bring wine,
desserts, a salad or a side dish.
Table and Tools
- Set your table in advance; everything from a
centerpiece and glassware to plates and napkins.
- Enlist the help of family members in preparation
- Sharpen your knives beforehand to save time on food
prep. That includes your carving knife.
"A sharp knife is one of the most important tools and
essential for the holiday season with all the food prep
and carving of the bird," said Coleman. "Preparation can
save time and money, and a quality knife sharpener can
renew the knives you already own and save you from the
expense of having to buy new knives."
Fortunately, you don't have to be an expert to put a
razor-sharp edge on your knife. A sharpener such as
EdgeSelect® Model 120
electric knife sharpener can make sharpening easy. It
uses 100 percent diamond abrasives and precision angle
guides for a supersharp and
durable edge. Call (800) 342-3255 for more information
www.chefschoice.com. A good knife sharpener saves
money by renewing the knives you already own.
For a quicker cooking time, start at 400ºF with
breast side down; after 45 minutes, turn over and lower
heat to 325ºF. An 8-12-pound bird will cook in about
Get your carving knife ready. After the turkey is
cooked (meat thermometer should read 180° when inserted
in the thickest part of the turkey), cool the bird for
Cooling makes the meat firmer and easier to slice.
Remove and set aside the turkey legs and the last joint
of each wing. Make a long, deep (to the bone),
horizontal "base cut" into the breast just above the
Slice down vertically through the breast until you
meet the original base cut. This will release nice, even
Refrigerate leftovers immediately. Add leftover
cranberry sauce to mayonnaise to jump-start leftovers
Here's a quick and easy recipe to help prepare your
tasty turkey in advance:
Chef's Choice Brine (For 8-12-pound bird)
- 1 cup kosher salt (per gallon of ice water)
- 1 lime, cut into wedges
- 1 orange, cut into wedges
- 1 medium onion, cut into wedges
- 5 cloves garlic
- 4 bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon dried thyme
- 1 tablespoon dried sage
- 1 tablespoon white or black pepper
Place a frozen turkey in a large enough container,
such as an ice chest, to submerge it in the brine.
Pouring with a gallon measure, pour in ice-cold water
to completely submerge your turkey. Add 1 cup of kosher
salt per gallon of water. Then add remaining
ingredients. Stir until well combined. Top with ice
cubes and store in cool spot overnight.
Use more lime, orange, onion, garlic, bay leaves,
thyme, sage and pepper for more than 3 gallons of water.
Discard brine after removing turkey and rinse turkey
before placing in oven.
If you follow these tips, you will keep costs down
and have more time for fun on Thanksgiving.
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