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5 Steps to a Uniquely Modern Thanksgiving

5 Steps to a Uniquely Modern Thanksgiving

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When my husband and I first decided to move to Japan, one of my earliest concerns was how I would manage holidays away from my family. Every year at Thanksgiving, my family gets together for an identical meal; from the way the turkey is cooked to the way the fruit salad and sweet potato casserole are prepared, it never varies. Every year I have exactly half a piece each of pumpkin and apple pie. Whipped cream on the pumpkin, ice cream on the apple. Year after year it was the same glorious spread. Until 2008, I had never missed a Thanksgiving with my family in my 20-odd years of life.

Needless to say, Thanksgiving in Tokyo did not initially sound doable. Being a million miles from my family and all the cozy moments full of traditional Thanksgiving fare left me feeling a little hopeless. However, that feeling eventually gave me extra ammunition to recreate the holiday that I loved in a completely unfamiliar place. Without an oven. Scary!

The first year was hectic but successful. I made everything as close to my mom’s traditional recipes as possible. We found a friend with an oven, so Brad literally walked an entire turkey almost 3 miles at 6 a.m. to begin the brining process. After numerous trips back and forth, his final victorious trip included a beautifully (if not perfectly) cooked turkey. Golden brown skin covered flavorful and juicy meat that was devoured by almost 20 guests in our tiny Tokyo apartment. The most memorable part of the evening was when I refused to let anyone help with the dishes. In an attempt to keep anyone from feeling guilty, I hid the dishes under the sink. The result? Guests were happy and full, but Brad and I stayed up until 1 a.m. cleaning.

The second year went a bit smoother. I collaborated with a neighbor who had a larger apartment than ours. Rather than making every dish myself, I shared the workload. And instead of seeking out traditional ingredients, I tried to use foods that were similar in texture and flavor but ever-so-slightly nontraditional. For example, I used kabocha (Japanese pumpkin) instead of traditional sweet potatoes in the sweet potato casserole. That’s when it hit me. Thanksgiving doesn’t have to be the same every year!

This may seem like a delayed reaction, but my family is cemented in wonderful, long-standing traditions and it can be difficult to break free.

So how can you update your Thanksgiving with a few unique twists without losing the traditional feel? It’s really pretty simple.

1. Substitute ingredients.

When I made my sweet potato casserole last year (normally made with yams, marshmallows, brown sugar, and pecans) with kabocha, the texture and flavor of the dish stayed true to the original. However, telling guests that they were eating Japanese pumpkin in a traditional Thanksgiving meal was exciting and delicious!

2. Keep changes small.

Change is a good thing. But if you are in charge of Thanksgiving dinner, try not to change everything too drastically all at once. There is no need to stress yourself out with recipes you are unfamiliar with if you already have a few aces up your sleeve. Instead, change small aspects of individual dishes. You can always change something else next year!

3. Stay true to you.

The thing I have to remind myself each time I have dinner parties, especially around the holidays, is that although the food is a central part of the event, it isn’t everything. Stay true to what you know and what you are comfortable with. After all, you need to relax and enjoy yourself, too! Rather than trying to transform yourself into Thomas Keller for Thanksgiving dinner, do what you know best. Add some techniques that are new without losing sight of what you can "bring to the table."

For more turkey talk, visit The Daily Meal's Ultimate Guide to Thanksgiving!

Rachel White, Menuism

To see the rest of the tips and tricks for a modern Thanksgiving, visit Menuism.

For more turkey talk, visit The Daily Meal's Guide to Thanksgiving!

10 healthy Thanksgiving recipes that are still tasty, we swear

Sure, you could fast for days before Thanksgiving in preparation for your massive food intake. We all know the calories you consume on Turkey Day will be enough to last you for weeks. But why not skip the days of hunger (and the days of bloat) and opt to make some healthy Thanksgiving treats that won’t leave you feeling like one of the balloons at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

We’ve cooked up a list of some of the yummiest-sounding Thanksgiving recipes that are better for your body but aren’t just raw carrots and celery. It’s possible to eat healthy and hearty on Thanksgiving — we swear! Let’s dive into the list so you can chew on these recipes while planning your Thanksgiving Day menu.

The Tastiest Tradition: 6 Steps To A Perfect Smoked Turkey

A smoked holiday turkey is likely to be the best-tasting, easiest-to-cook turkey you’ve ever eaten. It’s also a great way to start a new family tradition. After all, nothing brings families together quite like a holiday feast—especially one where the main feature is cooked to tender, juicy perfection.

Smoking a turkey is simple, and a great way to get a delicious holiday bird. Turkey has enough mass to stay nice and moist, and smokes fast enough that you’ll still have plenty of time to spend with your family and loved ones. Traeger’s Turkey Pellet Blend with Brine Kit makes smoking the perfect holiday turkey as easy as following these six simple steps.

Step 1: Brine

Brining is an important step to keeping your turkey juicy and delicious. The salt and water in the brine mix help lock flavor and moisture into the meat, making it extra plump and tasty. While there are many options available, we’re big fans of the Traeger brine mix, which is specifically developed for turkeys being cooked on a smoker. All you have to do is add a quart of water to the packaged dry mix, and boil for a few minutes to help the liquid absorb the flavor. Remove from heat and refrigerate the brine mixture until completely cooled.

Step 2: Prep

While the brine cools, prep the turkey by rinsing it, removing the giblets, and then blot it dry with paper towels. Place your turkey breast side down in a food-grade 5-gallon bucket or a cooler. Add the cooled brine mixture and cold water as necessary until the entire turkey is completely submerged. Put the brined turkey in the refrigerator and let it soak for at least 12 hours—24 hours is even better. (If you don’t have room in your fridge, you can also add ice to the bucket or cooler to keep the turkey at the proper temperature. Make sure the brine remains at or below 40℉.) Remember not to stuff a turkey you’re planning to cook on a smoker, as it will prevent that delicious smoky flavor from getting all the way through the bird.

Step 3: Rub & Season

After removing the turkey from the brine, rinse and pat dry. Then, coat the outside of the turkey with 2 tablespoons of melted butter. If you want to take your turkey to the next level, make a small opening to separate the skin from the breast and cover the entire breast with a 1 tablespoon of melted butter. (Putting butter beneath the skin will add even more flavor to the meat and keep everything extra juicy and delicious.) Season the outside of the skin with Traeger Turkey Rub, which will enhance the taste of the finished bird and give you a nice, savory crisp on the skin. While the Traeger rub will give you a great taste all on its own, feel free to add other herbs, spices, and flavors to suit your family’s preferences—our favorite is the Traeger Poultry Rub.

Step 4: Smoke

For best results, use Traeger’s Turkey Pellet Blend, which features oak, hickory, and maple hardwoods enhanced with rosemary to give your holiday turkey the right blend of sweet and smoky flavors. Start your pellet grill on the “smoke” setting with the lid open until fire is established—about 4-5 minutes. Close the lid and allow it to preheat for 10-15 minutes. Place your turkey breast-side up directly on the grill grate. Smoke until the temperature reaches 100-110℉, which should take about 2 hours depending on the size of your bird. Crank the temperature up to 350℉, and continue to cook until a thermometer reads 160℉ when inserted into the thickest part of the breast.

Step 5: Rest

After taking the turkey off the smoker, put it on a platter and wrap it in foil. You’ll want to let the meat rest for about 20 to 30 minutes before you carve and serve it. This helps the juices settle back into the meat for maximum moisture and flavor, and gives the bird a chance to finish cooking after removing from the smoker. The internal temperature of the breast should reach 165 degrees as your turkey rests.

Step 6: Carve & Enjoy!

This is the part everybody likes most, and for good reason. Smoked turkey is uniquely juicy and flavorful, and by the time everybody is chowing down, the chances are good you’ll have a unanimous vote to make smoked turkey an annual holiday tradition.

Best of all, you can find just about everything you need to cook your perfect smoked holiday turkey at your local IFA Country Store—from smokers, pellets, and rubs to helpful advice from our resident smoker experts. Happy holidays—and happy smoking!

Information for this article was provided by Traeger Grills and Kent Mickelsen, IFA Country Store.

13 Great Thanksgiving Menus

From perfect turkeys to decadent desserts, everything you need for the big day is here. Our tasty and healthy menus are fit for any occasion. Pile your plate high with our delicious recipes, guaranteed to keep everyone coming back for second servings.

If we were to vote, Thanksgiving would be neck-and-neck with Christmas as our all-time favorite holiday. Think about it: Practically everyone celebrates it, and the stars are family and food. Despite the fact that people from all different backgrounds and circumstances seem to unite around this holiday, that doesn&apost mean we all celebrate the same. Sure, there are some common themes, particularly on the dinner table: turkey, dressing, pumpkin pie 𠅚nd an abundance of everything. But there are probably as many variations on the Thanksgiving theme as there are folks who start their holiday shopping the day after (and if you&aposve ever been to the mall post-Thanksgiving, you know that&aposs a lot).

Not sure where to start when preparing your Thanksgiving dinner? We&aposve rounded up some of our best techniques, with handy step-by-step visuals, to make the big day a breeze:

On your walls.

Forget your traditional notions of a gallery wall Derian says decoupage can be applied directly to your walls for a one-of-a-kind art display. "Many people have done big decoupage walls," he says. To create your own decoupage wall at home, try using a widely available print that can cover a lot of surface space, such as vintage newspapers or a mix of iconic wallpapers, and be sure to stick to a single accent wall or small powder room, since you&aposll have to hand-apply𠅊nd perhaps eventually remove�h piece of paper.

My Favorite Thanksgiving Side Dishes

Raise your hand if you like the sides better than the actual bird!

There&rsquos the turkey. Yada yada yada.

But then there are the sides.

Here are some quick links to my very favorite Thanksgiving sides!

Raise your hand if you like the sides better than the actual bird!

Sometimes I even forget to put the turkey on my plate.

Click on the photos OR links below to be taken to the step-by-steps. Printables are at the end of each individual recipe (I didn&rsquot think it would work to have a long line of printables here.)

Thanksgiving sides for president!

The most delicious Mashed Potatoes in the world. And the best thing in the world is, you can make &rsquoem the day before, keep &rsquoem in a fridge, and bake &rsquoem the next day.

A Thanksgiving day without having to peel potatoes is a blessed Thanksgiving day indeed.

It looks like baby food, but it tastes like Heaven. This Butternut Squash Puree will make you moan and groan.

Main Courses

Colombian cuisine is very diverse, having influence from Spain, Africa, and Arab countries. Recipes are passed down from generation to generation and each region of the country has its own take on certain dishes. Carne asada is a beloved staple in Colombia―flank steak is marinated in a mixture of citrus, garlic, and beer, and then grilled and served with a flavorful salsa. On a cold evening, carne guisada will be a warm comfort. This beef stew filled with vegetables is a hearty one-dish meal. Arroz con pollo―chicken with rice―is a great main dish for a crowd and allows for flexibility in which ingredients you include. To add a little fun at the dinner table, serve tamales filled with either chicken, pork, beef or vegetables. To make them traditionally Colombian, use banana leaves instead of corn husks.

Cheddar Cheese Green Bean Casserole

​The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

This cheddar green bean casserole is a tasty homemade departure from the classic. Instead of condensed soup, it comes together with a cheese sauce made from scratch. If you prefer all natural ingredients, it's definitely the recipe for you.

Instagram pie art: Tips, tricks and Thanksgiving recipes from social media’s best pie artists

On a recent trip to Brooklyn, pie artist and Instagram sensation Helen Nugent spotted something inspiring. It wasn’t a whimsically-shaped cronut or trendy new pizza she saw in a restaurant window, but the mesmerizing designs of the sidewalk sewer grates.

“They had this beautiful Art Deco quality to them and I thought, ‘That would make a great pie,'” says Nugent, founder of Pie-Eyed Girl and the popular Instagram @batterednbaked. “Inspiration can come from almost anywhere.”

Gardens. Forests. Mosaic tiles and wrought-iron fences. Self-taught bakers-turned-pie-designers like Nugent and Seattle’s Lauren Ko swear they are not theoretical mathematicians or even artistically-inclined. They just know how to translate their surroundings into stunning pie crusts that have become the envy of home bakers and professionals alike.

And now, they’re spilling their design tips, tricks and recipes in new cookbooks released just in time for the holidays. Whether you want colorful crusts or sweet or savory fillings, the recipes and techniques are made for mixing and matching — and making them your own, the authors say.

Helen Nugent, aka Pie-Eyed Girl, is spilling her pie art secrets in her first cookbook, “Pie Style, just in time for Thanksgiving (James Brand)

In “Pie Style: Stunning Designs and Flavorful Fillings You Can Make at Home” (Page Street $22), Nugent provides 40-plus tempting recipes, from the deceptively-simple Rattan Chocolate Pecan Tart to the elaborate Thanksgiving Turkey Pumpkin Pie. The Food Network collaborator hopes her book will motivate more people to get their hands in pie dough and use pie crusts as canvases.

“Everybody wants to make a pretty pie, but they get intimidated by the process,” says Nugent, of Toronto. “They feel pie dough is beyond them. Maybe they over-mixed once and never tried again. Or the recipes are not detailed enough and ingredients are unattainable so it puts people off.”

With “Pie Style,” Nugent set out to change that. For starters, she gives bakers permission to use food processors instead of working the dough with their hands. She shares tips for success (chill, chill, chill) as well as common fails and fixes. Decorations flattened? Next time, prop them up with small balls of dough. Uneven browning? Egg wash in layers for a perfect, golden shine.

And those 3D designs? They’re made with affordable tools you likely already have: A chef’s knife and cookie cutters a $6-impression mat if you want to get really fancy. Simple techniques, like using negative space, altering the placement of your pecans in that gorgeous tart, or making a stencil — Nugent will demo the bird stencil and the other steps of her Thanksgiving Turkey Pumpkin Pie Nov. 8 on Instagram Live — prove that stunning pie art doesn’t take high-level skill, just time, patience and a little creativity.

“It can be kind of meditative,” she says. “Put on a podcast and create what makes you happy.”

Ko, the self-taught Seattle baker famous for her Lokokitchen geometric pie art, knew when she made her first pie in 2016 that pretty leaf cutouts and other rustic designs weren’t for her. Despite failing calculus and crying over geometry, Ko found her bliss in the tangram, a Chinese dissection puzzle made up of geometric shapes arranged in varying combinations to form other shapes.

“Designs made with basic shapes and straight angles were much more accessible for me,” says Ko, a former nonprofit executive assistant who turned to pie between jobs. “And I’ve always loved art and color.”

Lauren Ko’s geometric pie designs are finally available to the public via her new cookbook, “Pieometry.” (Ed Anderson Photography)

It shows. At first glance, her new cookbook, “Pieometry: Modern Tart Art and Pie Design for the Eye and the Palate” (William Morrow $32.50), is like a modern art coffee table book. But within Ko’s pun-driven writing, thoughtful instructions and 50-plus recipes, you’ll see there’s something for all skill levels. Truth or Square is mint chip ice cream in a basic Oreo crust, but the Andes mints are placed in alternating directions, like mosaic tiles or ceiling medallions.

Her Happy as a Gram, a tangy cranberry curd nestled in a speculoos crust, is decorated with triangles and trapezoids cut from kiwi, dragonfruit and mango for outrageous color and dimension. Tiles, cables, weaves and other patterns add to the striking look of Ko’s pies. Unique flavors — hello, Curls of Wisdom, a miso white carrot pie with a black sesame crust — add to the allure.

“I have the great gift of growing up in a family of phenomenal eaters,” says Ko, who finds recipe inspiration in her Chinese-Honduran roots and adventurous palate. That said, she believes in using what you have on hand and keeping your tool kit simple and affordable.

“Dragon fruit and passion fruit are my splurges and I make them stretch,” she says. “But you can start by punching out any fruit with different sized circle cutters or use a knife to make some triangles and lay them on your pie.”

Exciting Holiday Desserts That Go Beyond the Expected

by Terry Ward, AARP, November 16, 2020 | Comments: 0

En español | Pies and Christmas cookies will always have a place at the holiday table. But that doesn't mean you can't mix things up with nontraditional desserts to surprise and delight your family and guests.

This year's celebrations may be a bit different because of COVID-19 restrictions, so it could be the right time to experiment.

Try these desserts for a twist on traditional treats:

"It's always great to do another type of dessert than your traditional pies,” says Robert Nieto, pastry chef with Jackson Family Wines in California's Sonoma County. “With all the seasonal fruits that are out there right now that you can use, it's interesting to try something other than pumpkin, pecans and apples.”

Nieto suggests a persimmon tart that's as pretty as it tastes—and surprisingly easy to make, particularly if you substitute store-bought dough for homemade.

Memorial Day Sale

"Dessert is really important, especially during the holidays,” says Nieto. “It's the finale of the night, and you want people to love what you just made.”

This year, try these nontraditional dessert recipes for your own grand finale.

Tarte tatin made with festive persimmons

Usually made with apples, tarte tatin takes on orangey autumn hues when you make it with persimmons instead.

"Persimmons are very different,” says Nieto. “Their taste is not too sweet. They have a crunchy texture almost like an apple.”

The reveal comes when you flip this tart over to uncover the beautiful caramelized pattern of the fruit.

Allen Campbell Photography

Persimmon Tarte Tatin

For the caramelized persimmons:

  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon powdered pectin
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 5 to 7 fuyu persimmons peeled, halved and sliced crosswise 1/4 inch thick
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1/3 cup ice-cold water

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

2. Prepare the dough by combining flour, sugar and salt and mixing on low. Scatter butter over flour mixture and beat on medium for one minute, until the butter is the size of small peas. Slowly add the ice water and beat until the dough comes together and is evenly moistened. Roll dough on a lightly floured surface into a round 1/8 inch thick. Cut to 9 1/2 inches diameter. (Store-bought dough can be substituted.)

3. Prepare the caramel sauce by stirring together both sugars, salt and pectin in a bowl and set aside. Set an eight-inch ovenproof skillet on the stove over medium heat and add butter. Once melted, sprinkle sugar mixture evenly over the butter. Use a spatula to combine butter and sugar, stirring occasionally, 3 to 5 minutes, until an amber color. Stir in lemon juice and mix until fully incorporated, then remove from heat.

4. Arrange persimmon slices over the hot caramel, starting from the side of the skillet and working toward the center, carefully overlapping slices. Cover skillet with a lid or aluminum foil and bake for 18 minutes, until slightly bubbly.

5. Remove the pan from the oven and carefully lay the dough round atop the persimmons. Return pan to the oven and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until dough is cooked though and golden brown. Remove tart from oven and let rest for 10 minutes.

6. Gently invert a 10- or 12-inch plate over the skillet and carefully flip the pan and plate together. Lift off the pan and let the tart cool for 25 to 30 minutes. Cut into wedges and serve with whipped cream or ice cream.

A pumpkin spin on a Latin American sweet

Who needs pumpkin pie when you can serve this creamy pumpkin flan? Dolores Wiarco Dweck of the popular Mexican recipe website Lola's Cocina says the flavor combinations of flan, cheesecake and pumpkin pie are magical.

"Top it with edible flowers or fresh berries for that extra wow factor,” Dweck says.

Sandor Mejias Brito / Getty Images

Pumpkin Cheese Flan

  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 15-ounce can pumpkin puree
  • 1 12-ounce can evaporated milk
  • 1 14-ounce can condensed milk
  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon pure Mexican vanilla extract
  • 5 eggs at room temperature

2. Prepare caramel by dissolving sugar in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Once sugar comes to a boil, stir frequently with a wooden spatula until smooth. Working quickly, pour caramelized sugar mixture into a flan pan, a shallow pan often made of non-stick material, tin, steel or glass. Swirl to coat the bottom and sides. Do not touch or attempt to taste caramel — it will be extremely hot.

3. Combine evaporated and condensed milks, pumpkin, cream cheese, cinnamon and vanilla extract and blend until smooth, about 30 seconds. Add eggs and blend another 10 seconds, until just incorporated.

4. Pour mixture into a flan pan.

5. Prepare a water bath by setting flan pan in a larger baking pan or pot. Pour enough hot water into the larger baking pan to come halfway up the sides of flan pan. Place in oven.

6. Bake for approximately 60 minutes or until center of flan is set. Insert a thin-bladed knife into center to check: It should come out clean. It's okay if the knife comes out slightly wet because flan will continue to cook as it cools and sets.

7. Remove from oven and let water cool before removing flan pan from water bath. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

8. To de-mold flan, run a knife carefully around the edges without cutting into flan. Place plate over pan and invert onto a plate. Flan should come out easily with the caramel sauce.

5 Steps to a Uniquely Modern Thanksgiving - Recipes

The Feel-Good Guide to Sports, Travel, Shopping & Entertainment

How long to cook? Preheat the oven to 325 o , then place the bird in the oven to roast for 15 - 20 minutes per pound.

How big a turkey? You'll need 1 1/2 pounds of turkey per person if you're buying the whole bird, fresh or frozen.

Of course, it's always best to go bigger. (After all, there are at least 50 ways to serve your turkey leftovers, including a winter store of turkey soup.)

There's a bit more turkey wisdom up ahead, with additional advice & tips on what to do on the big day - - from defrosting, brining, trussing, deep frying, stuffing & basting - - to the final golden brown moment of turkey perfection.

How to Roast a Turkey


&bull 1 whole turkey
&bull 2 cups broth or water
&bull butter

What You'll Need

&bull Roasting pan
&bull Roasting rack
&bull Turkey baster or large spoon
&bull aluminum foil

Prep time: If buying a frozen turkey be sure to let thaw overnight. Many cooks also reserve extra time for brining a turkey for several hours beforehand. Brining (a salt and herb bath) simply results in juicier white meat, and tastier dark meat. When it comes to turkey stuffing, our advice is to make your turkey stuffing separately to avoid having to truss the turkey legs. Leaving the body cavity empty will also speed up roasting time.

Finally, before turning on the oven remember to position an oven rack in the bottom third of your oven so the bird sits where it can cook thoroughly but evenly.


1. Take the defrosted turkey from the refrigerator and remove the outside packaging. Check the body and neck cavity and remove the packaged giblets. Set the turkey breast-side up on the roasting rack. Let it sit for about 10 minutes or until it comes to almost room temperature so it will cook more evenly once inside the oven.

2. Preheat oven to 450°F. If you did NOT put your turkey through the brining process, now is the time to rub the turkey with butter or oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper for a tastier bird.

3. Pour two cups of chicken broth or water into the roasting pan. Place the pan in the oven and roast the turkey for 30 minutes at 450°F (to seal in the juices), then turn down the heat to 350°F. Place a sheet of aluminum foil to "tent" the bird for more even cooking throughout the rest of the roasting process.

Basically, you're work is done, although there are a few finer points to roasting the perfect turkey:

• Basting - about an hour into the roasting time, use a turkey baster or large spoon to scoop up the juices from the pan and drizzle it over the breast to keep the meat moist as it cooks.

• Un-tenting - In the last half hour of roasting, remove the sheet of aluminum foil to help turn the breast a deep golden brown.

• Temperature check - The old-fashioned way of checking for doneness is to grab the end of a leg - if it wiggles the bird is done. Otherwise, use the modern method of inserting a cooking thermometer inside the breast. Once the temperature reaches 165°F your bird is done.

• De-juicing - Save the juices from the pan! You'll need it make a tasty turkey gravy.

How to make turkey gravy

&bull Flour and butter (for thickening)
&bull chicken stock or turkey stock
&bull Turkey pan drippings
&bull mesh strainer


1. Assuming you've saved the turkey drippings, skim off the excess fat that has risen to the top. Heat the four cups of stock in a saucepan and add the turkey drippings.
2. In a separate pan, melt four tablespoons butter over medium heat. Stir in four tablespoons of flour to make a paste. Continue to stir for a couple of minutes until the mixture is golden brown.
3. Slowly pour the hot stock into the pan with the flour mixture, whisking as you add it. Continue to simmer and whisk the mixture until thickened.
4. Strain the gravy through a mesh strainer. Season with salt and pepper to taste *

* Remember that a brined turkey will result in extra salty drippings, in which case all you need do is add the pepper.

How to carve a turkey

First, make sure to let the turkey cool down, then remove the wings at the joints (where they attach to the breast.) Do the same with the legs and the thighs.

Now that you're left with just the breast, take a large fork and stick firmly into the middle of the breast to steady it as you carve. Next, use a large carving knife to begin carving slices from one side of the breast, then the other.

If you think of a turkey as just a big chicken, it's easy. The secret to easily carving a turkey is to let it cool down for 15-20 minutes to let the meat firm up. If your slices appear to crumble or fall apart as you slice them - STOP. The meat is too hot to carve.

Turkey recipes & how to's around the Web:

Butterball: Turkey Recipes & Ideas, Tips & How To's
One of America's most popular brands, with online videos to show you how to thaw, stuff, roast, carve or grill, and check out the live Turkey Talk-Line for one-on-one instruction.

Clemson University - How to Cook a Turkey
No fancy graphics, but plenty of warnings to keep it safe and hygienic. It's important information and they do a good job covering the basics.

Cooking for Engineers - Classic Roast Turkey - Cooking for Engineers
The beginners guide with step-by-step instructions and plenty of photos to help you follow along.

University of Illinois Extension - Turkey for the Holidays
Everything from cooking techniques, to carving the bird, to what to do with the leftovers, courtesy of the University of Illinois Extension. And check out a huge helping of Turkey Side Dishes.

Wikipedia - Turducken
Encyclopedic knowledge from Wikipedia, including how the craze began for chicken-stuffed-within-a-duck-within-a-turkey, popular turducken variations, nutrition information including fat & cholesterol content, plus links to recipes.

All Recipes - Turkey Brine
Check out this five-star rated recipe with complete instructions, plus browse the left-hand menu for more on citrus and orange turkey brining techniques.


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