Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Double Your Pleasure on Thanksgiving!

Nathalie Dupree is a genius. It was she, by way of an article by Shelley Hill Young in a recent issue of the North Carolina monthly skirt!magazine, who gave me the idea to make two turkeys on Thanksgiving. Sound crazy? Hear me (and Nathalie) out. I realize my situation is not the same as everyone else's, but I'm sure many of you can relate. I have hosted Thanksgiving ever since my kids were babies, so about 30 years. It was manageable, but never easy. When my mother became ill however, I had to transport the dinner to her house, and then a couple years later when my husband became ill, it started to make sense to me to help myself out a bit by making the turkey the day before. 

There are a lot of good reasons for this. First of all, it is far less stressful to be able to do it at your leisure. Second, it allows advance access to the carcass, after carving, with which you can make stock, and then use that stock in a magnificent gravy. Advanced prep allows you the freedom to tinker with your pan drippings, as well as refrigerate until the fat separates, when it can then be easily skimmed off. Third, having made stock you can then use it when you reheat the turkey by placing your slices of turkey into a large pan, drizzling about a cup of the stock over the top, covering it tightly with foil, and then reheating it. The first time I did this the turkey was the most delicious and succulent that we had ever tasted.

The downside to this is that, when people come to your home for Thanksgiving, they won't smell the turkey baking. I always felt bad about that, because half of the joy of Thanksgiving dinner is to inhale the heady aroma of that delicious roasting bird. 

Nathalie’s solution would achieve both goals -- being able to make the turkey I plan to serve on the day before, and still having that wonderful roast turkey aroma the day of the actual meal. In Nathalie's case, she bought two whole turkeys. In my case, because oven space is at a premium, and I need most of it for doing all of the side dishes, I decided to make a whole turkey the day before, and then make a turkey breast in the crockpot (That I remembered smelled amazing the last time I did it and you can read about that here.) and let it cook all day long on Thanksgiving.

It's too late for you all to make use of this bit of brilliance this year, but keep it in mind for next. Helping to relieve yourself of a bit of holiday stress can lead to the almost unheard of consequence of actually being able to enjoy your own party.
Have a delicious and stress-free Thanksgiving Day!


Debbie - Mountain Mama said...

You're brilliant, Pattie!! We are transporting dinner to my parents' house this year as my dad is too ill to travel. We'll do the same for Christmas, so it's challenging for sure. This might just come in very handy!! Have a very happy Thanksgiving, Pattie!

Kim Bates said...

What a wonderful idea! Wish I had more people to do that you blog!

Alycia Nichols said...

Surely there’s a turkey scented candle out there somewhere to get that just roasted smell in the air the day of!!!! Great idea!