Tuesday before Thanksgiving is a good time to start preparing for Turkey Day.
You can make pie crust and buy any last-minute essentials. Making cranberry sauce is also a good Tuesday activity.
Make your Thanksgiving pie on Wednesday, so that you have less to do on Thursday.
Prep vegetables on Wednesday and put them in a pot of water or Stock (cover with a lid) on the stove ready for cooking on Thursday. Alternatively, cook them on Wednesday to reheat on Thursday.
Make your turkey stock for Thanksgiving gravy ahead of time on Wednesday. Remove the wings from your turkey, joint them (for bone broth), sauté them with a tablespoon of salted Butter until browned, then add water. Bringing the pot up to the boil and simmering sufficiently takes about three hours. Turn off the heat and leave to cool gradually to room temperature.
You can also make your stuffing then so that it is ready for the bird straightaway on Thanksgiving.
By the way, the secret to a good stuffing is plenty of butter. Use a ratio of 1/3 stock to 2/3 butter. Sauté chopped onion, mushrooms and celery with 125g — one stick — of butter in the stuffing pot before adding the croutons. Add another 125g of butter when you add your stock. Melt the butter in the stock then add the croutons, put a lid on the pan and turn off the heat. You will get a lot of compliments!
Finally, be sure to season your turkey well before putting it in the oven. Prepare a seasoned rub of your choice, adding plenty of salt. I also put softened salted butter with sage or bay leaves under the skin. It makes a huge difference to the finished product.
Salt and butter are your Thanksgiving dinner friends.
I mention this because the worst Thanksgiving dinner I ever ate was at a nurse’s house in the late 1970s. I can remember it to this day. She did not season the bird at all — or any of the side dishes. Furthermore, everything was low-fat. I ate out of politeness, but could easily have passed that dinner by.
Also, if it is easier for you to carve and dish up in the kitchen, do so. You’ll save time on the washing up, as you won’t have serving dishes to clean.
In closing, Thanksgiving doesn’t have to be a huge chore. Start now, so that you can relax a bit more with your guests on the day.