At the Food Network NYC Wine and Food Festival last month, my favorite demonstration was Bobby Flay's. Although it was early October, Flay had Thanksgiving on the mind. He loves the food-centric holiday so much that every year, he wakes up at 5 a.m. and cooks a feast for 40 friends and family members. To find out how Flay makes his Thanksgiving a delicious success,
- The most important ingredient on Thanksgiving is chicken stock. Make sure to stock up on a good quality, store-bought brand. Flay keeps a pot of it heated on the stove all day and uses it to moisten the stuffing and turkey.
- If you can afford it, buy a good, free-range turkey.
- Prioritize! Do the cranberry a couple of days before Thanksgiving.
- Be sure to put chicken stock in the bottom of the pan. The stock will steam the meat and make for a juicy turkey.
- Don't rely on the minutes per pound rule when cooking turkey. The turkey is done when a temperature says 160°F.
- Don't stuff the bird. Cook the stuffing outside in a separate dish.
- Don't put eggs in the dressing. It doesn't need it.
- Avoid cornstarch when making gravy. Flay prefers to make a separate sauce instead of the classic gravy.
- Don't be afraid of salt. Flay says he "would rather die from salt than eat bland food."
- Season and taste everything. According to Flay, "If you aren't tasting the food, you're not cooking."
- After dinner play a girls vs. guys game of Trivial Pursuit!
What do you think of Bobby's tips? Do you have plenty of chicken stock on hand when making Thanksgiving dinner?