I used to spend days preparing for and making Thanksgiving dinner from scratch. The stuffing was never as good as mom’s. I finally asked for the recipe. I was so surprised by her answer: Stove Top®, with a few added touches! These days I use several tried and true turkey shortcuts. I don’t have to worry about wrestling a hot, whole turkey out of the oven, spooning out the dressing, carving it and making the gravy. Now I can enjoy the party, too.
Turkey shortcut: Make it ahead
This recipe suggests roasting the turkey a day ahead. I actually find it easier to do it Thanksgiving morning. Then you reheat it for an hour before you expect to sit down at the table. The broth added while reheating keeps the meat succulent and moist. Here’s the recipe: foodnetwork.com.
Turkey stuffing shortcut: Stove top
This link offers several suggestions for dressing up (pun intended) stuffing kits. If you don’t want to reveal your secret, hide the stuffing box at the bottom of the kitchen trash can. Here’s the link: food.com.
Turkey gravy shortcut: From a jar. They’ll never know.
Don’t skimp here, buy the best gravy from a trusted brand. This link tells you “five ways to make a jar of gravy taste more like homemade.” Here’s the link: thekitchn.com.
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Suggestions from my friend, Carol, one of the best cooks I know:
Putting the stuffing in the bird increases the chances of drying it out. Bake it separately.
As far as the turkey goes, put all your flavorings, herbs, etc. in mayonnaise (Best Foods works) and frost the outside and inside of the bird. The mayo carries the flavors into the meat and makes for a juicy bird. I like to place onions and orange peels in the cavity.
Great tips. Thank you Jackie!