Over the past two weeks, we’ve talked about preparing for Thanksgiving weeks in advance so we feel more relaxed and able to socialize on the big day. Hopefully by now you have a pie or two in your freezer, and bread ready to go, too. This week, we’ll cover a few additional items you can prepare ahead of time.
Most soups can be frozen for months, so go ahead and make Thanksgiving soup now – unless it contains dairy products. Allow the soup to thaw in the refrigerator, then reheat on the stove. Alternatively, you can make the soup two or three days before Thanksgiving and store it in the refrigerator; the flavor of the soup often improves, using this method.
Make this three or four days before Thanksgiving and store the sauce in the refrigerator in an air tight container.
Use store bought or home made stock, plus any giblets that come with the turkey, to make the gravy up to two days before Thanksgiving. Store in an air tight container in the refrigerator and reheat on the stove before serving.
Whip these up the day before and put them in the fridge for reheating on Thanksgiving. To reheat, either cover them with foil and place in a 350 degree F. oven for about 20 minutes, or dump them into a pot, cover, and gently reheat. Add milk, if needed, to make the potatoes smoother.
The day before Thanksgiving, mix together all the ingredients, except any wet ones, like butter and stock or broth.
Honestly, truly there is no reason to wake up early Thanksgiving morning to prepare the turkey and pop it in the oven. You can get it started the night before, instead! Use a turkey that’s 20 lbs. or more and pour enough water into the roasting pan to just reach the rack. Season the bird inside and out. Place it on the rack in the roasting pan, then place the whole in a preheated 400 degree F. oven for 30 min. Baste. Lower the oven temperature to 250 degrees F. Ensure there is still enough water in the pan to reach the top of the rack, but not touch the turkey itself. Completely cover the pan with tented foil and secure in place by crimping the foil around the pan’s edges. In the morning, check the temperature of the turkey. The breast should read 155 degrees F. when the turkey is cooked thoroughly. If you place the turkey in the oven at 11 pm, a 20 lb. turkey should be done by about 7 am.
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