Monday, November 24, 2008

Turkey Day 911


I UNDERCOOKED THE TURKEY
Fix It: If the bird seems undercooked, usually the breast is fully cooked while the legs need more time. Cut the breast meat off with a sharp knife and serve that. Meanwhile, put the drumsticks and thighs back in the oven at 450*F.
THE STUFFING IS TOO WET
Fix It: Lay all the stuffing out in the thinnest layer you can on a sheet pan and put it in the oven to dry out. The thinner the layer, the faster it will dry.

IF I BOIL THE SPROUTS, THE KITCHEN SMELLS TERRIBLE!
Fix It:
When it comes to Brussels sprouts, brown them; don't boil them. Slice raw sprouts very thin. then brown them in a very hot pan using bacon fat or some of your turkey fat. I like to add chestnuts and lemon zest. When you brown the sprouts, they become nutty and sweet.
I FORGOT THE CRANBERRY SAUCE
Fix It:
Cranberry sauce is a sweet and sour relish to complement the rich flavor of turkey. In its place, you can use whatever fruit you have on hand, whether it be frozen strawberries, canned peaches, or sliced pineapple. Process the fruit in a blender with sugar and vinegar until it is a sweet and sour combination to your liking. Your guests will think you invented a new relish!
THE GRAVY IS WEAK AND PASTY
Fix It:
You always want to have extra stock on hand to make your gravy-at least one can per two people. If your gravy is too thick, add canned chicken stock. If too thin, mix a melted tablespoon of butter with a tablespoon of flour, adding it to your gravy and bring it to a boil, whipping it. To boost flavor, add 1/2 teaspoon Kitchen Bouquet Browning & Seasoning Sauce (or more) to taste.
THE TOP OF THE PUMPKIN PIE BURNED
Fix It:
Burning is only skin deep, so carefully scrape the charred flakes off and top the pie with a big dollop of whipped cream!

MY MASHED SPUDS ARE SOUPY & I RAN OUT OF ONES TO BOIL
Fix It:
Add unseasoned, canned, dry bread crumbs until the crumbs have absorbed all the excess water, milk, or chicken stock you had used. It works every time.
AS ALWAYS, I MADE WAY TOO MUCH
Fix It:
Bored of the second-day turkey sandwiches? For a new take on traditional Thanksgiving soup, you can make great dumplings out of leftover stuffing. Mix stuffing with 3 whole beaten eggs, then let it sit for a few minutes to absorb the moisture. Use 2 tablespoons of the stuffing mixture to form each dumpling and cook for a few minutes in a simmering broth made from other on-hand ingredients-chicken stock, onion, squash, and turkey. Top with shredded cheese once it's in the bowl and serve.

Chef and TV host Rocco DiSpirito is author of the cookbook, "Rocco Gets Real"

2 comments:

AKRenee said...

Very interesting! BUT....my Thanksgiving meal always turns out PERFECTO! HAHAHAHAHAHAH Love ya and have a GREAT TURKEY day!

Abby said...

Great tips! I won't need any though - not because I'm the perfect cook, but because I just don't care!