This is a Thanksgiving follow-up, asking the chef at my house, Jackie Fu about her preparations for the holiday! Perhaps this will help as you get ready for the next big meal: Christmas.
Here are some of the questions I asked her about this year’s holiday menu:
Q: What dishes were on your Thanksgiving menu this year?
A: Turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, green beans, cornbread, and mashed potatoes and gravy.
Q: When did you start thinking about Thanksgiving dinner (day before, a week before, the day of, etc.)?
A: I started shopping for ingredients four or five days before Thanksgiving day.
Q: What did you do to prepare the turkey (shopping, cutting, etc.)?
A: I bought it (of course) and got carrots, onions, celery, sliced lemon, minced garlic, thyme, sage, and rosemary and put them in the cavity. I put it in a pan after tying its legs together and put the rest of the vegetables and herbs in the pan under the grill where the turkey was lying and poured in chicken broth.
Q: Why do you brine the turkey?
A: I brine the turkey to give it a tender, juicy flavor.
Q: How heavy was your turkey this year?
A: This year it was 11 pounds.
Q: How did you cook the turkey?
A: I pre-heated the oven to 500 degrees (Fahrenheit) for 30 minutes and then I lowered the temperature to 325 degrees and baked the turkey for 1½ hours to 2 hours, until the internal temperature hit 165 degrees (using a meat thermometer).
Q: Next year, what would you do differently from what you did this year?
A: I would start cooking a little later; dinner was a little earlier than expected!
Q: Are you eating the leftovers now that Thanksgiving is over ?
A: Yes, I make a turkey soup with chopped carrots and celery; it is delicious! I like trying different things, like making fajitas with turkey meat or making a sandwich with turkey and other sandwich ingredients.