10 Tips For Saving Thanksgiving After A Cooking Disaster

Photo: saebaryo

Picture this: Little kids are running around while everyone else is watching football, except your mum who won’t stop pestering about the turkey.Meanwhile in the kitchen, you’re royally messing up.

The turkey seems too dry, the gravy tastes bland and the stuffing tastes like watered down bread crumbs. 

Of course, you’ve got no cash, but desperately need a Plan B.

Don’t stress, here are 10 easy fixes to avert Turkey Day disaster.

Turn a lousy pie crust into a galette.

You made a decent pie filing--it tastes good and has the right consistency--but your dough crust looks beat-up and isn't rolling out properly.

Try this: Scratch the pie and make a pretty galette instead.

The rustic-looking desert uses the exact same crust and filing, but instead of having to roll out the dough you can simply clump together little bits by hand and scrunch bits around the top.

Douse a dry turkey in gravy.

Make a great batch of gravy then insist your guests smother their meat in the stuff.

You might even douse the turkey in the sauce before serving it.

Break out the liquor to pump up bland gravy.

Add salt, freshly ground pepper and some fortified alcohol like Madeira, sherry or port.

Next time: Save your gravy and pan drippings. Enhance the flavour of the drippings by putting thickly sliced carrots, onions and celery in the pan beneath the bird before cooking. Add just enough water to cover the pan. The veggies will caramelize and give a rich flavour to the juice.

You can also puree the caramelized veggies and add the mix to the gravy as well.

Give your frozen a turkey a nice bath.

Put the breast down first, making sure not to open the wrapping.

Cold water transfers heat faster than the refrigerator air will, but anticipate it taking a half hour per pound to defrost, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

To speed up the process, change the water every 30 minutes.

Counter a cold meat with hot plates and sides.

Don't let a cold turkey kill the festive mood.

Try this: Heat up the gravy, mashed potatoes, peas and whatever other sides you're serving. Running plates under hot water before serving helps, too.

And if your side dishes stink, add butter and cream.

Got wilted asparagus and flavorless mashed potatoes?

Add a dollop of some butter and cream or salt and crushed garlic for extra kick.

Use paper towels and tin foil to avoid splattered turkey.

Some hardcore chefs require heavy-duty gloves or kitchen mitts. More sophisticated types sometimes use string and make a sort of turkey hammock, but of course there's no need.

To avoid a meat-floor wedding, scrunch up some paper towels and tin foil and pull the turkey out.

You can also get two wooden spoons and insert them at each end of the bird.

Add a splash of soda water to kick up lousy wine.

Not only will it mask the taste, it will also make the wine last longer.

You can also add some fruit to give it extra zest and turn it into a fall-themed sangria.

Check out our roundup of 10 cheap wines to pair with your turkey to avoid this problem altogether!

Toughen up soggy stuffing by sticking it back in the oven.

It's easy for your stuffing to get too soggy, especially when you're cooking it inside the bird.

Depending on how wet your stuffing gets, soak up the extra water with paper towels. Then put it back in the oven by itself at 350 F and watch while it dries out.

Adding bread crumbs to the mix also helps.

And when basting becomes a pain the ***, ditch it.

There's no need to baste, so don't worry about it. The process doesn't actually keep the turkey moist; it just makes the skin crispy and brown.

In fact, it's safer not to baste altogether because you're letting out oven heat, which many chefs warn people about when cooking a turkey.

Now that you're done with dinner, it's time to go shopping.

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