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Do You Know How To Fix These Common Thanksgiving Cooking Mistakes?

Let's get basted.

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  1. Crap! You forgot to thaw the turkey. What do you do?
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    I'm screwed. Let's order pizza
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    Roast the frozen turkey in the oven at 325°F
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    Incorrect
    Brine it anyway and then roast it
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    Roast the frozen turkey in the oven at 450°F
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Roast the frozen turkey in the oven at 325°F

    If you forgot to thaw the turkey a few days in advance, your Thanksgiving isn't necessarily ruined. A completely frozen turkey will take significantly longer to cook than a thawed turkey, but it's safe to put a rock solid bird in the oven and let it cook from frozen. You'll need to roast it at 325°F until the turkey's temperature is at least 165°F. According to The Kitchn, it should take you about 4-7 hours, depending on the size of the bird.

    Roast the frozen turkey in the oven at 325°F
    Via Getty Images
  2. When should you brine the turkey?
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    A few days before Thanksgiving
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    The day before Thanksgiving
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    A few minutes before you roast the turkey
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    The morning of Thanksgiving
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Brine the turkey the day before Thanksgiving.

    Brining means soaking the bird in a very salty solution for a period of time in order to maximize flavor and texture. The finished turkey will taste moist, juicy, tender on the inside and crispy on the outside. You should brine the turkey the day before Thanksgiving.

    Brine the turkey the day before Thanksgiving.
    Via Martha Stewart
  3. Which of these things should you NOT stuff the turkey with?
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    Stuffing
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    Incorrect
    Lemons and shallots
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    Butter and sage
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    Incorrect
    Celery, onions, and herbs
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    You shouldn't stuff your turkey with stuffing

    Don't freak out, but according to chef Alton Brown, "when it comes to turkey, stuffing is evil." Why? You must get the stuffing to a minimum of 165°F in order to kill food borne illnesses. But getting the stuffing to 165°F means you'll likely overcook the turkey (aka a big Thanksgiving no-no). The better solution: Cook the stuffing separately and then stuff the turkey after it's cooked.

    You shouldn't stuff your turkey with stuffing
    Via Getty Images
  4. Aw man, your turkey came out dry. How do you fix it?
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    Keep basting it
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    Pour stock over the sliced turkey and pop it back in the oven
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    Put it back in the oven and cook it for longer
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    Carve it immediately after taking it out of the oven
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Pour warm stock over the sliced turkey and pop it back in the oven.

    OK, so you overcooked the turkey, but you don't need to panic. All you have to do is add moisture back into the bird. According to The Kitchn, you should cut the turkey into slices and pour warm chicken or turkey stock over it (you can add some melted butter, too). Then, cover the sliced turkey with aluminum foil or put it back in a 250°F oven just to keep it warm. After about 10 minutes (and with the help of some gravy) your turkey will taste less dry.

    Pour warm stock over the sliced turkey and pop it back in the oven.
    Via Getty Images
  5. Your stuffing always comes out soggy. What should you do differently?
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    Add gravy to the stuffing mixture
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    Add the broth a little bit at a time
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    Incorrect
    Don't pre-cook your mix-ins. Mix them raw into the bread.
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    Use softer bread that can absorb more liquid
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Add a little broth at a time to prevent stuffing from getting soggy

    You don't want your stuffing to be dry, but you certainly don't want it to be overly soggy. For a happy medium, you'll want to carefully watch how much liquid you're adding to the stuffing mixture. Add 1/2 cup of stock at a time and wait for the bread to absorb it before adding more. When the stuffing is moist but not overflowing with broth, you've added enough liquid.

    Add a little broth at a time to prevent stuffing from getting soggy
    Via Getty Images
  6. Which of these things should you NOT do when making fluffy mashed potatoes?
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    Use two different types of potatoes
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    Add cold butter and cream to the potatoes
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    Use a potato ricer instead of a masher
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    Simmer the potatoes instead of boiling them
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Don't add cold butter and cream to your potatoes

    You want your potatoes to be buttery and creamy, of course, but the potatoes will absorb dairy easier when it's at room temperature. Let your butter and cream sit out for a bit before adding them to the potatoes so you can easily work them into the mash and achieve that super fluffy, creamy taste and texture.

    Don't add cold butter and cream to your potatoes
    Via Getty Images
  7. Your gravy is too thin. How can you fix it?
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    Add a hefty serving of flour so it thickens
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    Add equal parts softened butter and flour until it thickens
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    Add more broth until it thickens
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    Keep adding cream until it thickens
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Add equal parts softened butter and flour to the gravy until it thickens.

    You don't want lumpy gravy and you don't want gravy that's as thin as water. If your gravy is looking a little too thin, you can thicken it up with two simple ingredients. Combine equal parts softened butter and flour into a paste (called beurre manié), then whisk it into the gravy and bring it to a simmer. Keep adding the butter and flour mixture until you've reached your desired consistency.

    Add equal parts softened butter and flour to the gravy until it thickens.
    Via Getty Images
  8. Your pie crust is never flaky. What should you try this year?
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    Bring your ingredients to room temperature before making the crust
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    Put your ingredients in the freezer before making the crust
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    Use oil instead of butter to make the crust
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    Bake the pie at 275°F the whole time.
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Put the ingredients in the freezer before making the crust.

    The key to super tender and flaky pie crust is making sure the dough stays chilled before baking. The simple solution: Pop the butter and flour in the freezer before making the pie dough. You can even put the assembled (unbaked) pie into the freezer for 15 minutes or so before baking it in the oven.

    Put the ingredients in the freezer before making the crust.
    Via Getty Images

 
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