Thanksgiving is right around the corner and if you are hosting you will probably be spending most of your time in the kitchen. Chefs use a phrase, "Mise en place," meaning "putting in place" or "everything in its place." Prepping ahead of turkey day will not only save you time but it will also give you peace of mind. If you want to spend more time with your family and friends, try these chef hacks to help you prep and get the turkey on the dinner table quicker this year.
Plan and delegate prior to the day of the event. Cooking your whole meal from scratch takes time and can be challenging to try and do it all on the same day. Brian Bornemann, chef and co-owner of Crudo e Nudo in Santa Monica, suggests you start cooking on Sunday. If you make a side every day and ask your guests to bring sides and/or desserts you can elevate some of that day of anxiety. Then on Thursday, all you have to do is cook the turkey and reheat the sides.
Peeling potatoes before boiling them can be a hassle, so don't. Craig Cochran, chef and owner of NuLeaf in New York, says to shock your cooked potatoes in an ice bath and "the skins will come right off."
Roasting your turkey can take hours so instead try spatchcocking it first. Executive chef at Huckleberry Bakery and Café in Santa Monica, Jennifer Toomey, suggest that you use this cooking method. She says, "Remove the back bone, flatten out the bird and roast it skin side up. It cooks in less than half the time and you still get that juicy meat and crispy skin."
Try making your gravy in the blender. Todd Rodgers, director of culinary operations at The Pearl Hotel in Florida, says to let the blender do the work of thickening and getting the lumps out of your gravy. He adds the drippings from the pan, trimmings from the bird and stock. Then by adding a little heavy cream you can thicken it up.
Caroline Schiff, executive pastry chef at Gage & Tollner in Brooklyn and executive chef at Slow Up, says to use your freezer for prep. She makes and freezes stocks, soups, caramelized onions and more in the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving, then thaws them in the fridge.
You do not have to wait until Thanksgiving to cut, peel, chop or dice your vegetables. You can get this task done a day or two before the holiday. John Adler, vice president of culinary at Blue Apron, recommends storing your prepped produce in an airtight container with a paper towel on top to prevent them from getting slimy.
Read the full article for more Thanksgiving cooking tips at Huff Post