Chef Neal here to share a few helpful hints learned over the years to set your mind at ease this Thanksgiving.

In my home on Thanksgiving Day you are more apt to find me with my guests having a glass of wine and watching the ballgame, than working feverishly in the kitchen. How do I achieve this wonderment? All it takes are a few simple tricks!

Let’s begin with the Turkey. I brine mine in a simple solution of 1 cup salt, 1 quart sugar, 1 cup vinegar, 1 gallon water. This allows me to get maximum flavor from my bird with very little effort. Be sure to immerse your bird in the brine fully for at least 24 hours. Then, simply rinse your bird and cook as you would traditionally.

Next, let’s cover the deserts and sides. Decide what dishes can be made a day in advance. Those pies surely can be knocked-out and stored in the refrigerator overnight. Prep your side dishes early too, such as green beans, by blanching them. To blanch, boil in salted water and shock in an ice bath. Then, you will only need to re-heat the beans moments before guests arrive. These items actually benefit from an extra day in the cool! Simple preparation can save your holiday woes.

While I could go on and on, it would be easier to give you the option of commenting below with your holiday dilemma. I’m on call today to answer any questions or concerns. I’m always happy to share my tricks of the trade. If you so choose…alleviate all stress and let the folks at Langermann’s do the cooking for you, as we do cater and I am personally available for private dinner parties too.

Whatever you choose, enjoy. The holidays are supposed to be fun!

To get you started, here is a recipe FAVORITE of mine!

Chef’s Cranberry Sauce

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 4 lbs cranberries
  • 1 cup fresh orange Juice
  • 1/2 cup Gran Marnier
  1.  Over Low Heat, simmer water and sugar until it becomes caramel.
  2.  Add orange juice. Be careful not to burn arm from the steam, so pour juice from the  side.
  3.  Add cranberries and simmer for 1/2 hour, stirring frequently.
  4.  Add Gran Marnier to taste.Depending on your mood, add some orange Zest, raisins,  craisins or even chocolate!

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