Here is my master Thanksgiving plan. This menu was based on my Friendsgiving for 35 people last year and I wanted to show you how I broke it down. Here is the menu if you want to take a look.
The key to mastering Thanksgiving is prep and doing as much beforehand as possible.
Weekend before Thanksgiving
- Make gougeres and freeze
- Make the spiced nuts and store in an airtight container. (This spiced nut recipe will store well for up to 2 weeks)
- Make pie dough and freeze (Freeze your pie dough wrapped in plastic wrap. Put it in the refrigerator the night before you are ready to use it)
- Make cranberry sauce and store in refrigerator
3 days before Thanksgiving
- Order groceries/go grocery shopping
2 days before Thanksgiving
- Make cheesecake (but not the meringue topping) and refrigerate covered in plastic wrap
- Cut bread for stuffing and leave out to dry until ready to make stuffing
- Chop onions, celery and garlic for stuffing, store in plastic containers in fridge.
- Choose serving utensils and serving pieces
- If doing a wet brine, make turkey brine and let cool at room temperature overnight
- Make apple pie filling and store in the fridge to cool. (if you are cooking the apples beforehand)
Day before Thanksgiving
- Brine the turkey and refrigerator overnight
- Bake-off apple pie (store at room temperature until Thanksgiving dinner - I even left mine uncovered and it was totally fine)
- Make stuffing, but do not bake off and store in refrigerator
- Make corn pudding, bake and store in refrigerator once it cools down to room temperature
- Make Parker house roll dough and shape into balls. Cover with plastic wrap and store in refrigerator
- Make salad dressing and store in refrigerator
- Chop vegetables and store in refrigerator
- Cook and rice potatoes (Passing your potatoes through a ricer is easy and makes your mashers oh so smooth)
- Chop salad and store in plastic bags in the refrigerator.
Day of Thanksgiving:
- 8:30am Let Parker house rolls come to room temperature then bake
- 9am Set table and set up bar
- 9:30 Bake off stuffing
- 10 am Roast turkey
- 1:30 Make meringue, frost and toast for pumpkin cheesecake
- 2 pm Roast vegetables
- 2:15 Add mashed potatoes to the slow cooker
- 2:30 Assemble cheese board
- 2:50 Warm gougeres
- 3pm Guest arrive and nosh on appetizers and wine (while they do that, rewarm the stuffing, corn casserole and root vegetables if they need it. Also dress the salad and since Thanksgiving is best served family style, set out all the food)
- 4:15 Cut the turkey - don't attempt this at the table, it is way easier to do it in your kitchen when no one is watching.
- 4:30 pm Eat!