Need Help for Turkey Day? Join the Fork Reporter from 10 am to 2pm!

Are you constantly playing catch up in the kitchen every year when preparing Thanksgiving dinner? Wish there was an easier way? The Fork Reporter is here to help!

Tune in from 10 am to 2 pm as he takes your calls and dishes out the best advice to help you make your turkey day celebration so perfect your mother-in-law won't have any shade to throw this year. 

The Turkey

If you haven't begun defrosting your turkey for tomorrow, then get started now! It takes 24 hours to defrost your bird in the fridge, so hopefully you've already removed it from the freezer to begin the defrosting process. thanks

Be sure your fridge is set to 40 F or below for optimum defrosting conditions. 

  • 10 pounds - 2 days plus 12 hours
  • 15 pounds — 3 days plus 18 hours
  • 20 pounds — 5 days
  • 25 pounds — 6 days plus 6 hours

You can use this handy calculator to help your determine how long it'll take to defrost your bird.

Cold Water Thawing is a much faster way to defrost your turkey, but this can require a lot more of your attention, which can make cooking other items for dinner a bit tricky. 

Place the frozen turkey in a sealed, leak-proof package or plastic bag. Thaw the turkey by placing it underwater in cold tap water. Warm and hot water can encourage bacteria growth on the outer layers (and may even cook it unevenly). 

Change the water every thirty minutes or so to ensure it stays cold enough. You should be able to defrost the turkey with about 30 minutes of defrosting time per pound. 

The Sides

Mashed potatoes, yams, stuffing, sweet potatoes, carrots, green bean casserole - whatever your family likes to have with their turkey, it can be difficult to have it all finish at the same time as the turkey unless you're used to timing out your dishes. 

Here are four great side dishes that can be made quickly and easily during while your turkey is cooking to make sure everything is ready at the same time. 

Quick and Easy Mashed potatoes: 

Using a large pot, cover the potatoes with 1 tablespoon of salt and cold water. Bring to a low boil and then reduce the heat and simmer for 20-25 minutes until the potatoes are tender (but not falling apart).

Drain the potatoes and return to the stove to simmer over low heat while the moisture evaporates. Add in milk, butter, salt and pepper to taste, and use a potato ricer to mash it all together. 

Total time, 30 minutes. 

Crescent Rolls. 

It's not brain surgery. Open up the package of Pillsbury Crescent rolls, place them on a greased sheet, and bake at 375 for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. 

Total Time: 15 minutes

Crock-Pot Stuffing

Combine butter, celery, onion, sage, rosemary, thyme, salt in a saucepan and stir. Add bread crumbs to crock-pot and sauteed veggies along with a cup of chicken broth to the crock-pot and cook for three hours. 

Total Time: 3 hours 15 minutes. 

Cranberry Sauce

In a small saucepan over low heat, combine 1 c. of sugar and 1 c. of water until the sugar dissolves. Add 1 12-oz package of fresh cranberries and cook until they burst (around ten minutes). Stir in 2 tsp. of orange zest for flavor.

Remove from the heat and let cool. Transfer to the fridge and refrigerate. 

Total Time: 1 hour (including cooldown)

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