Geoffrey Zakarian's 3 Tips For A Successful Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a fabulous holiday. But let's admit it, it can be extremely stressful. Between basting the bird and whipping the potatoes there is barely time to talk. Believe it or not, that stress is universal — from a mom at home to a top-rated chef in the industry, Thanksgiving can be rough.

"I'm going on an island with my family," said chef Geoffrey Zakarian, a successful restaurateur and winner of the fourth season of Food Network's The Next Iron Chef, Super Chefs. "We are barbecuing our turkey! We are going to brine it, butterfly it, and cook it like a leg of lamb," he continued.

Sneaking away for the holidays isn't something new for Zakarian and his family, who finds that getting out makes it a more fun experience.

"We alternate. One year we go out, the next year we'll go away. Thanksgiving is a lot of work. We try to mix it up each year," he told us.

But for those of those that have to stay at home base, Zakarian shared a few of his tips for a stress-free holiday:

1. Make Reservations

Whether you are going out to dinner or need special products to make your home dinner a success, make your calls way ahead of time.

2. Get in the Kitchen Early.

Like, really early. "Do all your cooking a day ahead. Just do your finishing the day of," he suggests. 

3. Don't Take Chances

Be an adventurous cook on your own time. "Cook what you know how to cook, you don't want to take chances on Thanksgiving."

For more turkey talk, visit The Daily Meal's Ultimate Guide to Thanksgiving!