Turkey SOS: How to Save the Turkey When Something Goes Wrong from How to Save the Turkey When Something Goes Wrong Slideshow

How to Save the Turkey When Something Goes Wrong Slideshow

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Turkey SOS: How to Save the Turkey When Something Goes Wrong

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Turkey SOS: How to Save the Turkey When Something Goes Wrong

Getting ready to host a big meal isn’t a task to be taken lightly. It requires cunning, know-how, and a lot of patience. You have to be sure to wear several hats, and take on each role with a calming demeanor that makes your guests feel at ease and completely taken care of. But no matter how calm, cool, and collected you are, if something bad happens to your turkey on Thanksgiving, chances are you will panic.

To prevent you from losing your cool, we spoke with several chefs from noted restaurants to get the inside scoop on how to save your Thanksgiving turkey, and also how to prevent a few bad things from happening from the get-go.

We asked them to weigh in on every type of turkey emergency — from dry turkey to frozen turkey — and rounded up their fabulous tips to help you to save your Thanksgiving dinner!

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Browning Too Fast/Not Fast Enough

"If it’s browning too fast, simply turn the temperature of the oven down. To slow, turn the temperature of the oven up or turn the fan on if it’s a convection oven."

— Chef Matthew McClure, 21c’s The Hive

"If you think you're turkey is browning too fast, lower the heat on your oven. During the last five minutes of cooking your turkey, crank up the oven to 500 degrees if browning too slow."
— Glenn Harris, chef/owner of The Smith

"Too fast: no problem, cover with foil and slightly reduce temperature. Too slow: increase the heat and or baste with a butter-soy mixture."

— Ford Fry, chef/restaurateur, Rocket Farm Restaurants

For the 30 Best Recipes for Turkey — in Every Shape and Form, click here.

Burnt Turkey

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Burnt Turkey

"This is when you give up and order a pizza!" — Matthew McClure, chef at 21c’s The Hive

"Throw it in the trash and order in." — Glenn Harris, chef-owner of The Smith

"Ha! Once it's burnt, it's burnt! Break in to your neighbor's house with ski masks on and steal theirs!" —Ford Fry, chef-restaurateur, Rocket Farm Restaurants

For the 101 Best Thanksgiving Recipes, click here.

 

Dry Turkey

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Dry Turkey

"If you’re up for breaking Thanksgiving dinner tradition, start the 'leftovers' tradition early and whip up some sandwiches with a great aïoli and cranberry sauce. The condiments will make the turkey taste moist again!" — Matthew McClure, chef at 21c’s The Hive

"Making and serving your dry turkey with extra gravy is an easy, quick fix." — Glenn Harris, chef-owner of The Smith

For the 10 Chains That Will Be Serving Thanksgiving Dinner Slideshow, click here.

Forget to Remove the Giblets

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Forget to Remove the Giblets

"This will slow down the cooking time of the turkey, but shouldn’t be a problem. Just make sure to check the temp of the turkey before serving!" — Matthew McClure, chef at 21c’s The Hive

"No worries. Pull them out whenever, chop really fine, and add to stuffing or gravy." — Ford Fry, chef-restaurateur, Rocket Farm Restaurants

For the Simple Tricks for the Best Thanksgiving Gravy Ever Slideshow, click here.

 

Turkey Didn’t Defrost

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Turkey Didn’t Defrost

"Put turkey in a large pot or ice chest, and run water over to thaw. Alternative would be to butcher the turkey and cook pieces individually." — Matthew McClure, chef at 21c’s The Hive

"Place the bird in lukewarm water with 3 percent salt, which acts as an 'express brine,' further tenderizing meat and adding additional flavor." — Eduard Frauneder, co-chef-owner of Edi & the Wolf, Seasonal, The Third Man

"If frozen: Thaw, thaw, thaw! Defrost turkey in the refrigerator on a tray (to catch the drippings) for about three days. If you wake up on Thanksgiving morning and your bird is still frozen, thaw in cold water (place in sink or cooler, and if possible, run water for the duration, which will help thaw the bird evenly). Depending on the size, it will take four to five hours."— Elizabeth Karmel, founder of Girls at the Grill and Carolina Cue To Go

To read I Went to Butterball University, and This Is What I Learned, click here.

 

Turkey Is Done Too Early

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Turkey Is Done Too Early

"Turn oven down to 100 to 110 degrees. This will hold the bird warm without overcooking, and buy you one to three hours of time." — Matthew McClure, chef at 21c’s The Hive

"If your turkey is done too early, let it rest covered. After you present and carve it, warm the carved pieces in the oven." — Glenn Harris, chef-owner of The Smith

"Wrap in plastic and then foil and hold on warm. Once ready to serve, flash it in a 500-degree oven to crisp back up the skin." — Ford Fry, chef-restaurateur, Rocket Farm Restaurants

To read Thanksgiving Dinner in Just Five Hours? Here's How, click here.

 

Undercooked Turkey

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Undercooked Turkey

"Offer your guests a few more rounds of cocktails and appetizers, and turn the oven to a higher temperature to cook [the turkey] faster." — Matthew McClure, chef at 21c’s The Hive

"Separate the breast, thighs, and legs, and take all the meat off the carcass, and then put it back in the oven. Separate, smaller pieces will roast quicker." — Glenn Harris, chef-owner of The Smith
 

"Remove both breasts from the bone and both leg and thighs. Place skin-side-down on a roasting pan in a shallow pool of chicken broth and roast till done." — Ford Fry, chef-restaurateur, Rocket Farm Restaurants

For the Essential Thanksgiving Countdown Planning Guide, click here.

 

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How to Save the Turkey When Something Goes Wrong Slideshow

How to Save the Turkey When Something Goes Wrong Slideshow

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