Thanksgiving tricks to pull off a stress-free meal

Indy Style

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Jenna, owner and chef of 4 Birds Bakery shows us how our “mise en place” is key to keeping your stress at a minimum.

Here are some things that you can do ahead of time:

For your turkey, make your brine, marinade and/or rub up to two weeks in advance. Be sure to store in an airtight container and for best results, refrigerate the brine or marinade.

For purees and side dishes, you can make sweet potato, pumpkin or other squash purees months in advance and freeze them. Then you can thaw and use for pies, side dish casseroles, etc.

Thanksgiving Dressing

  • 8-10 English muffins, dried out and cubed; should yield about 13 cups of bread cubes
  • 3 cups cooked chicken thighs, chopped
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • ¼ cup chopped celery leaves
  • 1 cup chopped mushrooms
  • 2 ½ cups chicken stock
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 2 eggs, well beaten
  • 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon dried sage
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Homemade Pie Crust

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 11 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 5–7 tablespoons cool water
  • 2 9-inch pie pans
  • Pastry cloth and rolling pin cover (optional)

Sweet Potato Pie

  • 2 large sweet potatoes cooked, skin removed & mashed
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1 9” pie crust, unbaked
  • Candied Pecans
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 16 ounces about 4 cups unsalted pecans halves
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon water
  • Rum Caramel
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • ⅓ cup water
  • ¾ cup heavy cream
  • 3 Tbs. 8th Day Rum
  • ½ tsp. kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp. pure vanilla extract

Learn more about 4 Birds Bakery HERE.

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