Chefs' 50 Best Thanksgiving Tips

Food Network Magazine turned to seven reigning Iron Chefs—and dozens of past competitors—for some holiday advice.

Category:
Thanksgiving
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21. Serve your favorite spirit shaken with cranberry juice, lime juice and a splash of orange liqueur to cover the cranberry part of the tradition.
Elizabeth Falkner 
Corvo Bianco, New York City

22. Before you roast the bird, insert several metal skewers into each turkey thigh. They direct heat to the thighs more efficiently, and the faster the thighs cook, the less time the breast has to dry out.
Alex Stupak 
Empellón Cocina, New York City

23. A crown roast of lamb is one of my favorite Thanksgiving feasts. The lamb is rich and decadent for a fall celebration.
Kelly Liken
Restaurant Kelly Liken, Vail, CO

24. I like to have a few bottles of white wine and champagne open along with several flavored liqueurs so people can create their own drinks.
John Besh
August, New Orleans

25. One of my favorite dishes to make is mashed potatoes with La Serena cheese (a Spanish sheep's milk cheese). The cheese makes the potatoes so creamy.
José Andrés
Minibar, Washington, D.C.

26. Incorporate some games into the day! Whether it's a backyard touch football game or a beanbag toss, have a few things going on so people aren't crowding the kitchen.
Richard Blais
The Spence, Atlanta

27. Although I love the idea of a picturesque whole turkey sitting in the middle of the dining table, I have yet to master cooking it that way. Instead, I like to break down the turkey: I braise the legs slowly and separately roast the breasts. This way, I know everything will be perfectly cooked.
Scott Conant
Scarpetta, New York City

28. For me, Thanksgiving is the beginning of the season to be jolly, so I always make eggnog spiked with cognac or rum.
Mary Sue Milliken
Border Grill, Los Angeles

29. I always prefer two smaller birds to one big one. I find a large bird so much more difficult to deal with—from fitting it into my oven to carving it.
IRON CHEF Alex Guarnaschelli

30. Don't try to serve the entire meal hot—you usually don't have enough space or burners. One of my favorite dishes is a green bean salad that you can serve at room temperature.
Marc Murphy
Landmarc, New York City