Kitchen Helpline: Turkey Day

Thanksgiving is the time of year that gets many people into the kitchen. As they plan their turkey day meals, viewers have reached out to us with the turkey day questions weighing on their minds. Here are some commonly asked questions as answered by The Kitchen!
Episode: Friendsgiving

A turkey decorated by Nancy Fuller is displayed, as seen on Food Network's The Kitchen, Season 11.

Photo by: Jason DeCrow ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Jason DeCrow, 2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

A turkey decorated by Nancy Fuller is displayed, as seen on Food Network's The Kitchen, Season 11.

Question 1: "I want my turkey to look like a magazine cover--what can I do to make it look pretty?"

To make your turkey look camera-ready, consider altering the usual turkey platter. For a traditional look, go with a colorful earthen platter in place of the ubiquitous white or printed one. To give your table a more rustic feel, think outside the box and present your bird on a large cutting board. Add a base of fresh, leafy kale. This will help absorb the juices of the turkey and keep the platter or cutting board looking tidy. Place the turkey on a bed of kale and surround it with edible garnishes such as cut lemon wedges or orange slices. Scattered cranberries or halved pomegranates add a pop of color.

You can also tie together a bunch of unused fresh herbs such as rosemary, sage and thyme to make a "bouquet garni." Stuff it into the cavity of the bird and the heat from the turkey will warm the herbs, letting off a wonderful aroma when you present it to your guests.

Question 2: "Every year I wind up with lumpy mashed potatoes--how can I avoid this?"

Lumpy mashed potatoes are usually the result of undercooked potatoes or potatoes that haven't been mixed well. There are a number of ways to ensure smooth and creamy spuds.

  • Cook Your Potatoes Through: Cook peeled and halved potatoes. Halved potatoes absorb less water than potatoes cut into smaller pieces and are more likely to have a better consistency. Test for doneness using a fork; the fork should go through easily and the potatoes should break apart with little resistance.
  • Use a Ricer or Colander: Another trick to silky mashed potatoes is putting them through a potato ricer. A ricer can be purchased at your local kitchen supply store. If you can't find a potato ricer, use a bowl to push the cooked potatoes through a colander. The texture will be similar to that of the ricer and your mash will be nice and smooth.

Question 3: "I want to try something new this year without straying too far from traditional flavors. Any ideas?"

Cranberry sauce is a great low-risk place to play with new flavors. It's very easy to put out 2 types of cranberry sauce--one traditional and one with an interesting mix-in. Great options are minced fresh ginger, crushed pineapple, minced jalapeno or lime zest. You can also try different combinations of these flavors for an interesting twist on this holiday must-have. Katie Lee likes to use fresh minced ginger, pineapple and lime. 

Keep Reading

Next Up

Kitchen Helpline -- Secrets

Chicken, chicken, and more CHICKEN! We haven't flown the coop. The Kitchen Helpline is open and we're answering the chicken questions you've been clucking about.

Kitchen Helpline -- Shopping

Once again, we've opened our Kitchen Helpline, and this time we've got the answers to your pressing questions about buying chicken. Here's what you want to know!

Kitchen Helpline: Restaurant Secrets

We know you love to eat out just as much as you love to cook at home, so we want to help you recreate your favorite restaurant dishes. Here's how to master your most-requested restaurant items at home.

Wrap it Up! Kitchen Helpline

Sometimes the only thing better than delicious food is delicious food wrapped in more deliciousness! Our Kitchen Helpline has tips and tricks to help you perfect your favorite wrapped and rolled foods!

Kitchen Helpline: Your Cheesiest Questions

Here at The Kitchen, we're not above being a little cheesy. We put out the call and you came back to us with some really cheesy questions. Here are a few of the most popular ones from The Kitchen Helpline.

Kitchen Hacks

Try these clever shortcuts and tricks from the cast of The Kitchen the next time you need to need to reheat a slice of pizza or cool down a six-pack fast.

Turkey Crafts

Add a little whimsy to your Thanksgiving celebration with these turkey-shaped appetizers and snacks from The Kitchen.

Spa Day with Bobbi Brown

Enjoy a spa day at home with these do-it-yourself ideas from Bobbi Brown.

The Kitchen Summer Games

Entertain guests of all ages at your next summer party by setting up your own obstacle course right in your back yard!

Photo Kitchen Crafts

Next time you're gifting a photo, change up the standard frame and try these photo craft ideas using items from the kitchen.
More from:

The Kitchen