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Don’t panic! ‘The Chew’s’ Carla Hall has last-minute turkey tips for Thanksgiving cooks

ABC/Lorenzo Bevilaqua
ABC/Lorenzo Bevilaqua

(NEW YORK) — The 11th hour is here for Thanksgiving cooks — Thursday, your guests will be arriving and expecting you to be dishing out a perfect meal.  So, how far along with you meal should you be already?  The Chew‘s Carla Hall has an answer.

“You should have your cranberry sauce made, you should have your desserts made, your pie crusts and the start of your desserts, any homemade condiments and those things, those should be made,” Hall tells ABC Radio.

Twenty-four or so hours out, if you bought a frozen turkey, it should be thawed, and, says Hall, you should be thinking brine.

“This year I’m going to do a dry salt brine,” she says, explaining, “I will be salting my turkey the night before, uncovered, so it can dry out, and then that salt permeates through the meat of the turkey. And I think it gives you a really nice texture of turkey.”

OK, but what if you haven’t gotten quite out in front of your meal yet?  What if your turkey is still frozen even?  Don’t worry, says Hall. “What you can do is get a really big pot, and with the turkey still in the wrapper, immerse it into cold water, and then keep changing that water every 30 minutes,” she explains.  “If it’s just like 25 percent frozen you can still cook it, but it will slow down the cooking time. So you have to add some time to that turkey.”

And if you have any last minute shopping to do, there’s one gadget Hall suggests you add to your shopping list: “A thermometer with a probe, and then it has a magnet that can sit on your oven…so you know when your turkey is, and you’re not opening the oven constantly…”

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