Celebrity Chef Curtis Stone’s Favorite Thanksgiving Cooking Tips
Celebrity chef Curtis Stone joined us in Rockefeller Plaza for a chat in Ocean Spray’s cranberry bog and dished on his best Thanksgiving cooking tips and what his weapon of choice would be in a food fight.
I imagine there’s always a conversation about whether you’ll be cooking at home or inviting the family to your restaurants Maude or Gwen for Thanksgiving, so what’s the plan this year?
CURTIS STONE: We’ve never done that before although this year could be that exception because we are extremely busy this Thanksgiving! But it doesn’t matter if you’re cooking for two or 22, the rules are kind of the same. You want it to feel traditional and festive, with a sense of family togetherness. The way to do that is to lean on family traditions. But that shouldn’t stop you from trying to create some new ones on your own. Ocean Spray performed a survey of how many New Thanksgiving hosts there will be this year hosting for the first time and it was something like 20 million people! So, that makes you think twice about what to do as a first time host.
Is there an equivalent to Thanksgiving in Australia? Or is this food holiday an adopted one for you?
CS: There’s not actually. But, it’s still my favorite holiday of the year. I’ve lived now in the states for 11 years and our Thanksgiving is a little bit of a mashup because Lindsay’s mom is Korean, so occasionally she’ll put out some kimchi for the table and that is what’s beautiful about our Thanksgiving. There’s nothing else to think about, there are no gifts, it’s just a family gathering with delicious food. That’s what I love about it!
I’ve overheard many Thanksgiving debates about the right way to prepare the turkey. People have become very particular with the way they prep for the holidays, no?
CS: That is so true! There are some little tips and tricks that would help you along the way. Brining the turkey is one for instance. We’ve heard that word before, but a lot of people don’t really know what it means. It’s like a marinade and you can soak the turkey overnight in that brine. You can use things such as fruit or cranberry juice. It’s a beautiful way to do it because you get a balance that is both sweet and acidic.
Oven or grilled turkey?
CS: The way we do it is in the oven and pretty traditional. We do brine it, but I have done it in the grill before and if you want to do that, you’ll want to invest in a digital read thermometer so you can actually know the temperature and maintain it. I like to be inside and use my big kitchen for Thanksgiving. Lots of people like to grill outside, but I prefer the comfort of my home!
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