Food & Drink

Get Thanksgiving right with this how-to guide

Statesman Staff

Do you find the idea of prepping a Thanksgiving meal daunting? Let these recipes and how-to videos enhance your cooking this holiday.
Do you find the idea of prepping a Thanksgiving meal daunting? Let these recipes and how-to videos enhance your cooking this holiday.

For those of us who are amateur chefs — and even those who have a bit more cooking expertise — the idea of preparing a Thanksgiving feast can be daunting. From turkey cooking times to the perfect side dishes and desserts, there's a lot that goes into managing the massive meal.

So we've gathered how-to videos and FAQ articles for some staple recipes (and even some trendier techniques for those of us brave enough to try them) in hopes of making your meal prep a little easier.

The Bird

Perhaps the most daunting task is the notorious Thanksgiving centerpiece — the turkey. There are myriad ways to prepare the perfect poultry, but if you're just a beginner, we recommend taking a look at this basic turkey recipe:

Still struggling on Thursday? The Butterball hotline, which launched in 1981, will be up and running to answer any of your last-minute queries.

Are you a more adventurous turkey cook? Consider spatchcocking your turkey (a technique in which you butterfly the bird, cooking it flat), stuffing it with herbs and garlic or flavoring it with crisp apples.

And if you must deep-fry, Boise Fire Department has a message for you: Be safe! Deep-frying turkeys can easily start a fire thanks to high heat, large amounts of oil and many other factors. Watch their safety tips below:

Side dish stunners

What's a Thanksgiving dinner without decadent side dishes to choose from? One staple, of course, is stuffing — or dressing, if you hail from below the Mason-Dixon line. You can cook it separately, or stuff your turkey with it for added flavor.

No self-respecting Idahoan would skimp on the potatoes this holiday season. We're sure you've perfected your spud recipes, but if you're looking to mix things up, consider a recipe for the perfect mashed potatoes.

Round out your side dish offerings with another classic — green bean casserole — and consider adding in options like this former chef's soup and puff pastry recipes.

Delicious desserts

We know, pumpkin pie is the quintessential Thanksgiving treat. But what about a pumpkin chiffon pie? It's a lighter, fluffier answer to the traditional dessert. Or, if you'd rather add some salt to your sweets, try this pecan pie with a pretzel crust, or zest things up with a lemon pie.

Still not feeling up to taking on Thanksgiving?

There's still time to make reservations at a host of Boise restaurants instead.