Why has Thanksgiving become the most important food holiday of the year? Why isn’t it Mother’s Day or Memorial Day? Is it because the pilgrims were the original locavores, and channeling them makes Americans cook some of their best food ever? I’m not entirely sure. I just know that when the F&W staff gears up for the November issue each year, we focus on transforming fantastic American ingredients into great meals.
For our centerpiece Thanksgiving story, we visited Philadelphia chef Jose Garces, whose menu reflects not only North American traditions, but also South American ones inspired by his Ecuadoran heritage. His citrus-marinated turkey and spiced sweet potatoes were not on the pilgrims’ table, but who cares? They taste terrific.
A restaurant chef like Garces certainly knows how to prepare a big meal efficiently. But the rest of us may need help. In our “Ultimate Thanksgiving Planner,” F&W’s Test Kitchen shares five strategies—plus 17 mix-and-match recipes—for a fabulous, stress-free holiday feast.