Five strategies and 17 mix-and-match dishes for a delicious, stress-free and beautifully organized holiday, with recipes from the F&W Test Kitchen.

By The Food & Wine Test Kitchen
November 01, 2008

A Thanksgiving turkey can monopolize the oven for hours. You can choose to wait, or you can leave that bird alone and use other appliances to keep cooking—baking the stuffing on the grill, say. When the bird is ready, the rest of the meal will be, too.

  Use the freezer
Dishes can be made ahead and frozen for up to a week.

  Use the refrigerator
Prepare dips and salads at least one day in advance.

  Use the grill
It can serve as a second oven or stovetop.

  Use the stovetop
Make side dishes that don’t compete with the turkey for oven space.

  Use the oven
Since the turkey cools for 45 minutes, there’s time to make sides and dessert in the oven.

Menu 1

  Grilled Butterflied Turkey

  Ham-and-Cheddar Sourdough Stuffing

  Smoky Seafood Cocktails

  Creamed Spinach and Parsnips

  Grill-Roasted Vegetables with Pine Nut Pesto

  Pumpkin-Gingersnap Tiramisù

Wine: 2006 Bogle Vineyards Old Vine Zinfandel

Menu 2

  Apricot-Glazed Turkey

  Fennel, Red Onion and Focaccia Stuffing

  Cauliflower Soup with Chorizo Bread Crumbs

  Celery Salad with Walnuts, Dates and Pecorino

  Cranberry-Pomegranate Sauce

  Pear Tart with Pecan Crust

Wine: 2006 Handley Cellars Anderson Valley Chardonnay

Menu 3

Turkey from Menu 1 or 2

  Corn Bread Dressing with Brussels Sprouts

  Goat Cheese–Edamame Dip with Spiced Pepitas

  Mashed Potatoes with Crème Fraîche and Chives

  Crunchy Baked Fennel

  Caramel Cream Pie with Crispy Rice

Wine: 2007 Simi Roseto


Thanksgiving Recipes, Menus, Wine and More