PLAN OF ATTACK
THE WEEK BEFORE
o Make a shopping list and identify any ingredients that may be hard to find. Track these items down early or, if they aren’t available, make substitutions or menu changes. If you are using a purchased brine mix, buy that, and turkey brining bags (Williams Sonoma is a likely source).
o Inventory your cooking equipment against the menu and make sure you have what you need to prepare each dish. Check your linens, china and flatware and clean anything that needs it. Decide which serving pieces you will use for each dish. Buy cocktail napkins and candles. Make place cards.
o Order flowers from your florist if necessary. Buy liquor and wines.
o Order turkey to be picked up the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. You want a fresh-killed, never frozen bird (resist the temptation to avoid crowds by picking it up earlier – storage in most home refrigerators is a problem).
o Order any baked goods – pies, rolls, etc. – that you plan to purchase, not bake yourself. If the bakery is open Thanksgiving morning, and you can assign a helper to pick up your order, do that. Otherwise, pick up on Wednesday.
o Clean out your refrigerator to make room for all of the comestibles to come.
o Make the cranberry chutney and store, covered and refrigerated.
FIVE DAYS AHEAD (Saturday)
o Buy the ingredients for the roasted turkey stock. Prepare and store, refrigerated.
FOUR DAYS AHEAD (Sunday)
o Buy all the remaining non-perishable ingredients on the shopping list.
THREE DAYS AHEAD (Monday)
o Buy the ingredients for the turkey brine. Prepare and chill overnight.
o Marinate the sriracha stuffed eggs and refrigerate, covered in an airtight container
TWO DAYS AHEAD (Tuesday)
o Pick up turkey and brine it.
o Buy all the perishable items on shopping list.
o Tear bread for stuffing into ½ inch pieces, spread it out on a jelly roll pan and leave it, uncovered, overnight to dry.
o Set the table
ONE DAY AHEAD (Wednesday)
o Make stuffing. Cool to room temperature, transfer to a zip lock bag and refrigerate
o Trim Brussels sprouts and refrigerate
o Bake the apple tart
o Bake the coconut tart
o Make the artichoke soup, cool to room temperature and refrigerate, covered
THANKSGIVING DAY (Thursday)
o Take cranberry chutney, turkey stock and soup out of the refrigerator and bring to room temperature at least an hour before you plan to serve them
o Make the shrimp Louis lettuce wraps
o Stuff and garnish Sriracha eggs 2 hours ahead and chill, loosely covered. The deviled eggs can be refrigerated overnight. Garnish with the snipped chives and Chinese five spice powder just before serving.
o Stuff and roast turkey and dressing
o Make the gravy
o Make the roasted vegetables with miso glaze
o Make the mashed potatoes
o Make the Brussels sprouts
o Reheat and garnish soup