15 Easy Fixes for Common Thanksgiving Glitches
Expect a stress-free Thanksgiving feast with these expert-approved tips for remedying common kitchen errors.
Overcome kitchen catastrophes, from soggy sides to soupy desserts, with these quick, tried-and-true remedies so you can get your Thanksgiving meal on the table—and get a whole lotta compliments.
Glitch: Colorless Turkey
Fix: If your turkey is cooked but not browned, stop basting and increase the heat to 450˚. The skin should get golden in a few minutes.
Glitch: Dry Bird
Fix: Slice the turkey meat and place it in a single layer in a baking dish. Pour in enough warm turkey or chicken stock to cover the slices. Cover the dish and bake it at 350˚ for 10-15 minutes.
Glitch: Underdone Thighs
Fix: Remove the legs and thighs from the turkey and place them back in the roasting pan. Continue cooking until the thickest part of the thigh reaches 170˚-175˚.
Glitch: Plain-Looking Platter
Fix: Toss together 1 pound of whole small carrots, 2 halved lemons and a splash of olive oil. Sprinkle with salt. Roast 20 minutes at 475˚, stirring once. Arrange around the turkey. You can also garnish the plate with sprigs of rosemary, cranberries and orange slices for a festive look.
Glitch: Runny Gravy
Fix: Slowly stir cold turkey or chicken stock into a bit of cornstarch. Gradually whisk the mixture into simmering gravy.
Glitch: Lumpy Gravy
Fix: Pour the gravy into a blender and give it a whirl for 30-40 seconds.
Glitch: Gloppy Gravy
Fix: Whisk in turkey or chicken stock a little at a time until you reach the desired consistency.
Glitch: Bland Gravy
Fix: Season with bay leaves, thyme, salt and pepper. Stir in a tablespoon of fruity white wine—such as chardonnay—for a bright, floral flavor. Bring gravy to a simmer for 3 minutes or until fragrant. Remove bay leaves before serving.
Glitch: Limp Salad
Fix: If your salad is soggy, there could be too much dressing. Place only the leaves in a salad spinner, or shake them in a colander to draw out excess moisture. Mix back into the salad bowl alongside fresh, undressed greens for extra crunch.
Glitch: Soggy Stuffing
Fix: Spread stuffing on a baking sheet and bake it at 350˚ for 10 minutes. Still mushy? Stir and repeat.
Glitch: Bitter Cranberry Sauce
Fix: Resist adding granulated sugar—you won’t get the full effect unless you reheat the sauce and the sugar dissolves. Instead, start by stirring in 1 tablespoon of maple syrup and 1 teaspoon of a sweet drink, like apple juice, orange juice, or fruity white or red wine. Add more to taste. Sprinkle with just a pinch of salt (in small amounts, it intensifies sweetness).
Glitch: Mushy Brussels Sprouts
Fix: Puree ’em in a food processor. For some texture, raid your fridge for spreadable cheese and fold it into the puree to taste. Add a squeeze of lemon juice for some brightness. Use it as a dip for crudites, or spread it on leftover turkey sandwiches.
Glitch: Soupy Apple Pie
Fix: Runny pie is the result of too little thickener or overly juicy apples. Make sundaes instead! Puree the pie filling in a blender. Pour over ice cream (we like vanilla, especially this brand), and top it with whipped cream, cherries, nuts and other garnishes.
Glitch: Cracked Pumpkin Pie
Fix: Chocolate is the answer to everything! And in this instance, it’s the perfect cover-up. Melt together 1 cup chocolate chips and 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream, stirring until smooth. Pour over cooled the pie and chill until set. (Psst! Try this even if your pie has no cracks.)
Glitch: Leftover Overload
Fix: Send leftovers home with guests in special yet disposable to-go containers so you’re not stuck eating the same thing weeks after the big day.