Holiday Cooking

Air Date:
Heard On The Larry Meiller Show
Roasted turkey
Terri Milligan

The holiday cooking season in right around the corner! Our guest is a chef, culinary instructor and food writer and she shares recipes and cooking tips to help you make your holidays special.

Featured in this Show

  • 7 Tips For Preparing Your First Thanksgiving Meal

    Thanksgiving conjures up all kinds of thoughts but none more pertinent than the smell of a perfectly roasted turkey, stuffing and cranberries. However, if it’s your first time being the Thanksgiving host, you might be having nightmares.

    Chef, culinary instructor and food writer, Terri Milligan, said for the first-timer, Thanksgiving dinner can be overwhelming and nerve-racking because you may be preparing your first turkey; and all those relatives watching you only adds to the pressure.

    “We all have to have a first time sometime,” said Milligan, who writes for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel food section and Edible Door magazine.

    So, Milligan suggests taking a deep breath and following these seven tips:

    1. Don’t go overboard. Keep things simple and don’t try to do something too unfamiliar because it could cause you a headache and problems. “You want everything to be memorable, but in a good way,” Milligan said.
    2. The turkey recipe. With the rise of an unlimited number of cooking shows available, Milligan said there can be an overwhelming number of turkey recipes out there, including both dry and wet brining, turkey on the grill, deep frying a turkey, roasting in a Nesco, and more. But remember tip No. 1 – go for simplicity, and roast the turkey in the oven. Bake the bird at 450 degrees for the first 20 to 30 minutes, then roast it at 350 degrees for the remaining time. Baking time varies depending on the weight of the turkey. The United States Department of Agriculture offers a helpful chart.
    3. Take out the bag of giblets. The giblets – the heart, liver and gizzard – are usually found in a bag located inside the neck or abdominal cavity of the turkey. Forgetting to remove the bag is a common first-timer mistake, Milligan said.
    4. Test your oven temperature a few days before the big day. An oven thermometer is an inexpensive gadget to ensure the oven temperature is accurate. If it’s not accurate, adjust the temperature you set the oven to.
    5. Let the turkey rest after roasting and before carving. “You’ve got to be patient,” Milligan said, otherwise the liquid will pour out and leave you with a dry turkey to serve.
    6. Stuffing or dressing? Milligan said the Food and Drug Administration does not recommend stuffing a turkey; but she offered that if you do, make sure it is not more than 3/4 of a cup of stuffing per pound of bird. Stuffing must have an internal temperature of 160 degrees to be safe to eat. And in case you were wondering, it’s stuffing when it’s in the bird, and dressing when it’s outside the bird.
    7. Cranberries. Remember tip No. 1 and pick up canned cranberries. Purchase the whole berries in a can, not the sleeve of jelled mess your mom served. “You can doctor these up easily, and in five minutes make them very delicious with a little fresh orange juice, orange zest, or, for an adult version, use Grand Marnier,” Milligan said.

    Milligan offers other tips for the meal, including recipes, in her latest Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article.

Episode Credits

  • Larry Meiller Host
  • Jill Nadeau Producer
  • KP Whaley Producer
  • Chef Terri Milligan Guest

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