5 Thanksgiving hacks from America the Cookbook

From propane-powered turkey to whiskey-spiked pecan pie, here's how to give thanks flamboyantly
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Derby pie, as featured in America the Cookbook
Derby pie, as featured in America the Cookbook

The culinary traditions of America may have been drawn from across the world, yet there is one meal that remains undeniably homegrown: Thanksgiving. Are you hosting this year? Or perhaps, as a non-US citizen you're trying the meal out for the first time. In any case, here are a few culinary tips from our new publication, America the Coobook, to enable you to serve a spread fit for any dining room in the 50 states.

Try deep-frying your turkey, on a burner, in your front yard Deep-fried turkey is a dish best prepared outside, says America the Cookbook, which suggests cooks prepare it "outside, such as on a driveway, on Thanksgiving Day." All you need is a good-sized turkey, a 30-quart (28-liter) stockpot, a propane burner, a few gallons of peanut oil, and a fair degree of holiday chutzpah. 

If you don't feel up to that, try roasting the bird breast-side-down "If feeling adventurous, start your turkey breast side down, cook it for 1½ hours, then flip it over to finish breast side up," explains the text, "this makes for extra moist breast meat. To flip: check that the bird is not stuck on the rack, then use a long-handled wooden spoon shoved into the neck of the bird and a pair of sturdy tongs holding onto the cavity from the other end. Then flip the bird in one smooth motion." 

 

America the Cookbook

Got pescatarians? Then serve them dried whitefish, a common Thanksgiving dish in Minnesota "Traditionally served at Christmas or Thanksgiving in Scandinavian households, of which there are many in Minnesota, lutefisk is cod (or sometimes haddock) that has been soaked in a lye solution to soften it. At home, cooks boil or bake it and serve it with plenty of melted butter, riced potatoes, and green peas." 

Don't be afraid to sweeten your sweet potatoes a little more "The sliced or cubed tubers are baked in a sweet, buttery syrup until tender and glistening, then served as a “vegetable” even when sweeter than many desserts and crowned with marshmallows." 

You can also harden up your dessert with whiskey and chocolate, thanks to Kentucky's cooks "Named in honour of Kentucky’s famous annual horse race, the Derby Pie is a chocolate-pecan pie spiked with bourbon, for which the state is celebrated."

For all these recipes, as well as more culinary delights and anecdotes from the USA buy America The Cookbook here.


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