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Ina Garten Shares 2 Genius, Time-Saving Thanksgiving Turkey Hacks

‘Tis the season of Ina Garten. From the release of Modern Comfort Food to the constant stream of food porn she’s posted throughout this pandemic, we couldn’t help but subscribe to Garten’s comfortcore aesthetic the second she announced the name of her latest — and 12th — cookbook. The belly-warming, tastebud-pleasing, soul-satisfying dishes, the easy-to-make recipes, the cooking hacks that make us better amateur chefs: We’d pay the big bucks if Garten had her own Patreon. But because she’s so pure, we don’t have to. Amid Garten’s press tour for Modern Comfort Food, the Barefoot Contessa host continues to impart her culinary wisdom, this time gifting us Thanksgiving hacks just weeks away from the big holiday.

On a recent episode of female-focused food podcast Radio Cherry Bombe, Garten chatted with host Kerry Diamond about her cookbook, her life in quarantine, her time working at the White House, and her Thanksgiving turkey tips. It’s a glorious 40 minutes we recommend any Garten fan listen to.

“So many things are so stressful … so one of the things I love that I do is … give people the tools to do things themselves. And that was an unexpected pleasure,” Garten opens the episode. “In this case, everyone is home cooking, and they’re desperate for delicious things to make and serve for their family and leave at a neighbor’s house. And I think I tapped on a terrible need.”

Among those tools are holiday cooking tips, something all of us home cooks could use. And who better to learn from then Garten?

For those opting to forgo the full turkey this Thanksgiving, Garten has a great recipe in Modern Comfort Food for you to try. It’s a Tuscan Turkey Roulade, “which is just turkey breast rolled up and all you have to do is slice it, which is great. You don’t have to struggle with all those bones,” Garten explains.

Garten also has a fantastic make-ahead turkey recipe that starts with rubbing lemon zest, thyme, and salt on it a few days before “to really flavor the meat.” This allows you to skip taking up precious space in your fridge with a huge pot of water, especially during a holiday when you so desperately need it most.

“What you do is roast the turkey earlier in the day,” Garten explains. “You make gravy ahead, and then just before people arrive, I do a big, ovenproof platter [we recommend this one from Le Creuset], and I put the gravy on the bottom of the platter and slice the turkey — when nobody is around — onto the gravy and then cover it.”

Then, about 15 minutes before serving, Garten recommends putting the platter in the oven and reheating it.

“Because the gravy keeps everything warm and moist, it’s the most delicious turkey I’ve ever made,” she says.

“It’s so much easier to have to bring the turkey to the table and carve it while everyone’s watching you. I’ve done it a lot, even I don’t want to do it,” she adds with a laugh.

But Garten’s best Thanksgiving tip? “I think it’s important to recognize the traditions of it and keep that in some way.” She also shared with Diamond that, this Thanksgiving, she’s thankful her husband of 50 years, Jeffrey, is “home all the time now.”

And now our heart’s full.

Before you go, check out Ina Garten’s easy weeknight dinner recipes below:

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