Melissa Clark's Thanksgiving Shortcuts

Friday, November 16, 2012

Melissa Clark, the James Beard award-winning food writer who writes the “A Good Appetite” column in the Dining Section of the New York Times offers some Thanksgiving shortcuts, advice on how to cook a big meal in a small kitchen, how to save time, and more. Her latest cookbook is Cook This Now.


Melissa Clark

Comments [22]

Jf from Ny

I fail to believe for a second that it is more expensive to produce free range organic turkey. No money on cages and chemicals. Turkeys can live on their own eating bugs and are completly self sufficent in a field. This is just part of the scam like everything else in our society. I live in a world full of gullible victims and no one cares. Like the price of healthcare, rent, ...ransom i tell you.

Nov. 16 2012 01:01 PM

Was it just me, or did others have the experience of the word "insufferable" frequently popping into their heads during the course of this segment??

Nov. 16 2012 12:47 PM

To Judith Bellini

Video: Pie Crust Basics With Melissa Clark

Heaven in a Pie Pan - The Perfect Crust

Nov. 16 2012 12:39 PM
foodaggro from Brooklyn

Ms. Clark's descriptions, motormouth speed-gabbing, and tendency to end every sentence as a question kills my appetite for turkey, and, well, lunch today.

Nov. 16 2012 12:38 PM
Kendrick from New York

We had fabulous success steaming a turkey two years ago–on the barbecue! We placed the bird on pan inside another pan with an inch or so of water that we replenished as need. This technique steams the bird and protects the turkey juices from burning away due to the direct bottom heat on the grill. A very moist turkey and the ovens were free for everything else.

Nov. 16 2012 12:35 PM
Eric from Brooklyn

I've read that the pilgrims probably ate eels on the forst thanksgiving. Can you recommend any good eel recipes?

Nov. 16 2012 12:34 PM
Judith Bellini

Melissa mentioned her piecrust recipe on the show. I have never made homemade piecrust and would love to have this recipe.

Nov. 16 2012 12:33 PM
Joel from Westchester

How does one keep the turkey breast from drying out?

Nov. 16 2012 12:33 PM
Lindsey from New York, NY

The way the turkeys are being talked about - the skin, stuffing it, the legs, juicy flesh - makes me feel sick.

Nov. 16 2012 12:32 PM
Dan from Fair Lawn

Cran relish: for tartness -- cooked raw berries and orange rind. For sweetness -- apple sauce, crushed pineapple and mandarin oranges (without juices, which are too sweet).

Nov. 16 2012 12:28 PM
Gregg from NYC

So, this year's hot T-G trend seems to be spatchcocking--does Melissa have opinion on this method? And how rude would it be to ask my buthcher to do it?

Nov. 16 2012 12:25 PM
Joanna from Farmingdale NJ

For flour free recipes, I use gluten free pancake mix. I bake all my radiation all pie and cake recipes without changing a thing, just gluten free pancake mix in place of flour

Nov. 16 2012 12:24 PM
Karen Grant from Norwalk, CT


I am in charge of the turkey this year (first time!!) and was watching Melissa's videos on She suggests 1/2 inch of liquid in bottom of roasting pan. Can I use chicken stock or just water? We use the turkey drippings for gravy and am worried Apple cider or wine will change the taste of the gravy

Nov. 16 2012 12:23 PM
Phoebe from Bushwick

What are your feelings on using vodka in the place of water in pie crusts?

Nov. 16 2012 12:23 PM
Joanna from Farmingdale NJ

I am gluten free and I use ALL my traditional recipes for pies and cakes using gluten free pancake mix. It already has all of the baking ingredients for gluten free baling in it

Nov. 16 2012 12:21 PM
Chuck from Westfield NJ

What about stuffing in a crockpot? And what about those roasting bas?

Nov. 16 2012 12:21 PM
dave from manhattan

i do my bird in the weber. every year for the past 20. absolute success every year. no brining. 22-24 lbs, stuffed with an oyster and sage stuffing made with fresh bread. kids love to tear the loaves to peices.

takes about 3 1/2 hours. just never ever lift the lid.

mahoganny crisp skin, buttery breast meat, and the dark meat with the slight smokiness - i wait all year. with a gamay and riesling

Nov. 16 2012 12:20 PM

to: Steve from Queens NY

Not unless your plan is to kill your family and guests.
Turkey Basics - Thawing

Let's Talk Turkey


Nov. 16 2012 12:19 PM
Amy from Ditmas Park

What about if you want to make a turkey really quickly. Can you cut it up to cook it faster?

Nov. 16 2012 12:19 PM
Steve from Queens NY

Can I buy a thawed (not frozen) turkey today and season it over the weekend and keep it in the refrigerator until next Thursday morning cooking.

Nov. 16 2012 12:16 PM
Chris Thornton from NYC

Melissa's pie crust is the best recipe ever. Does she recommend making the pie crust in advance and then baking Thanksgiving morning? How far in advance can I bake a pie and still expect the crust to remain tender and flaky?

Nov. 16 2012 12:08 PM
Becky from Albany

I'm going to a thanksgiving party where several guests are on a no-flour no-sugar diet. Can you recommend a pumpkin pie or squash-inspired dessert where the squash is sweet enough that adding sweetener would be unnecessary?

Nov. 14 2012 01:16 PM

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