Oven management strategies for thanksgiving? I am hosting thanksgiving at my house this year, and need help planning the best strategy for making a large roast meal with insufficient oven space.
There will be 14 attendees (possibly 15), so I need to cook a large turkey. Everyone is bringing a few dishes, in order to spread the workload, but as host I will be doing the turkey, and my favourite side dishes, which are roast potatoes, roast parsnips, yorkshire puddings and possibly some roast butternut squash too. Oh and gravy of course!
However, I cannot fit a large turkey AND all these dishes into the pitiful wall oven in my kitchen. So I'm looking for strategies to make this work. I can see a few options to look into:
1. Buy one of those electric roasters
to do the turkey separately and free up oven space for the roast vegetables. I have never used one and have no idea if they make a decent end product. Will the skin get brown and crispy? Will there be drippings that I can use to make gravy at the end?
2. Buy a pre-cooked turkey somewhere and just cook the roast vegetables myself. Upside - don't have to cook the turkey myself. Downside - no dripping to make gravy :( How do you best re-heat a precooked turkey?
3. Pre-cook the turkey myself and then reheat it after the vegetables are done. Will the end product still be a decent roast turkey or is it more likely to be a bit dried up? While I have done roast dinners (and turkeys) several times, I am no expert cook, so I worry that I might end up with a rather dry, sad turkey.
4. Cut back the number of roast vegetable dishes I make :(
5. Make something other than turkey, that still feeds 15 but doesn't use up so much oven space, and goes well with all the usual thanksgiving trimmings.
Note: I have no interest in deep frying a turkey, as there will be several small children in attendance, plus its a fire hazard and I live in a extreme brush fire danger zone!