Monday, November 18, 2013

Mrs. Darling's Thanksgiving Prep Essentials

Thanksgiving is just around the corner and I want to share a few of my preparatory essentials with you! Over the years I have discovered little things aside from the basics (a roaster, twine and thermometer) that have helped me when it comes to cooking and bringing out the full flavor of the holiday season. Remember, there is nothing more essential than the presence of family and friends at your dinner table -- Everything else is gravy.

Please click on the orange links below to find where to buy my Thanksgiving essentials!

With love,
Mrs. Darling

Woodford Reserve Bourbon - Woodford Reserve is one of my favorite bourbons because not only is it delicious and delightful all on it's own but it is my secret kick to Mr. Darling's favorite pecan pie. You can use a tablespoon here and there to spice up the most traditional thanksgiving dish. Try a splash in your glaze while roasting the pièce de résistance!

Williams Sonoma Dry Brine - I find that using a dry brine is the fastest and simplest way of producing a juicy turkey year after year! Williams Sonoma's dry brine is my absolute favorite brine on the market. I love the hint of citrus in the mix of herbs and spices, especially because I stuff our bird each year with, lemon and orange wedges with a bouquet of fresh herbs!

Turkey Stock - I use turkey stock in almost every dish of my Thanksgiving Dinner. Chicken stock is wonderful as well, but why have chicken stock on Turkey day when you can have the stock of the bird in favor?  Homemade stock is amazing, but in a pinch, my favorite store bought brand is Kitchen Basics. I buy mine at Whole Foods, but many grocery stores stock the Kitchen Basics brand as well. You can also click on the link to have it shipped directly to your home from Amazon.com!

Staub Cast Iron Dutch Oven - My cast iron Staub dutch ovens are a favorite for two reasons. I love the verstatility in meal preparation when it comes to cooking. In a cast iron dutch oven, you can brown a brisket to perfection and after its cooked for a few hours in the oven you can transfer it to a platter and prepare a minestrone soup once it's cleaned out.  The second reason is that there is practicality in the combination of function and style with a Staub dutch oven.  My Staubs go straight from oven to table, without disrupting the feel of my tablescape.

Wooden Spoons- I like to keep at least 4 wooden spoons handy at all times while preparing a big meal. I prefer wooden spoons because they are sturdy enough to handle high heat cooking, and they are gentle enough to preserve cast iron pans and stainless steel pans alike through rough scraping while I cook. My favorite spoons were found during our last trip to Paris in E. Dehillerin, a phenomenal cookware store in the 1st arrondissement. Since it is not possible to order them directly from the website, I suggest checking out Littledeer wooden cooking paddles as an alternative. They are beautifully made and meet the needs of any cook.

Silicone Oven Mitts - What I love most about these particular mitts is that they are easily hand washed and also dishwasher safe. In the past, my traditional oven mitts did the inevitable shrink up after they were washed. With silicone oven mitts, not only are your hands protected, but so is the integrity of the mitt. I currently own a "no-name" pair that I picked up at the grocery store, but the Mastrad Oven Mitts (that can be found at Sur La Table) are on my list for next year!

Shout Stain Remover- This item speaks for itself. As a culinary enthusiast, mother of two and wife to a life-long tinkerer , I've treated a fair amount of stains. Shout Stain Remover is my absolute favorite product for immediate spray treatment. I have found that allowing the Shout to sit for at least 10 minutes on the treated stain really helps when trying to remove the toughest spots!

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