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[Chef Talk]

Turkey day cooking tips with Megan Romano, Chocolate & Spice chef and owner

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The chef and owner of Chocolate and Spice, Megan Romano has some simple advice for keeping cool at Thanksgiving.

She does sweet. She does savory. She does it all while keeping her cool. That’s why Megan Romano, chef and owner of Chocolate & Spice, is the perfect kitchen pro to consult for all your Thanksgiving meal planning. Follow these tips and enjoy the holiday.

The turkey: “My husband is a chef, so sometimes we take different stands on the seasoning. Are we going to brine it? Will the seasoning match the stuffing? We always seem to agree on just roasting it in the oven, because you get that full aroma in the house. There’s nothing like it.”

The stuffing: “Never put the stuffing in the turkey. It gets so soggy. You want stuffing that’s moist but not super-saturated and wet. And there are other ways to make the turkey aromatic.”

So, what to put in the turkey then? “Fresh garlic, rosemary, thyme, shallots. We have a lot of candied citrus at the restaurant, but if you use orange or lemon, that’ll give it a shot of brightness and still keep it simple and straightforward.”

Spice up the sides: “I love to use flavored salts on whatever vegetables and starches you like for some punch. You can use mesquite, fennel, cayenne, any of those highly seasoned salt mixes, and they go great on potatoes, Brussels sprouts, anything.”

Keep it simple: “People go through all those Thanksgiving cooking magazines and get excited. The rule of thumb when you’re making decisions is to try one or two new things a year. Don’t knock yourself out with a whole table of stuff you never made before.”

Get ahead: “Slice your vegetables ahead of time and put them in Ziploc bags up to two days out. Then the morning of, you can cook everything in one shot. For pie, you can make dough in advance and stuff it into a pie tin in the refrigerator, then fill when you’re ready.”

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