It's almost turkey day, so if you plan on throwing a party with friends we have just the team to walk through everything you'll need to pull off a perfect Friendsgiving.
This year the food editors and test kitchen team at Bon Appétit documented a culinary journey for making the perfect Thanksgiving meal.
Carla Lalli Music, Molly Baz, Andy Baraghani, Brad Leone, Claire Saffitz, Christina Chaey, Rick Martinez and Chris Morrocco all came together to plan, question, create, cook and critique the different dishes that make up Thanksgiving dinner.
Editor in chief Adam Rapoport, who oversaw the series and multi-cover magazine spread, brought a few of the folks from the test kitchen to Times Square to share their top tips and delicious recipes with "GMA."
Bon Appetit's Favorite Friendsgiving Dishes
Editor-in-Chief, Adam Rapoport
Don’t want to do a turkey? You don’t have to! If you’re not going to do a big roast turkey for your Friendsgiving but still want a main dish that makes a statement, Rapoport suggests these recipes instead.
Try Set-It-and-Forget-It Roast Pork Shoulder -- a dramatic pork shoulder, with cross-hatch crackling skin.
The main course is a great option to pop in the oven and forget about it so you can focus on preparing other dishes or getting the house ready to host. Plus, if you're pressed for time, this recipe can cook overnight.
If you want to go the more traditional route, check out BA's recipe for a classic Roast Beef Tenderloin with Garlic and Rosemary.
Senior Food Editor, Bon Appetit and Healthyish, Andy Baraghani
If you do want to try your hand at a turkey, here’s a new style of preparation and new flavors to try.
The Recipe: Expertly Spiced and Glazed Roast Turkey.
Baraghani set out to miraculously roast a turkey that is well seasoned, juicy and properly cooked. Every part of the bird deserves equal love and appreciation, without a dry bite in the house.
The solution and absolute best way to cook a turkey is to break it down into parts, dry-brine it and roast it on a wire rack in a baking sheet. The parts expose every piece for even cooking. Forget the picture of that whole bird coming out of the oven and swap it for a beautiful plated presentation.
Especially for Friendsgiving, Baraghani said there are a number of benefits to cooking the turkey this way:Simple Equipment Chances are you don’t have a giant roasting dish hanging around in your apartment or friend’s house. For this version, you only have to use a baking sheet and wire rack. Cook Quicker Separating the bird into different parts not only allows it to cook more evenly, but it cooks quicker too. You Can Make a Smaller Bird -- or even opt for just your favorite pieces (breast only; breast & legs; just the dark meat; use whatever you want).Add in Flavors Turkey doesn’t have to be bland and boring. Our recipe features a dry rub of paprika, pink peppercorns, onion powder, garlic powder, sugar, and herbs -- plus, a glaze with soy sauce, orange zest, vinegar.
Food Director, Carla Lalli Music
For Friendsgiving, we wanted to create a creamy mashed potato recipe that stays true to traditional cravings, but brings something new to the table with Bacon and Potato Chip Mashed Potatoes.
Everyone loves mashed potatoes and most recipes don’t stray from the original -- potatoes, butter, milk, salt. For a different flavor, we mashed the potatoes with a mixture of milk and butter (like you normally would), but then infused the potatoes with lemon, thyme, garlic, peppercorn and salt. Since almost everything on the Thanksgiving table is soft and floppy, Lalli Music and Molly Baz wanted to bring some texture back to the meal, so they added the crispety cruncheties to the top.
Inspired by patatas bravas, these potatoes are topped with a mixture of breadcrumbs and potato chips spiced with garlic, paprika, lemon zest, thyme, fresh parsley… and crisped bacon.
Contributing Senior Food Editor, Rick Martinez
For Friendsgiving, step outside the traditional confines of stuffing. Why not try something new and make it spicy, add some fun flavors, etc.
The Recipe: Cornbread Stuffing With Sausage and Corn Nuts
This cornbread stuffing features spicy peppers (Thai chiles or Serranos) to give the stuffing a fleeting fire that will either slow you from eating the entire casserole’s worth—or only encourage it.
We also added corn nuts (yes, the bagged ones) to make the cornbread taste “like a better version of itself.” Friendsgiving is your time to tap into those fun, funky flavors that you love.
Test Kitchen Manager, Brad Leone
It’s Friendsgiving, you’re probably only having one dessert. Why choose between pecan or pumpkin pie and make an unexpected combination of both?!
The Recipe: Pecan Rye Pumpkin Pie
Imagine a pumpkin pie with pecan pie’s best feature—obviously, the candied nut topping. Now add a little rye whiskey to the pumpkin custard, up the flavor of the crust and voilà: best of both worlds pecan-rye pumpkin pie.
If you haven't already watched the six-part video series on the magazine's beloved YouTube channel, watch Brad and Claire enter this perfect pie in a highly-competitive contest.
How to Make Friendsgiving for a Large Group
The key to Friendsgiving is not having to do it all yourself! Ask friends and guests to each bring a dish so that it helps cut down on cost and stress of preparing all the food for a big crowd.
The Suggestion: Assign out dishes
Divvy out the meals and decide who brings what. Ask everyone to bring one specific dish. If you want your friend from work to bring her famous crab dip, tell her as much. If you need your neighbor to handle the stuffing, assign it out. Don’t leave it up to people to bring whatever they want because you run the risk of ending up with five kinds of potatoes and nothing green. If you aren’t able to come up with a specific wish list, give people a category, like appetizers, veggies, carbs, dessert, etc.
So it's your first Friendsgiving...
The beauty of Friendsgiving is you’re among friends. There’s no pressure. Kick back and have fun. Try new recipes. Have everyone bring a dish.
If you have plans on Thanksgiving try doing Friendsgiving the week before, the day after with leftovers, or even a breakfast the morning of. Kicking off a new tradition is totally up to you.
Tips to Pack Portable Foods
Prepare your food in the dish you want to serve in: Find a nice glass serving dish that you can both bake & serve in so you don’t have to transport it to a new dish.
Retain heat with the right containers: Storing food in glass dishes will help them to retain heat better than in plastic containers. Wrapping food such as breads or meats in foil is another great way to maintain the temperature.
Wrap towels around each glass container or foil-wrapped package. These layers of fabric will further insulate the containers and keep the food hot. Place the towel-wrapped food inside insulated coolers or cardboard boxes to prevent spilling.
Leave it in the pot: BA food director Carla Lalli Music likes to bring pre-made mashed potatoes to her mom's house in the pot they were made in, so she can put it right onto her stovetop when she arrives.
BYOC: Tell your Friendsgiving guests to bring their own to-go containers for leftovers after the meal. That way you’re not giving away all of your Tupperwares.
Use products specifically created for on-the-go dishes: A reusable dish tote can help carry your dish upright for a spill-free experience. Simply slip your hot bowl or plate from the oven and use the handles to keep your hands cool on the go! This is also great for bringing a pie to a potluck, cake to a picnic, etc.
Tips for Nontraditional Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving is tough because everyone wants the traditional classics -- turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, pie -- but they don’t want the same thing time after time. Bon Appetit suggests going with four classic dishes and throwing in something non-traditional as the fifth.
Friendsgiving is a perfect time to experiment with some more fun, non-traditional dishes.
Want to make a spicy stuffing? Go for it! If mom won’t let you try your hand at the turkey, now’s your time to give it a shot. Love potato chips, bacon and spicy dishes -- incorporate those flavors into your dishes you know your friends will love.
This Friendsgiving, keep the classics people are familiar with, but add modern twists to them by adding new ingredients, cooking techniques or even make up something funky.