LISTEN | Texarkana chef gives advice to reduce Thanksgiving cooking stress

(Stock photo)
(Stock photo)

TEXARKANA -- With a feast coming up that many look forward to all year, a local chef recently offered some cooking advice to help make Thanksgiving stress-free.

Cory House, executive chef of the Texas High School Culinary Arts Academy, touched on his favorite turkey roasting technique, how to make the perfect mac and cheese, which kind of pie rules them all, and more in an interview for the Gazette podcast "On the Line."

"The first word of advice is don't decide to cook something brand new for Thanksgiving that you've never tried," he said. Instead, he advised taking a trial run with any new dish long enough before the holiday to perfect -- or abandon -- cooking it.

Regarding the turkey, House said to be sure it is fully thawed before cooking.

"That's going to be the first step in ensuring that you have an evenly cooked turkey, because the last thing you want is those breasts to still be kind of frozen down deep in the tissue," he said.

Another way to help ensure even cooking is to spatchcock the turkey, removing its backbone and flattening it before roasting, House said.

House said despite his profession, there is no pressure on him to do all the cooking.

"I come from a lineage of just incredible cooks," he said. "So Thanksgiving isn't just super chaotic for me, because everybody pitches in. And you know, that's the thing that makes it great."

("On the Line" is available free through all major podcast apps and the Starbear Studio web page.)

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