Everything is going to turn out all right today.
By Sam Sifton
Nov. 24, 2022, 6:23 a.m. ET – The New York Times
Andrew Scrivani for The New York Times
There’s only one thing you really need to know as Thanksgiving gets underway, and it applies whether you’re cooking or filling a seat, whether you’re a guest or a host, and whether you’re working a shift or stuck in an airport. It’s this: Everything is going to be all right.
Everything’s going to be all right because you’re going to repeat that phrase like a mantra until it becomes a fact, until it turns into gear to protect you from whatever foul weather comes your way. Kitchen disasters, rude relatives, guests who are late, failed pies, scorched mashed potatoes, not enough wine — it’s fine. These things happen.
Allow them to happen. Practice radical empathy, for others and for yourself today. And don’t worry ’bout a thing.
Fact, from those of us at New York Times Cooking: Your turkey is done when its internal temperature, measured at the deepest part of the thigh, is 165 degrees. I pull mine out of the oven at 160 or 162, knowing that the temperature will continue to rise as the bird rests on my counter beneath its jaunty foil cap. But I’ve also seen numbers closer to 180 over the years and (see the advice above) tamped down my stress about that. Carved and moistened with stock, and then served with a lot of gravy, an overcooked bird can still make for a marvelous meal.
(Don’t panic if you don’t have a thermometer. Use a fork or a paring knife to pierce the skin of the thigh. If the juices run clear, you’re good. If the legs are loose in their sockets, you’re good.)
Advice: Rest your bird before carving, to allow it to settle. Plan for at least 20 minutes, though I’ve gone as long as an hour with no ill effect.