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Old 11-07-2021, 04:33 PM   #1
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Thanksgiving Dinner Fixings and a Long Drive

So I am traveling for Thanksgiving - a 6 hour drive. The house that I am going to, they always have pasta or some other thing for Thanksgiving.I want to surprise them with some turkey and fixings.

Here is my issue. I have to drive 6 hours, and then spend the night in a hotel. I would however, probably make a stop at the house to drop off the goodies in their refrigerator Wednesday evening. I would have to prepare the turkey Tuesday night, and slice it up, since Wednesday is a travel day. The big question is.....what is the safest way to keep it at a proper temperature during the drive. Should I freeze it? Should I pack a cooler with ice? Maybe it just can't or shouldn't be done? I'm not in the mood for Lasagna on turkey day. Any tips or tricks?

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Old 11-07-2021, 05:02 PM   #2
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As long as it is refrigerated at 40F or below it should be fine. This should be very doable layering wrapped food with ice in an ice chest.
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Old 11-07-2021, 06:57 PM   #3
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Cook the bird the day before traveling. Remove all meat from the carcass, slice the whole breast halves into thin slices against the grain Lift entire breast halves, and set them side by side in electric turkey roaster, surrounded by drumsticks, sliced thighs, and back meat. Pour all pan drippings, and turkey broth over the meat. Cover with foil around the electric roaster insert. Pu lid on. Make dressing in a lidded casserole dish, cool, and cover. Place roaster insert, and dressing into a large cooler with dry ice, or reusable freezer bags.
Save carcass in your fridge for soup. Close the cooler and transport. When on site, start heating in electric roaster to a temp of 145' F. Give it an hour to heat up.

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Old 11-08-2021, 08:18 AM   #4
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Thank you for the replies.

Well I don't have an electric roaster, unfortunately. But I think I am going to try it. I will used some freezer bags full of ice as packing. Worst case scenario it will start to freeze, I guess.
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Old 11-08-2021, 08:38 AM   #5
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I think ice should do it. Wrap it really well in several layers of newspaper too. I don't think 6 hours is over long and should be just fine.

But I wonder if your hosts know what you are bring and do they have room in the fridge?
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Old 11-08-2021, 01:13 PM   #6
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Maybe I overthink things...but if I were the said "house" you were going to, you might just ruin my plans for Thanksgiving. I don't usually have the oven or kitchen space for an added cook, at holiday time.

I would urge you to check with them first. Don't make this surprise! Even if you bring it all prepared, you'll still need to heat it all up. Now, that said, maybe if you give advance notice and bring your own electric roaster that can be set up away from the hosts' kitchen...it might be a welcome surprise.

And, who knows, they may have a good reason for making pasta instead of a more traditional meal???
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Old 11-08-2021, 01:42 PM   #7
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P.S. I've been the Thanksgiving cook for more years than I care to admit. However, a couple of years back, we went to a friends' house for the meal. It was a pot luck thing. I made sure to bring my contribution in a crock pot sort of thing, so I could just plug it in to keep in warm. She has what I call a one-butt-kitchen, like I do. But, as family and guests arrived, I watched as they would proudly announce their dish and at least half of them handed it to the hostess saying, it is all made, just needs to be popped in the oven for "x" minutes. Dear Hostess didn't say anything, but she has only one oven and the turkey was in there. She did a lot of juggling, once the turkey came out to rest.

Not a fun sight!
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Old 11-08-2021, 01:47 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GinnyPNW View Post
Maybe I overthink things...but if I were the said "house" you were going to, you might just ruin my plans for Thanksgiving. I don't usually have the oven or kitchen space for an added cook, at holiday time.

I would urge you to check with them first. Don't make this surprise!
I, sincerely, agree with this.

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Old 11-08-2021, 10:07 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GinnyPNW View Post
Maybe I overthink things...but if I were the said "house" you were going to, you might just ruin my plans for Thanksgiving. I don't usually have the oven or kitchen space for an added cook, at holiday time.

I would urge you to check with them first. Don't make this surprise! Even if you bring it all prepared, you'll still need to heat it all up. Now, that said, maybe if you give advance notice and bring your own electric roaster that can be set up away from the hosts' kitchen...it might be a welcome surprise.

And, who knows, they may have a good reason for making pasta instead of a more traditional meal???
I understand this thinking. It's not a formal dinner at all. There's not even room for everyone at the table so we just sit around the house. The frozen lasagna is because nobody wants to cook. One year the food was ordered by mail ( from a food site ) and didn't show up, so they had to run out and try and find an open pizza joint. ( kind of like the Quartermaines, if you are a General Hospital fan haha ) It is not going to be a complete dinner, just some Turkey and gravy. It's fine if it is used for dinner the next day, but one way or another we are going to get some turkey around the holiday.
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Old 11-09-2021, 06:49 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by parker57 View Post
I understand this thinking. It's not a formal dinner at all. There's not even room for everyone at the table so we just sit around the house. The frozen lasagna is because nobody wants to cook. One year the food was ordered by mail ( from a food site ) and didn't show up, so they had to run out and try and find an open pizza joint. ( kind of like the Quartermaines, if you are a General Hospital fan haha ) It is not going to be a complete dinner, just some Turkey and gravy. It's fine if it is used for dinner the next day, but one way or another we are going to get some turkey around the holiday.
The situation makes more sense now.
Enjoy your holiday.

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Old 11-09-2021, 07:57 AM   #11
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I was called in a last minute to do a Thanksgiving dinner ( well actually it was lunch) in a local restaurant, because chef was sick. We made the turkey the day before, sliced it and heated it up in the gravy. Easy peasy - just one pan.
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Old 11-09-2021, 08:39 AM   #12
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Yes, I agree - far more sense now!

So you have time still, go ahead and do the turkey, even an extra day ahead. Well wrapped and chilled - it will come to no harm. Do your gravy ahead too. Dressing/stuffing, well, you could have it all prepped, then mix there and shove into oven. When almost done throw turkey slices (smothered in the gravy?) into the oven.

I hope at least someone is going to bring Pumpkin Pie! Store bought or not!

Hey! it's traditional!

ps, and I don't think your hosts will mind -they'll invite you every year now.
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Old 11-09-2021, 10:41 AM   #13
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When I heat up sliced turkey (or shredded chicken) I put it in a covered casserole and pour in broth* just to cover the top along with a handful of dots of unsalted butter. Then in a 325 oven for 20 minutes. Comes out great!

*I usually use Better than Bouillion low sodium chicken.
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Old 11-10-2021, 06:11 PM   #14
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Ambitious option alternative:

If they don't like to cook but like Turkey could you arrange to make it there?

A few years ago I cooked Thanksgiving dinner in a campground for several friends - it took some planning but was lots of fun. I used a prepped and brined turkey at home and then transported it to the park in the iced brine in a sealed 5 gal bucket.

I cooked the Turkey in a Big Easy cooker (which I already owned) and it took about 2.5 hours to cook - outside. You might be able to use their oven or grill?


Plan b:Many grocery stores have precooked HOT turkeys you can pre-order and then pick up on thanks giving day. You can also order sides and pie.
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Old 11-10-2021, 09:29 PM   #15
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Old Boy Scout trick:

When camping, and traveling, make a cooking fire before breaking camp. Build a trypod next to the hot coals. Truss the leg ends together, and run a stout stick between them to . Tie heavy twine to either end of the stick, and a single piece of twine from the middle of the other twine, and to the apex of the tripod so that the bird hangs a few inches to the side of the fire. Place clean, dry stones, wrapped in foil, into the fire. Give the bird a spin, and break camp. When ready to travel, place the bird into a roasting pa. Place the hot rocks into the bird cavity. Wrap bird in foil, shiny side in. Secure the pan lid. Wrap in towels. The hot rocks will finish cooking the bird from the inside out as you travel. Your vehicle will smell amazing too.

Ok, tis is a bit impractical for what the OP is doing. But if you're camping, and traveling, it works. I know this because we did it when I was in Scouts, and we camped our way around Lake Superior.

I'd be willing to bet that a turkey could be half-roasted in a 450'oven, and stuffed with piping hot baked potatoes, and the potatoes would do the same as the hot rocks.

Of course, a good meat thermometer would be essential.

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