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Thanksgiving Food Hack

Melissa, Gina & Michelle on The Four

Oh ,my goodness! Thank you guys for tuning into my segment on my GENIUS FOOD HACK for keeping roast chicken and turkey super juicy just in time for Thanksgiving. I showed 9 & 10 News The Four how to make my Mushroom Stuffed Roast Chicken. I had so many people reach out to me, asking how to start prepping for Thanksgiving ahead of time. So I shared how easy it is to begin roasting chickens this month to prepare for their Thanksgiving turkey. If you can cook a delicious and juicy chicken, then you'll have no problem with a turkey at Thanksgiving. I was overwhelmed by how many people were interested in this subject. My website had so many people checking out this simple hack to keep you bird juicy and flavorful, so I decided to make a video showing how easy it is to do. (Please feel free to share this video. Your friends and family will appreciate a great hack to keep their chicken/turkey juicy this year.)

It's never too early to start planning for one the most significant food holidays of the year; THANKSGIVING! It's my favorite cooking holiday. I like to start planning the menu in October and prepping compound butter and making extra chicken stock. Here's the perfect recipe to do just that! It's my Mushroom Stuffed Roast Chicken that is in the fall chapter of my cookbook, Meals From the Mitten: Celebrating the Seasons in Michigan.

Garlicky Mushroom Stuffed Roast Chicken Serves 4

Garlicky Mushrooms 16 ounces whole button mushrooms, stemmed ½ cup Garlic-Herb Compound Butter (recipe below)

Chicken 1 (3- to 4-pound) roaster chicken 2 tablespoons Garlic-Herb Compound Butter 2 tablespoons canola oil 1 tablespoon House Seasoning (salt, pepper, granulated garlic, granulated onion and smoked paprika)

1 large onion, peeled and sliced ¼ cup chicken stock

Fresh parsley or chives Fresh sage and thyme Preheat oven to 400ºF.

PREPARE MUSHROOMS Clean mushrooms with a damp paper towel. Place about 1 teaspoon of garlic-herb butter into each mushroom cap. Set aside.

PREPARE CHICKEN Remove giblets from chicken cavity and discard. Dry the skin of the chicken with a paper towel. Rub butter all over chicken and under the skin of the breasts. (Be careful not to break the skin.) Rub oil over the buttered skin and sprinkle with House Seasoning. Place half of the mushrooms inside the chicken cavity, then tie the legs together with twine. Tuck the wings under, then place the remaining mushrooms in the center of a roasting pan, butter-side up. Place chicken on top of mushrooms, then add onion to roasting pan. Pour chicken stock over onion.

ROAST CHICKEN Roast chicken for approximately 1½ hours, or until thermometer reaches 165ºF. (After 30 minutes, I place a piece of aluminum foil over the chicken so it doesn’t brown too much. Don’t wrap foil around chicken; lightly tent it over the top.)

When chicken is thoroughly cooked, remove mushrooms from cavity and place in the hot pan drippings. Lightly tent chicken with foil and let sit for at least 20 minutes before carving. Remove onion from drippings and place in a serving dish; keep warm until ready to eat.


Add mushrooms to a separate serving dish, and keep warm. Sprinkle with fresh parsley or chives.

Serve chicken with fresh sage and thyme, onion, mushrooms and gravy.

GARLIC-HERB COMPOUND BUTTER ½ cup butter, softened 1 clove garlic, minced 1 tablespoon fresh sage, roughly chopped 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, roughly chopped

Mix together butter, garlic and herbs in a small bowl.

GRAVY Pan drippings (approximately 1 cup) 1 cup chicken stock 2 tablespoons cornstarch Salt and pepper

Strain pan dripping into a measuring cup and let rest until the fat separates. Skim off any fat from pan drippings and discard. Add rest of drippings to a saucepan over medium heat. In a small bowl, whisk together chicken stock and cornstarch. Slowly pour mixture into hot drippings to make the gravy. Whisk until thoroughly combined and thickened. Season to taste.

NOTE I stuff both chickens and turkeys this way, with garlic-herb-buttered mushrooms. The mushrooms help moisten the meat while roasting, and the mushrooms are perfectly browned, roasted and seasoned when done.

If you’re roasting a turkey, add all mushrooms to the cavity and place the turkey on a roasting rack inside a roasting pan. Roast at 325ºF for 15 minutes per pound, or until fully cooked.

Thanks to 9 & 10 News The Four for having me back on this week & congratulations to those individuals that won a copy of my cookbook!

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