Your 2019 Thanksgiving Gameplan

Anna Stockwell

If you're serving Epi's fresh new Thanksgiving menu in Turkey Day this year, you need more than just the recipes. Here's our step-by-step Thanksgiving timeline to help make hosting this feast just as fun and easy as eating it.

Here's your very first step: Copy this list onto a whiteboard or print it out. Determine what time you want to sit down for dinner on Thanksgiving, and then count backward, adding specific times to your printout. Cross things off as you go.

You've got this, we promise.

UP TO 1 MONTH BEFORE

UP TO TWO WEEKS BEFORE

  • Make a shopping list for all recipes, dividing into perishable and non-perishable.
  • Buy non-perishable groceries.
  • Make sure you've got enough wine, booze, and nonalcoholic beverages to get you and your guests through the holiday. Stock at least one bottle of wine per wine-drinking adult to be safe. Worst case? You'll save any unopened bottles for the December holidays.

UP TO 4 DAYS BEFORE

  • Buy all your perishable groceries.
  • Wash and dry all produce.
  • Make cranberry sauce. Store in the fridge in an airtight container.
  • Bake (or buy) cornbread for stuffing. Store tightly wrapped at room temperature.

UP TO 3 DAYS BEFORE

  • Make the herby compound butter for the potatoes, store in the fridge tightly wrapped.
  • Tackle any major cleaning projects you want done before the holiday.

UP TO 2 DAYS BEFORE

  • Make the garlic aioli for the turkey and store in an airtight container in the fridge.
  • Get ahead on pie prep by making the crusts for both the Pumpkin Icebox Pie and the Brown-Butter Pecan Pie.
  • Cube and toast both breads for stuffing. Let cool completely, and store in an airtight container or resealable bag at room temperature.

ONE DAY BEFORE

  • Rub pork steaks with spice mixture and set up on cooling rack in fridge to dry brine overnight.
  • Make both of the pies.
  • If you're not going to need your dining table until Thanksgiving dinner, go ahead and set it now. Give yourself a gold star for advanced prep.
  • Assemble and bake stuffing. Let cool completely, then cover with foil and chill. You could also do this tomorrow morning at six hours before, if you're having a later meal.

FOUR HOURS BEFORE

  • Pat your turkey dry, reserving giblets and neck. Set it up in your roasting pan and let it sit undisturbed for 1 hour to air-dry the skin before roasting.

THREE HOURS BEFORE

  • Rub the turkey with your pre-made garlic aioli and put it in the oven. Turn the oven down to 350°F and tell yourself you're doing great.
  • Cut up vegetables for crudités platter but don't dress them yet. Cover with a clean, damp cloth to keep them from drying out, and tuck the platter in the fridge or somewhere cold. Mix up spiced salt for crudités.

THREE HOURS 30 MINUTES BEFORE

  • Make smashed green bean salad, mixing in the dressing but not yet adding peanuts or crispy shallots. Let sit at room temperature.

TWO HOURS BEFORE

  • Remove the cranberry sauce from the fridge, transfer to a serving bowl, and let come to room temperature.
  • Rotate your roasting pan of turkey in the oven, cover the wing tips with foil, and continue roasting until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh registers 160°F, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

1 HOUR 45 MINUTES BEFORE

  • Put covered tray of potatoes into oven, roast for 40 minutes.

1 HOUR 30 MINUTES BEFORE

  • Take a little break to clean the kitchen throughly and put away dishes before guests start wandering in. Go clean yourself up too.

1 HOUR BEFORE:

  • Dress crudités and put out for guests to nibble as they arrive.
  • Put out drinks for guests, and go ahead and have a cocktail yourself. You earned it.

50 MINUTES BEFORE

  • Uncover and turn potatoes. Continue roasting even at the slightly lower oven temperature—they'll be fine. Once the largest potato is totally fork tender, remove them from the oven (about 35 to 40 minutes more).
  • Sear pork steaks.

45 MINUTES BEFORE:

  • Once the turkey comes out of the oven, turn it up down to 325°F and put the seared pork steaks in to roast.
  • Tent turkey with foil and let it rest 30 minutes before carving and plating.

30 MINUTES BEFORE:

  • Place stuffing in 325°F oven until warmed through.
  • Potatoes should be done now. Tear them with two forks and place them on serving platter. Dot with compound butter and cover with foil to keep warm and melt butter.

20 MINUTES BEFORE:

  • Make pan sauce to serve with turkey.

15 MINUTES BEFORE:

  • Carve and plate pork.
  • Carve and plate turkey.

10 MINUTES BEFORE:

  • Mix peanuts into green bean salad and transfer to serving platter. Top with crispy shallots.
  • Top potatoes with pomegranate seeds, lime, and salt.
  • Set everything out on the buffet table and let everyone serve themselves.

15 MINUTES BEFORE DESSERT:

  • Brew coffee or tea to serve with dessert, and/or pull out your favorite digestivi.
  • Make the whipped cream for the pumpkin icebox pie and swirl it all nice and pretty on top.

Originally Appeared on Epicurious