The good news is that this year I'm not only getting help, I'm using a tip from Food Network to ease the stress... I'm going to be making some of my Thanksgiving dishes ahead of time (tomorrow) to save time on the big day so that I'll be able to relax with my family. I won't actually cook anything, but a lot of it will be prepped in advance so that all I'll have to do ON Thanksgiving is pop the sides in the oven. This will free my time up to focus on the bird and enjoy my family time too.
As an added bonus, I've set up my menu and cook station so that everything will be able to cook simultaneously and be done at the same time! How? My bird will be cooking in an external roaster oven leaving my oven free for the sides.
Lastly, instead of roasting my bird in traditional fashion, I'll be making it in an oven bag. I'll add a nice marinade to it tomorrow, let it sit overnight and then on Thursday pop it in the roaster oven and "forget about it". Last time I hosted Thanksgiving doing this was a massive time saver.
Putting it in the bag meant I didn't have to check it every hour or half hour to baste it. The bag kept all the juices in the bird. The bird also cooks about an hour faster. It wasn't as crispy of a bird as we normally have, but only one person in our group seemed to mind that. Everyone else enjoyed how moist and tender the meat was. Even the white meat practically fell of the bone. It was so good!
What do you do on Thanksgiving to be able to cook your bird and enjoy it and relax too?