This schedule is based on the Traditional Thanksgiving menu. Thanksgiving day will be much easier if you prepare as much as possible one to two days beforehand. Here’s how to make it happen.
1 to 2 Days Ahead
Make Chocolate-Pecan Tart; refrigerate, covered.
1 Day Ahead
Make Quick Cranberry Sauce; cover, and refrigerate. Prepare Cornbread or Apple Stuffing without baking; cover, and refrigerate. Choose side dishes. These can be made ahead: Butternut Squash with Sage, Roasted Brussels Sprouts, and Wild-Rice and Sausage Dressing. Refrigerate, covered.
4 Hours Ahead
Put turkey in oven.
3 Hours Ahead
Start basting turkey. Make dough for Sweet-Potato Biscuits, and place in pan. Cover, and refrigerate.
1 Hour Ahead
Remove turkey from oven. Bake Cornbread or Apple Stuffing (if cold, increase cooking time up to 15 minutes).
45 Minutes Ahead
Make Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes.
40 Minutes Ahead
Make Glazed Pearl Onions.
35 Minutes Ahead
Make Green Beans and Portobello Mushrooms. Make Perfect Gravy. Bake biscuits.
20 to 25 Minutes Ahead
Reheat any sides made ahead in 350-degree oven, covered.
Just Before Serving
Carve turkey. Remove cranberry sauce from refrigerator.
Reheat tart, if desired.