SuperChef Darnell Ferguson Reveals How To Spice Up Your Traditional Thanksgiving Menu

Tired of your typical turkey, mashed potatoes & stuffing? Darnell 'SuperChef' Ferguson shared his tips on how to mix up your Thanksgiving menu this year!

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Darnell Ferguson
Image Credit: Courtesy of JMG PR

Thanksgiving food can get a little repetitive, with the dry turkey, the mushy mashed potatoes and your Aunt’s same pumpkin pie year after year. The winner of Giada De Laurentiis‘ Ultimate Thanksgiving Challenge, Darnell Ferguson spoke to about his unique approach to the holiday that surrounds his forté — food — and gave some tips for how you can add your own SuperChef twist on your Thanksgiving meal this year! “The goal for Thanksgiving should be to do a different menu every year. My goal is always to do something I haven’t done the year before,” he explained, revealing that he started by changing up his turkey. “I love barbecue, and I love Chinese food, so I just combined them. There’s a marinade called char siu, which is usually on pork, so I took it from pork and put it on turkey. Everybody can make it, too. It’s made up of soy sauce, honey, ketchup, brown sugar, rice wine vinegar, hoisin, red food dye and Chinese five spice and you just mix everything up. Then, what I do is, I’ll shoot it with a needle, like a injector.”

Darnell added that instead of making a full turkey and having to carve it, he only uses turkey breasts. “Why not just give everybody turkey breasts? All you want to do is get to the turkey breast anyway and it cooks twice as fast. You can wake up in the morning and put the turkey in the oven,” he explained. “The goal is to cut down your cook time. It’s Thanksgiving, you don’t want to spend all day cooking, then you’re thankful for nothing!”

Another way Darnell revealed you could cut down on cooking time is by preparing everything the day before. “I will literally just throw things in the oven on Thanksgiving. My mac and cheese is already made, the greens are already cleaned and ready to go. Everything is done the day before,” he said. “I do everything like we do in a restaurant, because it makes service easy. When people are stressing out on Thanksgiving, they do everything that morning. Whereas, I wake up whenever I want to, and I just got to throw everything in the oven.”

The founder of SuperChef restaurants also advised hosts to have “good cocktails available” for guests to sip on while you’re finishing up in the kitchen. “I feel like when you have something that takes the focus off the food, you’re good to go and most people don’t have cocktails at their parties,” Darnell explained. “Create some good cocktails and create some small things that people can pick up and eat, while you’re working in the kitchen. That’s the key. If you give them a couple small hors d’oeuvres, it takes the pressure off your dinner.”