Chef Flay's Thanksgiving Food Tips

This Oct. 28, 2006 image provided by Cathy Chambers shows her boyfriend Ken Barnes Jr. getting underway off Newport Beach, Calif. Barnes, a Southern California sailor attempting to circumnavigate the globe, was reported adrift in his storm-battered boat off the tip of South America Wednesday Jan. 3, 2007 and was rescued early Friday.
AP Photo/Cathy Chambers
CBS resident chef Bobby Flay is providing tips every day until Thanksgiving on how to create the perfect Turkey Day feast. He says if you haven't started shopping yet, it's time to get going.

"Everybody's caught up with the presidential thing. I don't know who's going to win that, but I know one thing for sure, Thanksgiving is this Thursday," warns Flay.

He urges people to buy their turkey immediately if they haven't done so already.

"If it's a fresh turkey, order. If it's frozen, grab it, put it in your freezer," said Flay.

Next, buy your popular food items.

"You need things to make the cranberry sauce, to make pies, to make gravy, all of those things," he said. "You need flour, sugar, chicken broth, baking powder. Get some fresh cranberries."

Other items he suggests buying include:

  • a variety of nuts such as walnuts and pecans
  • heavy cream
  • extra eggs
  • butter
  • potatoes
  • onions
  • fruits
"Heavy cream sells out quickly around Thanksgiving. Everybody wants to have it. Make sure you pick yours up."

He recommends buying sausage for stuffing, depending on what kind of stuffing you're making.

Replenish your spices, both dried and fresh, recommends Flay.

"All of those spices that have been in your cupboard for six years, all of the dried spices -- every Thanksgiving is a great time to get rid of all of the spices that don't taste like anything because they are old," says Flay. "Buy new ones. These are the things you flavor your dressing with. Get fresh herbs, fresh parsley, thyme, sage. Get them now."

The rule about dry spices, says Flay, is that "you want them as fresh as possible. And grind them yourself, that would be even better. Every Thanksgiving, throw them out."

He urges people to prepare their pies now.

"You can prepare an apple and a pumpkin pie. Don't bake it, just freeze it and on Thanksgiving Day, put it in the oven. You can do that," suggested Flay. "Bake off a pecan pie ahead of time and that will stay, you know, fine. Nice and sweet."

Another thing people can do is prepare bread beforehand for stuffing.

"If you're making a white bread stuffing, cut it, let it stale. Cornbread stuffing, bake the cornbread, let that stale as well. Stale bread for stuffing, very important," he said.