4 Ways To Minimize Your Food Waste This Thanksgiving

Creating a beautiful Thanksgiving table that’s both tasty and environmentally friendly doesn’t have to be difficult. We spoke with Chef Ben Grebel, ICC Chef-Instructor of 6 years and one of our Professional Culinary Arts + Farm-to-Table program coordinators to learn how he eliminates food waste and makes his Thanksgiving table more sustainable.

Below, get his tips for using all of your scraps, fats and bones to create a delicious meal while minimizing food waste!

Break Down Your Turkey

Breaking down your turkey should be the first step in creating your Thanksgiving meal. Chef Ben recommends removing the turkey breasts and legs from the carcass and setting these aside. Then, break down the actual carcass and roast the bones in the oven—if the turkey neck is inside of the turkey, this can be roasted as well.

By roasting the carcass, you will be bringing out layers of flavor and using this to create a stock. This will make it so that you won’t have to make a separate stock or a demi-glaze from the store, saving you time and money.

Save Your Scraps

When you’re prepping vegetables for your stuffing or side dishes, save any scraps that you produce. These scraps can be sautéed and used in the next waste saving tip!

Make a Stock

Use the sautéed vegetable scraps to add flavor to your stock! Add the roasted turkey carcass and vegetables, in addition to thyme, bay leaf and black pepper to a stock pot with water on your stove. The offal from the turkey can also be added to the pot, which will give your stock a more mineral flavor.

Reserve The Fat

On the day of Thanksgiving, season and roast the turkey breasts and legs. While the stock and turkey are cooking, skim any residual fat from both and use this to incorporate into any other recipes that need additional flavor—the fat is particularly perfect for stuffing!

By using these methods to reduce your waste, you can get the most out of the ingredients that you’re using, save money, and positively impact the environment, all while infusing more flavor into your food. Happy Thanksgiving!

apple and pumpkin pie

Thanksgiving Tips From The Pros At ICC

This Thanksgiving, whether you plan to be the executive chef in your kitchen, or assume the role of sous chef, you’ll likely spend an average of 7 hours cooking your Thanksgiving meal! So how do the approximately 96% of American families that gather for Thanksgiving get through the daunting task of preparing this family feast? With advice from the professionals of course!

This year, our ICC Chef-Instructors shared their knowledge on everything from turkey safety tips and how to save your thanksgiving meal, to pro tips on how to make your own pumpkin spice blend and homemade sprinkles. We were challenged to create the world’s fastest pumpkin pie recipe—spoiler alert: it’s actually crust-less! We even celebrated our roots as The French Culinary Institute and shared recommendations on the perfect French Classic cocktails, appetizers, side dishes and more to accompany your traditional Thanksgiving Turkey.

So, in case you’re behind on your Thanksgiving meal prep, or need a little inspiration before you begin cooking tomorrow, check out some of these tips from ICC Chefs Hervé Malivert, Marc Bauer, Jansen ChanJürgen David and ICC Dean Alain Sailhac.

Do's & Don'ts of Holiday Dinner Safety

Chef Hervé Malivert, Director of Culinary Arts & Technology shares his Turkey Safety Tips, from how to thaw your turkey to the proper internal temperature of your cooked turkey. And, if you insist on deep frying your turkey, Chef Hervé also shares his recommendations to keep you and your loved one’s safe. Click here to watch the video feature on CBS New York.

How To Make Your Own Pumpkin Spice Blend

In need of a fall pantry staple? Chef Jansen Chan, Director of Pastry, shows you how to make this DIY pumpkin spice blend to add fall flavor to any dish, whether it’s on your Friendsgiving table, or throughout the winter season! Click here to see the Chowhound video.

8 Ideas for a French Thanksgiving

While it’s hard to think of a more American tradition than Thanksgiving, it’s actually quite easy to add a little French flavor to your dinner. Chef Alain, Chef Hervé, and Chef Marc give their recommendations for their favorite French classics that pair perfectly with turkey! Click here to read the feature in France-Amérique Magazine.

The World's Easiest (Crust-less) Pumpkin Pie!

Don’t have time to make a pie crust this year? No problem! Chef Jansen Chan’s pumpkin pie hack lets you make one from scratch in less than 30 minutes. Click here to see how in this Chowhound video.

How To Make Homemade Sugar Sprinkles

Love decorating with sprinkles but tired of the same old rainbow colors? Now you can make your own sugar sprinkles at home, in any color and shade you please! Chef Jansen Chan shows two great baking decorating techniques in one, how to make royal icing and how to turn that royal icing into your own homemade sprinkles. We went with fall colors, but you can easily adapt this for any time of year! Click here to see how in this Chowhound video.

Quick Fixes for Thanksgiving Dinner Slip-Ups

Chef Hervé Malivert, Director of Culinary Arts & Technology, and Chef Jürgen David, Associate Director of Pastry Arts explain how to save your Thanksgiving feast from the most common kitchen mistakes like dry turkey, lumpy mashed potatoes, and more! Click here to watch more on CBS New York.