Co-host of Rachael vs. Guy Celebrity Cook-Off on Food Network (debuts January 2012)
"The turkey fell on the ground!" Early Thanksgiving morning, I went out to deep-fry our turkey. The oil was too hot, and when I put the turkey in the pot, oil spilled out. The next thing I knew, the whole fryer caught fire! I started sliding it away from the house, and the turkey fell out -- across the patio. Since that was the only turkey I had, I picked it up. On the outside it had a nice crust, but inside it was raw as could be. So I threw it in a low-temp oven and roasted it. By frying the skin and then cooking it low and slow, it turned out to be a fantastic turkey with crispy skin and juicy meat. Who knew?
Co-host of the D.C. joint Good Stuff Eatery, and a Top Chef-testant
"We forgot to turn on the oven!" Thanksgiving was at my sister's house one year, and the bird was stuffed, seasoned and ready to go. We had been talking about how amazing our family's roast turkey tastes. It was going to be incredible! I placed it in the bottom of her double oven, but my sister set the top oven. Three hours later when I went to check on the turkey, it was completely uncooked! So I picked up a deep fryer from my restaurant and brought it back. I unstuffed the bird and fried it, then laid it out on the platter just like a regular roast turkey. None of the guests knew -- they just kept marveling at how amazingly crispy and delicious the bird turned out.
Rach's beauty and style buddy on the Rachael Ray show
"I burned the food!" Before our sweet baby Kai came into the world, my guy Ricky and I were trying to fit in as much couple time as possible. I decided to prepare a romantic Thanksgiving dinner for two and surprise him. I was chopping, steaming, sautéing and roasting my little heart out. But I was so focused on everything else that I completely burned the rice! I dropped everything and ran to the store to grab the instant kind. The pot was so crusted over, I decided to throw it out rather than try to chisel off the rice. Ricky arrived home to a great meal, but the house smelled like burned rice -- so I had to come clean.
Rach's man-food buddy and author of The Hamburger: A History
"My tools didn't work!" In my graduate-school days my family asked me, for the first time ever, to make the turkey. My father suggested I use a baking bag, a gimmick he was infatuated with at that moment. The result, of course, was a seething, bubbling nightmare of white skin and boiling broth, a Chernobyl-like disaster. Dinner was only just barely saved by a spare pork roast and crusty, salty potatoes I had prepared as a side dish. And the turkey? It now resides in a medical museum, where it floats, undisturbed, in its hideous cooking womb.