This holiday dinner hack takes the pressure off the party host

(Photo by Tasia Wells/Getty Images for MedMen)
(Photo by Tasia Wells/Getty Images for MedMen) /

While some people might want a ginormous protein to take center stage on the festive table, the reality is that one large focal point may not always be the best choice. From the host who wants to simplify the process or the novice cook who may need to build that cooking confidence, this holiday dinner hack can be the best present to give and to receive.

During the holiday season, food is often the center point of any event. Cocktails evolve into dinner and the main meal transforms into a sweet dessert ending. The table is the setting that brings people together time and again.

Although it can be easy to have the event catered, others prefer to put in the effort to ensure that the meal has a little extra sentiment in every serving. But, ensuring that everyone has flavorful, well-executive food is not always the easiest to master.

During a recent conversation with Tyson Foods Chef + Director of Culinary Thomas Wenrich, he recommended an idea that skips a singular, big protein and opts for personalized services, like Cornish Game Hens.

As Wenrich shared, “Cornish Game Hens are an underutilized and under appreciated protein. Why try to cook a whole bird for two to three hours when a Cornish Game Hen only takes about 30 to 45 minutes.”

In addition to easier cooking, it can be a way to showcase a little cooking expertise and creativity. While Wenrich recommends to spatchcock the bird for easy earlier cooking, it is more than just execution that makes this protein a top choice.

holiday dinner hack Cornish game hens
Kikkoman Cornish Game Hens for holiday dinners, photo provided by Tyson Foods /

For example, each bird can have different seasonings. If one person prefers bold, spicy spices, they can enjoy those flavors. For a person who wants to enjoy turmeric, Indian spices, or Asian influenced choices, they can have that option, too. Sometimes being able to be inclusive to all the guests starts with individual proteins.

Given that the Cornish Game Hens cook quickly, the host can ask everyone how they want their bird seasoned before they go in the oven. From traditional to innovative, there are plenty of options to bring to the table.

In addition, these smaller portions can help avoid excess food waste. Some people do not want to take a doggie bag home from dinner. The host might not want have leftovers. The individual portions can help tackle all types of scenarios.

These ideas are not necessarily limited to just holiday gatherings. The idea can apply to any scenario. A little thoughtfulness can make a more joyous occasion before, during, and after the event.

While food might bring everyone to the table, the same meal does not always have to be served. Giving everyone their own special plate might be the way to keep the whole experience merry and bright all year long.

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