With the holiday season in full swing, you may be experiencing some anxiety over what and how much to cook, whether you’re hosting or will be a guest, as well as searching for the perfect gift for those on your “nice list.”

It doesn’t have to be so stressful. Rest assured, Ruth’s Chris Steak House has got you covered for all your festive needs.

“We know how difficult holiday shopping can be, so we like to make it easier for guests to get their shopping done at one place,” says Ruth’s Chris Steak House Executive Regional Chef Bruce Starr. “At Ruth’s Chris, you’ll receive a 10 percent bonus card when you spend $250 or more in gift cards. And if you spend $500 on gift cards, you’ll also receive a special edition Ruth’s Chris stainless steel steak knife set or logo wine glasses.”

In addition to great gift options, the restaurant also offers affordable dishes to feed the whole family.

“We offer pre-ordered family-sized sides to go for $29.95, including creamed spinach, green beans, mashed potatoes and sweet potato casserole, each feeding 10 to 12 guests,” Starr says. “You can also order our famous three-layered carrot cake with cream cheese icing and drizzled caramel sauce to go, feeding 12 to 15 guests for $89.95.”

Now that you’ve got the sides figured out, check out these turkey tips from Starr.

1. Allot 1 to 1 ½ pounds of turkey per person. This will allow for the bones and some snacking later.

2. Keep the turkey off the bottom of the roasting pan. Using a bed of vegetables is a great way to keep the turkey suspended from the bottom. You could also use a roasting rack. By using a rack, this will help to crisp up the bottom of the turkey as well.

3. Brine your bird. A simple mixture of sugar, salt, water and spices can make for a moist turkey. There are many simple brining recipes online.

4. Butter, butter and a little more butter! Before seasoning the turkey, pat it dry then rub down the skin with softened butter. You can also pull the skin away from the meat and stuff some sliced butter slices under the skin. This will help keep the meat moist and produce some crispy skin.

5. Don’t stuff the cavity of the bird with dressing. It is better to cook the dressing on the side. By stuffing the cavity, this will slow the cooking process and possibly make for a drier breast. There is also a risk for food-borne illness if the turkey is undercooked at all. I like to place cut-up onions, herbs and a couple heads of garlic into the cavity. Another option is to cook the turkey till it is almost done — about an internal temperature of 150 degrees. Remove most of the juice from the pan, then put in your dressing around the base of the turkey. Allow the turkey to finish cooking to an internal temperature of 165 degrees. Make sure this is in the thickest part of the breast and in the thigh.

6. Get a good thermometer. I like to use a digital thermometer just because I am inpatient. But do get a good one, and make sure it is calibrated for the most accurate reading possible.

7. Give the bird a rest. Once the turkey is done, let it sit about 15 minutes lightly covered with foil before carving.

If you’d rather get out of the house for Turkey Day and leave all the kitchen work to the pros, head to Ruth’s Chris. The three-course Thanksgiving dinner is served for $39.95, and the regular dinner menu is also available.

Ruth’s Chris Steak House holiday hours are as follows:

Clayton
Thanksgiving: noon to 7 p.m.
Holiday lunch Dec. 17-21: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Christmas Eve: 4-9 p.m.
Christmas Day: 4-9 p.m.

Downtown St. Louis
Thanksgiving: noon to 7 p.m.
Christmas Eve: 2-8 p.m.
Christmas Day: Closed

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