November 18th, 2011

KITCHEN TALK: Turkey Tips

 

So the Thanksgiving countdown has begun {I know you needed something to make you smile about now 🙂 }  Hopefully you’ve got your menu planned, the table set {go ahead, check that off the list!}, and are ready to enjoy the time with family and friends!  Here are just a few last minute tips to help make the day delicious!

Roaster Oven

Oven Space – the real dilemma on Thanksgiving Day!  One of the great mysteries of the meal is how to cook everything at the same time!   If space is an issue for you – here’s a great investment.  Unfortunately I only have one small oven {I know, something is definitely wrong here!}  so oven space is a huge factor for me.  The thing that really saves it for me is a roaster oven – like this:

 

I always use it to cook my turkey; and if your counter space is limited you can even stick in the garage to keep your counters open {brilliant}.

Use it just like you would your oven- you can cook in a bag, brine, or roast just as you would in your regular oven and your turkey will come out wonderful!  You can pick them up at WalMart or Target for $25 – $30 – well worth the investment!

 

TurkeyTips

* When purchasing your turkey, allow 1 1/2 pounds per person (this gives you some left overs as well).

* It’s best to thaw turkey in the refrigerator.  Place the turkey breast side up in its original wrapper on a rimmed baking sheet.  Plan ahead – allow one full day for every 4 pounds of turkey!  Oops – if you forget to take it out of the freezer, you can  thaw the bird in less time by placing  the turkey in its unopened bag in the sink or a large container, and cover it with cold water. Change the water every 30 minutes to keep it cold (and safe).

* Never carve the turkey immediately – turkey needs to rest for at least 20-30 minutes.  This allows the juices to redistribute throughout the entire turkey and makes it more moist and tender.  This is the perfect time to make your gravy!

To Stuff or Not to Stuff

Stuffing is a matter of preference. If you do stuff, the good folks at Whole Foods advise  that you bake the stuffing and turkey separately and then placing cooked stuffing in the turkey cavity during the final 30 minutes of roasting time. Here are some additional stuffing tips:

  • Estimate about one cup of stuffing per pound of turkey.
  • Stuffing your bird increases the cooking time, add about 5 to 7 minutes per pound.
  • If you stuff your turkey, make sure you check the temperature of the stuffing and not just the bird before serving. The stuffing must register at least 160°F before it is safe to eat.
  • Never stuff the bird ahead of time. Stuff it just before putting in the oven.
  • If brining your turkey, we do not recommend stuffing it since the stuffing will absorb too much salt.
  • If not stuffing, you can place some fresh herbs along with roughly chopped celery, onion and carrots in the cavity for added flavor.  {This is how I do it}

 Turkey 411

Got a Turkey Questions?  You’re not alone!    The Butterball Turkey Talk-Line gets about 100,000 calls during the holidays.  They have 50 professionally trained home economists and nutritionists to answer questions during November and December.  You can get answers to just about anything from cooking to carving!

Call 800-288-8372, or email talkline@buterball.com

You can also checkout the Butterball website here:  http://www.butterball.com/

You can also call the USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline to get answers to turkey questions weekdays, 10a.m. to 4p.m. Eastern time – they are even available Thanksgiving day from 8a.m. to 2p.m. Eastern time.

Call 888-674-6854 or email mphotline.fsis@usda.gov

If All Else Fails . . .

 

 

 {Just couldn’t resist that one!! }

Congrats to the Winner of our Cupcake Topper Giveaway!  The Winner is Anisse {We’ll contact you by email!}  Thanks to all those who entered!  Don’t forget to checkout cupcaketopper.net for all your special events!  Thanks Miss M for donating these delicious cupcake toppers!

 

 

 

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