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What and Why?
Turkey is a bird that is native to the North Americas. Americans eat turkey on Thanksgiving because it is estimated that the Plymouth colonists in 1621 ate turkey for their autumn harvest feast (although historians cannot confirm this fact). Regardless, turkey has become the official Thanksgiving tradition.
Tips and Tricks for Raw Turkeys
- Figure 1 1/2 pounds of turkey for each person. For big parties, have a 15-20 lb. turkey and for smaller parties choose a bird that is 12 lbs. or less.
- Defrost frozen turkeys in the fridge (1 day of thawing per 4 lbs. of bird)
- Always rinse the turkey (take the insides out and save them for gravy) under cold water. Pat down with a paper towel after.
How to Cook Turkey
- Use a sturdy *shallow* stainless steel pan to cook your turkey in.
- Roast the turkey until it reaches an internal temperature of 165˚F.
- Let the turkey rest, loosly wrapped in aluminum foil, for 30 minutes after you take it out of the oven to let the juices settle.
You can roast or deep fry a whole turkey for your Thanksgiving dinner. See our tips on roasting a turkey above! We suggest brining the turkey before (soaking it in salt water) to give it extra flavor.
Recipes: Whole Turkey with Chestnut Turkey Sausage Stuffing, Deep Fried Turkey, Roasted Brined Turkey
You can buy ground turkey for relatively cheap and it makes a great hearty meal. Mix the ground turkey with seasoning and make burgers, meatballs, sauces, and more.
Recipes: All-American Turkey Burgers, Turkey Meatball Soup, Spaghetti with Turkey Meat Sauce
The day after Thanksgiving, you have all this turkey meat and nothing to do with it beyond turkey sandwiches. Never fear! We have some great day-after turkey recipes for you.
Recipes: Turkey Tetrazzini, American Turkey Turnovers, Turkey Chowder, Turkey Stroganoff