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The Perfect Bird: Part 1

{image from My Recipes.com}

Side dishes come and go but the main star of every Thanksgiving Day table is Tom Turkey. Perhaps its your first turkey or your 51st, following a few steps and preparations you will {ok..should…} end up with a moist and delicious bird.

Selecting Your Turkey

Key words: Fresh, Free Range, Organic Fed, NO Hormones.

Fresh Turkeys are readily available in most areas these days and will produce a MUCH tastier meal. Check with your favorite store to see if they carry them or if you need to order yours quickly. Local farms & Farm stands are also great resources to find non-factory raised varieties. Avoid self-basting turkeys as they are injected with fatty substance (not found in nature).

{Image Courtesy of SimplyRecipes.com}

How Big Is Big Enough

Minimum size should be 10 lbs. If you need less consider a buying a breast. To allow for plenty of left overs allow 1 – 1/2 pounds of turkey per person. Consider how many guests you will need to feed in the days after and adjust accordingly.

{Image courtesy of Food Network}

The Waiting Game

Try to arrange to pick up your turkey the day before you will cook it and keep it in it’s wrapping in the coldest part of your refrigerator once home. If you have to go with frozen, allow 3-4 hours per pound to thaw in your refrigerator. This may be up to 2-5 days to defrost completely. Be sure to cook a thawed turkey within 2 days and DO NOT re-freeze as the meat will not recover and will change its texture.

Stay Tuned for Part 2: Flavoring The Turkey, Stuffing a Turkey, Roasting & Tablescapes to please your guests.

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