The Thanksgiving Turkey
Tips and Tidbits
- When choosing a turkey, plan on 1 lb per person, or 1 ½ lbs each for plenty of leftovers.
- Fresh or frozen: If you’re buying a fresh bird, don’t get it more than two days ahead of time. Frozen turkeys will keep up to a year in the freezer.
- Never thaw the bird at room temperature; leave yourself lots of time for this process. You can thaw frozen turkey in the fridge, in a water bath or use a combination of methods. Don’t use the microwave, which can provide uneven and sometimes unpalatable results.
- To catch the juices, make sure your pan is at least 2 ½ inches (6.35 cm) deep and lined with a roasting rack to keep the bird above the drippings.
- Using a proper meat thermometer, begin checking for doneness about three-quarters of the way through roasting.
- The turkey is done when a meat thermometer inserted in the inner thigh reads 180°F (85°C) for a stuffed turkey or 170°F (77°C) for an unstuffed turkey.
- Refrigerate leftovers within 2 hours of the meal. Store turkey and stuffing separately.
- Turkey is an excellent lean meat choice. It’s a great source of protein, phosphorus, selenium, niacin and vitamin B6 and is low in saturated fats.
- Removing the skin eliminates one-third to one-half of the fat of various turkey cuts.
- Ground turkey has less fat than ground chicken or even extra lean ground beef.
- The light meat has about half the fat of dark meat. Although both are good choices, white meat is even leaner.
Did you know?
- Turkey is the only native poultry breed of the Western Hemisphere.
- Turkeys have great hearing skills but no ears.
- Turkeys have poor sense of smell but great sense of taste.
- The largest turkey on record was 86 pounds.
Cranberries: Cranberries were once mostly associated with the holidays, but in the last decade or so they have become increasingly versatile and are available fresh, dried, canned and frozen. Consider visiting Muskoka-based Johnston’s Cranberries, one of the largest cranberry producers in the province, to pick up this delicious fruit for your Thanksgiving feast. Johnston’s Cranberries is also home to the award-winning Muskoka Lakes Winery, whose cranberry wine is excellent served with turkey.
Filled with the nutritious goodness of spinach and the creamy texture of ricotta, this turkey breast is a taste sensation.
This rich and robust ragu is simple to make and easy on the budget. Pair with a fresh salad drizzled with olive oil and balsamic vinegar and a slice of warm, crusty bread for a hearty meal.