Teresa Celebrates Talking Turkey
This week Teresa Celebrates Talking Turkey as we come up to Thanksgiving Day! I hope you have already purchased your turkeys. The main feature of the Thanksgiving table is usually the turkey.
Although, we only know that Pilgrims went fowl hunting, in historical writings it doesn’t state it was on the menu. Documents speak of 5 deer the Indians brought to the feast. There were many gaming fowl that could have graced their table.
Turkey didn’t really take hold as the main attraction until much later. President Abraham Lincoln declared Thanksgiving a national holiday in 1863.
Choosing Your Turkey
When choosing your turkey for your Thanksgiving Day feast, you should select it according to the number you are feeding. On average, one pound per person for your mean. If you are planning on leftovers for yourself or your guests, allow one and a half to two pounds per person.
You must also decide if you are buying a fresh or frozen turkey. If you are just now getting your turkey, fresh might be best. A fresh turkey is usually labeled “roaster”. Only buy a fresh turkey just a few days before you are planning on cooking it. Keep a fresh turkey refrigerated until cooked, as they are highly perishable. Also, it is best not to buy a pre-stuffed fresh turkey, as they are prone to grow bacteria.
When buying a frozen turkey, make sure it is frozen solid. Don’t buy one that has partially thawed in the store. Don’t leave the turkey out to thaw on your cabinet. The safest ways to thaw a turkey are to thaw in the refrigerator or thaw in cold water.
Preparing Your Turkey
When you get ready to prepare your turkey for cooking, there are many ways to go about it. One of the first things to do is to remove the package containing the gizzards. It is in a paper package found in the cavity of the bird. Check both the large cavity and also the neck cavity. Sometimes you will find the neck or other giblets there.
Some people “brine” their turkey. This means they place it is salt water and leave it for at least 2 hours. Brining helps to tenderize the turkey.
If I am going to put my turkey in the oven, I basically use salt, pepper, and butter(oleo). I also use a browning bag if I am roasting it. Remember: put a tablespoon of flour in the browning bag and shake it up before adding the bird. I rub the skin of the turkey all over well with the butter. I also put butter between the skin and meat. I even put some in the large cavity. This helps it stay juicy.
What is your favorite way to prepare your turkey?
Trussing Up Your Turkey
Some people will tie their turkey’s legs together with kitchen twine. Especially if they are adding stuffing. However, I have found with the turkey browning bags, they come with a small plastic tie that you can tie them up. This way seems much easier to me. And I don’t know about you, but in the hustle and bustle of Thanksgiving morning, I’m all for any time-saving tips!
Some people also like to tuck the wing tips inside the wing so they won’t stick out and poke the bag. Once buttered and trussed up, it is ready to go inside the oven. You do need to plan carefully if you need to use the oven for cooking other dishes. The turkey tends to take up a lot of oven room!
There are several ways you can prepare a turkey. Roasted, smoked, and even deep-fried. Today I’m just going to talk about 2 ways to prepare that delicious main course!
People often wonder, which is the best way to cook your turkey…oven or deep-fryer.
Hands down the deep-fryer is much quicker. It only takes 3-4 mins per pound to fry the turkey. It usually comes out to about 40-45 minutes. Whereas, the oven takes about 20 minutes per pound.
Taste is another reason most people prefer deep-frying. Frying seals in the juices. The white meat comes out moist, juicy, and tender. Even the dark meat is more flavorful.
Not only does roasting take more time, but you have to time everything because the turkey takes so much room in the oven. You have to figure out when and where to put in pies, casseroles, rolls, etc.
Another advantage to deep-frying, the men all seem to gather around the fryer. This gets them out of the kitchen so you can do all of the other things you need to get ready for dinner.
Deep-Frying Your Turkey
Usually, you mix up a rub mixture the night before and rub it all over the turkey. Also, you can inject your turkey to help make it even more juicy and flavorful!
Here is an example of a rub you can make for your Thanksgiving Day turkey:
One 10- to 12-pound turkey
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons onion powder
2 tablespoons garlic powder
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons black pepper
1 tablespoon dried basil
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon ground cumin
About 3 gallons peanut oil (If someone is allergic to peanut oil, vegetable oil can be substituted.)
Put the turkey in a roasting pan. Mix your rub up and rub down the turkey, including the inside cavity. Cover the pan and place in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. We like to let it sit overnight.
When getting ready to fry the turkey, only fill the pot about halfway. Read your instruction manual to your fryer carefully. Follow their directions. Heat it to 350 degrees. If you overfill the pot, the oil could splash out and cause a fire.
Place the turkey into the basket and very slowly and carefully lower it into the fryer. Cook until internal temperature is 170 degrees.
Remove the turkey with the hooks and let it rest for at least 10 minutes before carving.
If you have never tried deep-fried turkey before, I hope you get a chance! That is the only way my family will eat it anymore!
I wish you and yours a very safe and blessed Thanksgiving. Let us remember to be thankful all year long for our many blessings!
The Holiday Mom