Friday, November 5, 2010

Turkey Helps

These wonderful helps come from which is a compilation of recipes from Cooking Light, Southern Living, Sunset, Real Simple and Health Magazines.

Buying the Thanksgiving Bird

There are basically seven different types of whole turkeys: frozen, fresh, natural, organic, free-range, heritage, and kosher. Frozen is the cheapest and most widely available. The drawbacks: you'll need considerable time to thaw in the refrigerator, and it may be injected with a salt solution to keep moist. See's "Pick the Perfect Turkey"  for a quick primer on the differences between the turkey types.

How Much Turkey to Buy

A good rule of thumb is to buy 1 pound of turkey per person to allow for seconds and leftovers. So if you're having 8 guests for Thanksgiving, you'll need an 8-pound bird. You know your crowd best, so buy the size that fits your needs.
Get ready for the feast with our ultimate collection of  Thanksgiving Recipes.

Turkey Defrosting Tips

The best–and safest–defrosting method is to set the bird in a shallow pan in the refrigerator for 24 hours per 5 pounds of turkey. Keep in mind you'll need to save room in the refrigerator as this will take several days. The turkey is fully thawed when the thick part of the turkey registers 40 degrees. For tips to defrosting in a hurry, read, "The Turkey is still frozen"  at

Roasting Turkey for Beginners

The key to roasting a perfect turkey is the temperature; you want moist, juicy meat on the inside and a crisp exterior. Keep your meat thermometer close by to ensure the bird reaches a safe internal temperature of between 165 and 180 degrees. An average 12-pound turkey with giblets will take around three hours to cook at 325 degrees. For a step-by-step guide, go to

Deconstructing Turkey Carving

"The whole turkey may look really pretty, but taking slices from the outside of the breast is difficult," says Cooking Light Test Kitchens staffer Sam Brannock. For a step-by-step guide, watch our "how to" video on turkey carving or read more of Sam's tips at

Check out the link below for 9 different turkey ideas.  This is the first one!
Dry-Cured Rosemary Turkey

First-time Thanksgiving hosts might relate to Lori P, who shares this success story:

"This was rated by the most critical of my family to be the best turkey of all time. It was great that it was my first large-scale hosting of Thanksgiving for the family.... it made me proud."


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