My husband, the dear that he is, brought home a 20 lb. turkey today for our Thanksgiving feast. Now, like many others, I’m searching for Turkey recipes. Isn’t it a bit odd how we make turkey every year, and then so many of us continually seek out new recipes? And it isn’t just the turkey recipe that gets us going, oh no. Because once you try a new idea with your turkey, such as cooking it upside down, drowning it in pineapple, orange, or another citrus juice, or just throwing the whole thing in a deep fryer, (you’ve got to love this one, it comes with a warning) you realize that you’ve lost touch with everything sacred and traditional, and have ventured into new territory- yes, that’s right- new turkey territory. Whether it’s deep fried, roasted, dunked, or drunk, (have you heard of Beer Can Turkey?) you realize that once the turkey has been through this metamorphosis, the rest of your dinner table must go through one too.
Your turkey stuffing isn’t the same anymore, and how could it be? Now that you’re subjecting your turkey to treatment never performed in hundreds of years, your traditional dressing isn’t going to work. And what about if you have vegetarians for dinner? They won’t even eat turkey. Have you seen the new vegetarian turkey recipes? I’m not kidding you, there are really vegetarian turkey recipes, and I’m sure like all things they are made of soy or tofu and taste like chicken. Well, excuse me, I stand corrected. I just looked up a Vegan Turkey recipe and I’m sure, by all means, it’s a good one, but from reading it, all I can tell is that the substance that is going to perform like a turkey is flour! Here, see for yourself, and please let me know if I’m mistaken: Vegan Turkey Recipe Because for the life of me, I’m not getting that. I thought at least Tofu, go figure.
Well, no matter what you do to your turkey, and regardless of what turkey recipe you use (providing you are using an actual turkey) it is important to follow safe handling instructions, as well as cook your turkey in a safe manner. Here are some good ole guidelines from the FDA to make sure your Turkey recipes (no matter what they may be) will be not only successful, but safe as well.
Turkey Safety Guidelines:
If you’re going to roast your turkey, you’ll need to determine whether it’s fresh or frozen (after the Sarah Palin Turkey video, I wonder how many are going fresh this year), anyway, allow 1 pound of turkey per person. You should buy the turkey between one to two days before you plan to cook it; that would be now, fellow turkey lovers. Keep the turkey refrigerated until you are going to cook it.
Also, stay away from fresh pre-stuffed turkeys, their drenched in bacteria and if you aren’t careful and don’t feel like cooking around a gallon of bleach, you might get sick! However, if you insist, at least choose a fresh turkey that has the USDA seal of approval.
If you’re turkey is frozen, keep it that way until you’re ready to use it. Then thaw it according to safe handling instructions. For more information on thawing instructions, please visit Let’s Talk Turkey by the FDA.