Make cooking a Thanksgiving turkey easy with these tips for thawing, preparing and cooking your turkey.
The biggest mistake people often make with their turkey starts with the very first step. Frozen turkeys take a long time to thaw. Make sure you buy your Honeysuckle White or Shady Brook Farms frozen turkey at least one week ahead of time and follow the chart below for a guideline of how long it will take for your turkey to thaw in your refrigerator set at 40• or below. A completely thawed turkey can remain safely in your refrigerator for 1 to 2 days before cooking. So give yourself a little leaway. Once your turkey is thawing in your refrigerator, cross of step one of turkey preparation.
Now that your turkey is properly thawed. What do you do with it?
Place your turkey on a plastic board and pat dry with paper towels. Next you want to separate the skin from the meat. Starting at the next of the turkey, use your index finger to gently push between the skin and the meat moving it from side to side down each breast. If you can reach without tearing the skin, move down to the thighs and legs. Mix up some butter or Greek yogurt with spices to put between the skin and meat to flavor your turkey. Check out my recipe for Thyme, Rosemary and Yogurt Turkey Breast or Sangria Glazed Turkey recipes for complete instructions. You can also use a buttered piece of cheesecloth over the turkey until the last 30 minutes of cooking. Remove the cheesecloth to allow the turkey to crisp. Place a rack inside your roasting pan and get ready for Tip #3.
Place your turkey on a rack inside a roasting pan. The rack lifts the turkey and allows air to circulate under the bird, thus creating crispy skin all around the turkey. Cook your Shady Brook Farms or Honeysuckle White Turkey at an oven preheated to 400•. Cook your turkey until the internal temperature of the thigh and thickest part of the breast is 165• per the USDA. Once your turkey is cooked, set it on a cutting board and let it rest for about 30 minutes before carving it. To carve your turkey, separate the leg and thigh from the breast first. You can watch a step-by-step carving video at www.honeysucklewhite.com. For complete turkey how-to videos, visit http://www.honeysucklewhite.com/turkey-how-to/.
Have a little fun and give back to your local community this holiday season with Shady Brook Farms and Honeysuckle White. This holiday take a photo with your family, friends, and of course, your perfectly cooked turkey. Upload your #TurkeySelfie to Instagram or Facebook with the hashtag #TurkeySelfie to be entered to win a $500 giving card to donate to a food bank of your choice. The contest runs November 1st through November 30th. Visit http://www.700reasons.com/honeysuckle-white/turkey-selfie for more information.
Check out these Turkey recipes perfect for a large or small Thanksgiving party: