Thanksgiving is almost here. I’m sure most people have their holiday plans all set and ready to go.
It’s always only me and my family for Thanksgiving (me, my husband and our two teenagers). My father goes to Indiana with my stepmother to have Thanksgiving with my stepsister’s family. The rest of the family (cousins) all have other plans or live out of state. I miss the days of big family get togethers for the holiday.
My kids are not big fans of Thanksgiving turkey. They rather eat the side dishes and dessert.
I know this sounds like a strange idea but we normally buy our Thanksgiving dinner pre-cooked. Our local grocery store offers a package that includes a full size, fully cooked turkey, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, stuffing, gravy and creamed spinach (we never eat the spinach). We buy that package and make a few extra side dishes and rolls, plus a dessert. It’s worked well for us for many years.
This year we received a really nice turkey from JENNI-O so we’re going to make our own dinner this year. It’s been about 17 years since I made a turkey for Thanksgiving, so it’s going to be interesting.
I know many people won’t have it any other way. They truly enjoy the entire process of preparing the food for their family to enjoy on Thanksgiving.
Our friends at Whole Foods Market has some great tips they wanted to share with readers to help you with your holiday meal.
Picking Your Poultry:
- Start early: reserve your turkey ahead of time to make sure you get your pick of the flock.
- Weigh your options and try to get fresh: Go for turkeys that allow at least one to one-and-a-half pounds per person. At Whole Foods Market, fresh turkeys are raised to reach the perfect size just before the holiday season, then processed and stored so you get the juiciest, most flavorful meat possible.
- Consult your butcher: When it doubt, your butcher is your best friend. From organic to heritage turkeys, there are a lot of options to choose from. Your butcher can help you pick the perfect bird for your gathering.
- Factor in defrosting time: For the best results, your turkey should be as close to room temperature as possible before roasting. Frozen turkeys take about 24 hours per five pounds of meat to thaw in the fridge. Extra tip — you can save on time with a fresh turkey!
- Brining is the way to go: Brining makes for a tender, juicy bird. Whole Foods Market’s 365 Everyday Value brine kit and adaptable basic brine recipe are two great picks for first-timers.
- Instructions: They are your friend – each bird tends to cook differently, so follow instructions carefully.
- Check for doneness: Use a meat thermometer to test the thickest part of the thigh, not touching bone. When it registers 165 °F, the turkey’s ready. If you stuff your turkey, plan for an extra 5 top 7 minutes cooking time per pound.
- Rest: A key thing to remember when your turkey is done is to let it sit for 30 minutes before carving so the juices can redistribute. This locks in moisture and makes for smooth slicing.
These are some really great tips.
I would love to hear from readers too. Since I am making dinner this year for my family (first time in almost two decades!) I can use some great tips and tricks to help make sure our meal is a success.
Feel free to share any additional tips, tricks or advice you might have. Thank you!
*I was not compensated for this post. I posted this for the enjoyment of my site readers. The opinions expressed are not necessarily my own.