Turkey is synonymous with family, friends and giving thanks. Today 97 percent of Americans will eat turkey on Thanksgiving. Turkey is a great combination of flavor and nutrition. A turkey is 70 percent white meat and 30 percent dark meat. The white meat is lower in calories but dark meat offers a rich flavor for soups and stews. Americans generally prefer white meat while people in other countries choose dark meat.
Turkey is an inexpensive source of protein, niacin, vitamin B6, phosphorous and zinc and is low-fat. To cut the fat even more, go skinless. This can reduce the calories by 20 percent. Turkey is also a good source of selenium, which has been recognized for its role in cancer prevention.
Whether it’s your first turkey or your 10th, there’s always the question of what size bird to buy. Generally, you should figure on one pound of uncooked turkey per person, depending on the age and appetite of your guests. Turkeys under eight pounds are rare. If you’re having a small group, you may want to consider buying a small turkey breast or several individual game hens. Hy-Vee provides a wide selection of fresh, frozen and processed turkey products.
Most whole turkeys are frozen when you buy them. The tried-and-true method for thawing is to leave the turkey in its original wrapping and place it on a tray in your refrigerator. Allow at least one day of thawing for every 4 pounds.
*Food safety experts do not recommend thawing products under water. If you must thaw your bird under water, remember to change the water every 30 minutes - and be sure that the whole bird is immersed under water.
Foster Farms offers the following “foolproof” tips for your turkey:
10 to 18-pound turkey: 3 to 3 ½ hours if unstuffed, 3 ¾ to 4 ½ hours if stuffed18 to 22-pound turkey: 3 ½ to 4 hours if unstuffed, 4 ½ to 5 hours if stuffed22 to 24-pound turkey: 4 to 4 ½ hours if unstuffed, 5 to 5 ½ hours if stuffed24 to 30-pound turkey: 4 ½ to 5 hours if unstuffed, 5 ½ to 6 ¼ hours if stuffed
Delicious turkey isn’t good enough…it must be safe, too!
Butterball recommends the following steps for carving your holiday turkey:
Turn that Thanksgiving turkey into several other meals that will both satisfy your family and prevent waste!
Turkey is easy to use. Simply chop leftover turkey and use in the following ways.
Makes 10 (1-cup) servings.
1 (10 ½ oz.) can Hy-Vee Healthy Recipe cream of chicken soup1 cup Hy-Vee light sour cream⅓ cup Hy-Vee skim milk3 cups chopped leftover turkey2 cups Hy-Vee shredded Mexican cheese, dividedHy-Vee pepper to taste1 (32 oz.) pkg Hy-Vee frozen potatoes O’Brien, thawed
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Stir together soup, sour cream, milk, turkey, 1 cup cheese and pepper. Spread half the mixture on the bottom of a greased 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Top the turkey mixture with potatoes, remaining turkey mixture and remaining 1 cup cheese. Bake uncovered 45 minutes or until cheese is melted and golden brown.
Nutrition facts per serving: 250 calories; 10 g fat; 6 g saturated fat; 0 g trans fat; 60 mg cholesterol; 20 g carbohydrates; 2 g fiber; 19 g protein; 320 mg sodium.
Serves 4 (2 tostadas each)
1 (14 oz.) can petite diced tomatoes, preferably with jalapeños1 medium onion, thinly sliced3 cups shredded cooked turkey (12 oz.)8 corn tortillasCanola or olive oil cooking spray1 avocado, pitted¼ cup prepared Hy-Vee salsa2 tablespoons reduced-fat sour cream2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro1 cup shredded romaine lettuce½ cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
Source: adapted from Eating Well, Inc.
Nutrition facts per serving: 397 calories; 15 g fat; 86 mg cholesterol; 34 g carbohydrate; 33 g protein; 8 g fiber; 621 mg sodium; 709 mg potassium.