Thaw your turkey safely: Plan ahead, since thawing may take days in the refrigerator. Do NOT thaw it on the counter, in a bathtub, on the porch, or in the garage.
Handle your turkey safely: Before touching the turkey, wash your hands for 20 seconds. Do not wash or rinse the turkey. This may spread poultry juice to other foods and lead to foodborne illness. Use a clean cutting board. Wash the board with warm soapy water after use and before preparing the next item.
Cook your turkey safely: Set oven temperature to at least 325°F. Cook to a minimum internal temperature of 165°F. Find cooking times at USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service, bit.ly/3kZeP6D. Use a food thermometer to check in at least two of the thickest parts of the breast, thigh, and wing joint. After cooking, the turkey should rest for 20 minutes to let juices settle.
Chill your turkey safely: Divide leftovers into small portions and refrigerate or freeze within two hours after cooking. Use refrigerated leftovers within 3–4 days and frozen cooked turkey in 2–6 months for best quality. For more Thanksgiving-friendly food safety tips, visit FoodSafety. gov, bit.ly/3A55oqt.
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 cup chopped onions
1 cup sliced fresh white mushrooms (optional)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
3 14-ounce cans low-sodium chicken broth
1 10.75-ounce can reduced-sodium cream of chicken soup
1 cup uncooked instant
2 cups chopped broccoli
2 cups chopped cooked
1/2 teaspoon freshly
Heat oil in large saucepan over medium-high heat.
Add onions, mushrooms, and minced garlic (if using); cook, stirring often, until onion is tender, about 5 minutes.
Add tomatoes, broth, soup, and rice. Cover and cook until rice is nearly tender, 15 to 20 minutes.
Stir in the broccoli and turkey; return to boil.
Reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, until broccoli is tender and turkey is heated through, about 5 minutes.
Remove from heat; stir in pepper.
Nutrition information per serving: 310 calories, 7g total fat, 2g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 40mg cholesterol, 510mg sodium, 40g total carbohydrate, 4g fiber, 5g sugar, 23g protein
Turkey Stir-fry Stir fry pieces of cooked turkey with sliced onion, green pepper, and broccoli. Add 1⁄4 cup water and 1 Tablespoon soy sauce. Heat and serve over rice.
Turkey Wrap Wrap sliced turkey, cheese, lettuce, and tomato in a whole wheat tortilla for a turkey wrap.
Turkey Pasta Sauté onion, sweet pepper, and mushrooms in a small amount of vegetable oil. Add a can of crushed tomatoes, a pinch of oregano, garlic powder, basil, and hot pepper (or your favorite spaghetti sauce). Stir in pieces of turkey. Heat and serve over cooked pasta. Top with grated cheese.
Turkey Chili Sauté onion, garlic, and celery in a small amount of oil. Stir in 1 teaspoon each of ground cumin, oregano, and chili powder, and a pinch of hot pepper. Add drained, canned white beans, turkey pieces, and enough chicken or turkey broth to cover. Bring to a boil, lower heat and cook for 30 minutes. Just before serving, stir in some grated Monterey Jack or cheddar cheese. Heat until cheese melts. Serve with corn bread and salad.
It’s ok and actually safer to cook your turkey (under 15 lbs.) when it’s frozen. A frozen turkey won’t drip juices around the kitchen, won’t waste water as you try to thaw it, and will come out of the oven juicy and full of flavor. It’s critical that the final temperature of the deep portions of the turkey reach at least 165°F to prevent food-borne illness. The National Turkey Federation recommends that the temperature reach 175° to 180°F in the leg/thigh portion. Here are the directions for cooking a frozen turkey.
12-15 lb. frozen turkey–do not use this method for birds larger than 15 pounds
Large shallow baking pan and rack
Food thermometer (bimetallic quick read or digital quick read)
Time: Depends on size; add 50% more time than for thawed turkey the same size. Plan on 5 – 5 1/2 hours for a 12 – 14 lb. turkey.
End Temperature: A minimum of 165°F at the deepest part of the breast or thigh (make sure not to touch the bone with the thermometer). For better quality, the temperature should be 175° – 180°F.
Preheat oven to 325°F, making sure that the pan will fit on the middle shelf.
Line the baking pan with foil and place the rack in the pan.
On a clean surface, unwrap the frozen turkey and place it on the rack.
At 3 hours: If turkey is defrosted, giblet packages can be removed with tongs and/or forks. Giblets packaged in plastic should be removed and cooked separately; if the plastic bag has melted or been altered, do not consume the giblets. Giblets packaged in paper can be removed and cooked separately, or cooked completely in the bird making sure they reach 165°F.
At 4 to 5 hours: Measure temperature at deepest point in the breast. Minimum temperature: 165°F. Keep roasting if it’s not 165°F.
When done, remove from oven and place a foil tent over turkey. Wait 20 – 30 minutes before carving.