If you haven't already picked out your turkey, it's time to start thinking about which "Tom" is gonna grace your table, this #Thanksgiving holiday.
As the weather starts getting cooler, I start to get "TURKEY ANXIETY."
What's that you say? Well, since I only cook one turkey a year, I always forget what works, how big of one I need, what temp and cooking method, etc.
|Here's one of the birds my hubby and I worked on a few years ago! Delish!|
Luckily, Theo Weening, the Global Meat Buyer at Whole Foods, has some awesome tips to lessen my "TURKEY ANXIETY" this year.
Here's a handy dandy guide to help you along as well:
Whole Foods Ultimate Guide To Turkey
#1. Picking your poultry:
- Weigh your options: Go for turkeys that allow at least one to one-and-a-half pounds per person. Add an extra half-pound per person if you want leftovers. (Your guests won’t eat a full pound of meat. That number takes bones and skin into account, too).
- Get fresh: At Whole Foods Market, our fresh turkeys are raised to reach the perfect size just before the holiday season, then processed and stored just above the freezing point so you get juiciest, most flavorful meat possible.
- Start early: Reserve your turkey ahead of time to make sure you get your pick of the flock! You can even order your turkey online at shop.wholefoodsmarket.com.
- Consult your butcher: From organic to heritage turkeys, there are a lot of options to consider. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, Whole Foods Market’s classically trained butchers can help you pick the perfect gobbler for your gathering. Just ask!
- Factor in defrosting time! For 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 refrigerator, so plan accordingly (or save on time with a fresh turkey).
- Brine like a boss: Brining — soaking the turkey in a saltwater solution for four to 24 hours before roasting — makes for a tender, juicy bird. Our 365 Everyday Value® brine kit and adaptable basic brine recipe are two great picks for first-timers. If you want to earn the wows without the work, order an oven-ready, hand-brined turkey for pick-up at shop.wholefoodsmarket.com.
- Don’t wing it: Cooking guidelines are printed on the packaging for a reason. Each turkey type cooks a bit 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 to 7 minutes cooking time per pound.
- Let someone else do the work for you: Not up for the whole roasting thing? Order a fully cooked turkey for pickup at shop.wholefoodsmarket.com. Reheating instructions are included.
#4. Post-roast tips:
- Give it a rest! Once it’s done, let your turkey sit for 30 minutes before carving so the juices can redistribute. This locks in moisture and makes for smooth slicing.
- Sharpen your knife skills ahead of time so you can carve with confidence. When the big moment comes you’ll want to create a plate, not a crime scene. This great step-by-step carving guide will help walk you through the process.
Of course if you choose to buy your turkey at Whole Foods, you'll know your meat will come to you the way nature intended it to... with no antibiotics, no added hormones* no animal byproduct in feed, and on farms that have achieved certification to the Global Animal Partnership’s 5-Step™ Animal Welfare Rating System.
I hope you enjoyed those turkey tips and that you can kiss your TURKEY ANXIETY goodbye this year!