Tuesday, November 22, 2011

With the big day only 2 days away, I thought we’d talk about some of the dos and don’t of choosing, cooking and serving the star of your Thanksgiving dinner—the turkey! 


I happened to be watching the Hallmark channel this morning (I am a closet Martha Stewart fan—love her)  and I just happened to catch Emeril’s Table and he just happened to be talking about turkey.  He had so many great tips and tricks for choosing and preparing the perfect turkey that I couldn’t help but share them with all of you!




Several years ago when I was a new wife preparing my first ever Thanksgiving dinner, I had absolutely new idea what I was doing; thankfully my mom (who I’m convinced knows absolutely everything there is to know about absolutely everything—just don’t tell her I said that) was only a phone call away.  For those of you who don’t have the luxury of calling in help I thought these tips, courtesy of one of the best chef’s ever Emeril Lagasse, might come in handy!



This Thanksgiving an estimated 46 million turkey’s will end up on dinner tables—that’s a lot of turkey people!  And with all of that turkey comes lots and lots of “how do I do…” questions!


What kind of turkey should I buy?


Organic vs. Natural


Organic turkey is free-range and contains no pesticides, but it also has to be cooked a little differently than your average run-of-the-mill turkey! has some great tips for cooking the perfect organic turkey!  Also keep in mind that it’s not organic unless it’s stamped organic!  Natural turkey is cheaper than organic and includes no artificial flavors or chemicals. 


Fresh vs. Frozen


According to Emeril there’s not much difference between fresh and frozen when it comes to supermarket brands!  Fresh will inevitably cost you more (and it definitely saves you the trouble of worrying about your turkey defrosting in time) but it doesn’t really offer much more for your money—it’s more about convenience! 


One of the most agonizing questions for me every single year (and I’m sure many of you as well) is how much turkey do I need and how many people will the turkey that I bought feed?  Emeril also had some great tips for helping us figure this out!


According to Emeril, you should allow 1 to 1 1/2 pounds of turkey per person (on average), if you want leftovers the next day (and seriously who doesn’t) then you should allow 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 pounds per person! 


One more quick tip from Emeril on seasoning your turkey! Emeril made a compound butter (which is just a fancy way of saying he added a few herbs to the butter) using thyme, rosemary, and garlic.  Just rough chop the herbs and incorporate into softened butter.  Loosen the skin from the turkey breast and rub butter mixture under the skin to add a ton of flavor!


I hope some of these tips help you out if you’re in a pinch, but just in case you need a little more help you can check out the Butterball Turkey Talk-Line (I have used this countless times) it’s free and available November through December and it’s a lifesaver!  You can call the 800 number: 

1-800-BUTTERBALL or email the Turkey Talk-Line at!


Good luck and have a great Turkey Day y’all!


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