The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Lifestyles

November 13, 2013

Healthy option for leftover turkey

It’s that time of the year again. It’s turkey time.

Follow the simple turkey roasting tips below, and you and your guests will be pleasantly pleased with a delicious and juicy golden brown turkey this Thanksgiving. Whether you’re a veteran turkey roaster or a first-timer, it’s important to always follow food safety guidelines.

Here are a few tips to ensure a happy Thanksgiving for everyone this year:

• Defrosting your turkey — Leave the turkey in its original wrapping and place it on a tray in your refrigerator. You should allow five hours per pound defrosting time.

• Cooking a frozen turkey without defrosting — If you don’t defrost your bird, you can cook it in the oven, but don’t grill, smoke, microwave or deep-fry a frozen turkey. Cooking time takes longer than when thawed, but follow the USDA guidelines and take the recommended cooking time for a thawed turkey and add 50 percent of that time to the original time. For example, a turkey that should take about five hours to roast if already thawed will take about seven hours and 30 minutes to roast if frozen. Remove the giblet packages during the cooking time by carefully removing with tongs.

• Roasting time for unstuffed turkeys — 10- to 18-pound turkey: 3 to 3-1/2 hours; 18- to 22-pound turkey: 3-1/2 to 4 hours; 22- to 24-pound turkey: 4 to 4-1/2 hours; 24- to 30-pound turkey: 4-1/2 to 5 hours.

For optimum safety, the USDA does not recommend stuffing a turkey. For more even cooking, it is recommended to cook the stuffing separately from the turkey. Use a food thermometer to assure the stuffing reaches a minimum internal temperature of 165º F.

• Check the temperature — To make sure the turkey is fully cooked, check the temperature in three places: the breast, the outer thigh and the inside thigh. In every case, the meat should be at least 165°F. If any place is under that temperature, put the turkey back in the oven for another 20 minutes. Shield the breast meat with foil if needed to keep it from overcooking.

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