Listener ?: Choosing a turkey
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As Thanksgiving is quickly approaching, I will be spending the next couple of weeks talking about turkeys:

Choosing and handling a turkey:

-under 18 pounds is usually a hen and those weighing more are almost always toms

-select your turkey according to the quantity needed- 1#/person plus more for leftovers (listen Nov. 13 for more information on using leftover turkey)

 -organically raised turkeys have been raised eating organic grains free of pesticides, herbicides, growth hormones, antibiotics and GMO’s.  Often they are pastured so they have access to fresh air, sunshine and green grass.  These turkeys are not injected with vaccines or a sodium solution and are not harvested w/high pressure chlorine spray. * We do have the luxury of a local organic farm in Mercer County.

 -Another kind of turkey available is naturally raised.  The truth in labeling laws say that if you aren’t certified organic, you can’t say organically raised, so, though the turkey may have be “naturally” raised, similarly to the organic turkey, they  can’t boast of the quality that organic is, but still has none of the chemical additives, hormones, antibiotics, vaccines, etc. as the mass produced turkeys do. * We also have a poultry farm that raises turkeys naturally here in Darke Co.

-Fresh turkey vs. frozen turkey- fresh generally costs more, you have to purchase it closer to the day you plan on cooking it, BUT the taste is far superior to frozen. Fresh turkeys can be stored for up to 2 days in the coldest part of the refrigerator. When storing fresh turkey, be sure to remove the giblets and store separately. If you buy a frozen turkey, it requires one day per 5 pounds to thaw in the refrigerator and thawing in a cold water bath takes 30 minutes per pound

-Self-basting turkey- The components that go into the self-basting solution vary from company to company, and are listed on the labels of these turkeys. Expect to see ingredients as simple as turkey broth and as questionable as emulsifiers and artificial flavors. While the turkey may be extremely juicy, they may have many off and unnatural flavors. What I am skeptical about is the addition of flavors to the turkey.  If you have to add flavorings to something, does that mean that it doesn’t taste very good on its own?  By now, some of you know my feelings about what one eats.  I work hard at staying away from over processed foods as much as possible.  If you are going to spend hours working on a great meal for the holidays, why not have a great turkey to go along with that meal?!

Which ever kind of turkey you choose, choose a bird with smooth, creamy, soft skin, avoiding turkeys with any bruised or torn skin. 

*if you are interested in purchasing an organic or naturally raised turkey feel free to contact me at and I will get that  information to you.



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