Best Turkey Food

The Best Turkey Food – Chicago Tribune’s reporting.

Classic Turkey, Tribune Recipe

We have been giving thanks for several hundred years, gathering with friends and family at autumn tables starring an American classic: a plump turkey, roasted golden brown. Its preparation and consumption have changed little: Stuff it. Roast it. Stuff yourself. This traditional Thanksgiving bird recipe has appeared in the Chicago Tribune for years.

Prep: Rinse turkey (about 14 pounds) under cold water; pat dry. Rub inside of turkey with salt. Spoon 10 to 12 cups stuffing loosely into the cavity and neck of the bird. Close openings with kitchen string; tuck wings underneath; tie legs together. Put turkey onto the oiled rack in a roasting pan. Rub outside of turkey with melted butter. Tuck fresh sage leaves inside and under the skin.

Roast: Place in a 425-degree oven. Roast uncovered, 30 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees; roast until internal temperature is 165 degrees on a meat thermometer, 2 to 2 1/2 hours. Baste turkey occasionally with butter or any pan juices.

Rest: Transfer turkey to platter; tent loosely with foil. Let stand 20 minutes before carving. Make gravy from pan drippings.

Turkey with Cider Glaze

When it comes to the biggest food holiday of the year, it’s about tradition, hand-me-down recipes and tried and true dishes.

Prep: 25 minutes

Cook: 4 1/4 hours

Rest: 15 minutes

Makes: 18 servings

Stuff the bird with a favorite stuffing, if you like. Just add 15 minutes of roasting time.

1 turkey, 18-20 pounds, giblets, neck removed

1 small bunch thyme sprigs
1 onion, quartered
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, melted 1 tablespoon freshly ground pepper
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon cider vinegar
1 cup apple cider
1/2 cup honey

1. Heat oven to 325 degrees. Fill the turkey cavity with thyme sprigs and onion. Turn wing tips under; truss legs with kitchen string. Place turkey on rack in roasting pan.

2. Mix butter, pepper, salt and vinegar in a saucepan. Rub some of the mixture over the turkey. Roast turkey 3 hours, loosely covering turkey with foil if it is browning too quickly.

3. Stir cider and honey into remaining butter mixture; heat over medium heat, stirring, until smooth. Baste turkey with mixture. Roast turkey until an oven-safe or instant-read thermometer inserted in the thigh reads 180 degrees, about 1 1/4 hours, basting occasionally. Remove turkey from oven; let stand 15 minutes before carving.

Nutrition information

Per serving: 530 calories, 43% of calories from fat, 24 g fat, 7 g saturated fat, 245 mg cholesterol, 0.2 g carbohydrates, 72 g protein, 170 mg sodium, 0 g fiber

Mom’s Turkey Soup

Reader Lee Lepinske of Western Springs suggests removing leftover meat from the turkey bone “right after turkey dinner” to free refrigerator space. But don’t toss out the carcass; those who find “carcass” a coarse description in an ingredient list should hear how reverently it’s mentioned by those who savor post-Thanksgiving gumbo and soup. Lepinske’s recipe is an excellent example.

Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
Yield: 12 servings
1 turkey carcass
Turkey giblets, optional, see note
2 ribs celery with leaves, chopped
2 onions, chopped
2 sprigs parsley
2 teaspoons salt
1 bay leaf
1 carrot, thinly sliced
1/2 cup quick-cooking rice or leftover rice 1/2 cup turkey gravy, optional
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
2 to 3 drops hot pepper sauce or to taste

1. Cover turkey carcass with water in a stockpot; heat to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the giblets, celery, onions, parsley, salt and bay leaf; cook 5 minutes. Lower heat to a simmer; cover. Cook until meat falls off the bones, about 1 hour.

2. Remove the carcass and the giblets. Chop the giblets; return to the pan. Remove any meat remaining on the carcass; return meat to the pan and discard the carcass. Stir in the carrot, rice, gravy, parsley, basil and hot pepper sauce. Cook until carrots are tender, about 25 minutes.

Note: If using the giblets, you may want to omit the liver as it will overpower the other ingredients. Save it for another use, if desired.

Nutrition information

per serving: 55 calories, 4% of calories from fat, 0.2 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 15 mg cholesterol, 7 g carbohydrates, 6 g protein, 411 mg sodium, 1 g fiber

Thanksgiving Loaf

Can’t stomach your family? Sick of your friends? Why not enjoy Thanksgiving with the one person who understands you? That would be you. The beauty of inviting yourself to Thanksgiving dinner is that you don’t need to accommodate unreasonable dietary demands. Thanksgiving loaf melds the flavors of turkey, sweet potatoes, stuffing and cranberries in much the same way that you might be tempted to mush together the items on your plate at a communal Thanksgiving dinner — because it really does taste better that way.

Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 1 hour 40 minutes
Makes: 4 servings
2 baby sweet potatoes, or 1 medium sweet potato 1 tablespoon each: butter, olive oil

1 small onion, peeled, chopped
2 slices stale bread, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, plus more for garnish 1/2 teaspoon fresh sage
1/4 teaspoon fresh or dried rosemary
1/4 cup water
1 pound ground turkey meat
1 egg
2 tablespoons dried cranberries, chopped
1 teaspoon low-sodium soy sauce
Freshly ground black pepper
3 slices uncooked bacon or turkey bacon

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Heat a saucepan of water to a boil; add sweet potatoes. Cook until they can be easily pierced with a fork, 15 minutes. Rinse to cool; slip off the skin. Cut into 1/4-inch cubes.

2. Heat butter and oil in a skillet over medium heat; add onions. Cook until translucent, 5 minutes. Stir in bread cubes, thyme, sage, and rosemary; cook until bread absorbs butter and oil, about 2 minutes. Stir in 1/4 cup water; cook until bread absorbs water, about 1 minute.

3. Combine turkey, egg, cranberries, soy sauce, and pepper in a bowl. Mix in potatoes and bread mixture. Pat into a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan. Cover with turkey bacon. Place loaf pan on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake 1 1/4 hours. Let rest 10 minutes before slicing. Garnish with thyme.

Nutrition information

Per serving: 350 calories, 50% of calories from fat, 19 g fat, 6 g saturated fat, 155 mg cholesterol, 18 g carbohydrates, 25 g protein, 363 mg sodium, 2 g fiber

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