(BPT) - This year, hosts across the country will look for simple ways to make this Thanksgiving an event their loved ones will enjoy. But, there’s a lot of work that comes with holiday entertaining – shopping on a budget, cleaning the house, cooking a feast, and caring for friends and family – and sometimes the fun that should fill the day can begin to slip away.
Though pulling together the perfect Thanksgiving may seem like a Herculean feat, help is available. Jennie-O Turkey Store, a company that is on a mission to show how easy it is to eat well with delicious turkey, has tips for a stress-free Turkey Day.
The main event: how to prepare a mouth-watering Thanksgiving turkey
With friends and family to feed, preparing a tender, delicious turkey is the key to a fabulous holiday spread. Here are some helpful tips this holiday season:
Take advantage of once-a-year sales: With food prices continuing to climb, Thanksgiving specials offer a once-a-year opportunity to find value in discounted whole turkeys. “One way to stretch your grocery budget during the holidays is to purchase an additional whole turkey around Thanksgiving,” says Chuck Meath, vice president of retail sales at Jennie-O Turkey Store. “Leading up to the holiday, retailers often offer turkeys at the lowest prices of the year. An extra turkey can provide a family with a full week’s worth of wholesome, high-protein meal options.”
Shop smart: A general rule of thumb is to purchase a whole turkey that will provide a one-pound serving for each guest. This portion size will allow enough turkey for the Thanksgiving meal and still leave plenty of meat for tasty leftovers.
Use a meat thermometer: Many hosts have concerns about cooking a Thanksgiving turkey – a dry turkey can make the Thanksgiving feast fall flat. However, one easy-to-use kitchen tool can deliver a scrumptious, juicy turkey time and time again. A meat thermometer is an affordable kitchen necessity, essential to preparing poultry.
“Meat thermometers build confidence for home cooks by taking the guesswork out of preparing the Thanksgiving turkey,” says Renee Cool, product manager at Jennie-O. “This tool gives a true sense of assurance and piece of mind that your whole turkey will come out tender, delicious and fully-cooked.”
Follow package instructions: To find the target temperature for whole turkeys, simply consult the directions found on the product’s packaging. Your delectable turkey will have friends and family salivating for more.
Make room in the freezer: Plan ahead and clear out proper storage space to save wholesome meals for down the road, and make sure to put the inevitable leftovers from the Thanksgiving feast to good use.
Get creative with leftover meals: Jennie-O has a variety of fun and delicious post-Thanksgiving recipes, which families won’t even recognize as leftovers available at Jennieo.com/Thanksgiving, including the tempting JENNIE-O(R) Mediterranean Pizza:
Makes six servings
4 cloves garlic, minced
About 18 ounces leftover JENNIE-O(R) turkey, cut into strips
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary leaves, crushed
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 (12-inch) pre-baked thin pizza crust
2 large ripe tomatoes or 4 roma tomatoes, thinly sliced
1/4 cup ripe olives, pitted and halved
3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/4 cup basil leaves, shredded
Heat oven to 450 F. Coat a large skillet with cooking spray. Over medium-high heat, cook garlic 1 minute. Add leftover turkey strips, rosemary, salt, and red pepper flakes. Stir-fry 3 to 5 minutes. Place pizza crust on a large baking sheet; top with tomatoes, cooked turkey mixture, olives, and cheese. Bake 10 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Sprinkle with basil leaves; cut into wedges.
By following these simple tips from Jennie-O, it’s easy to create a holiday experience that your friends and families will remember all year long.
For more tips, visit Jennieo.com/Thanksgiving.