What's Cooking America.
Fresh vs. Frozen Turkey
Fresh - A turkey may be labeled "fresh" only if it has never been
chilled below 26°F. (Turkey meat, according to the National Turkey Federation, doesn't freeze at 32°F, but at a
temperature closer to 26°F.)
Frozen - Turkeys chilled below 0°F must be labeled
"frozen." Or, if they're sold already defrosted, you may see
"previously frozen" on the label. Most turkey producers agree
that freezing adversely affects the texture and taste of the meat.
Hard-chilled or not previously frozen
- Turkeys that have been chilled below 26°F, but not below 0°F can't be labeled
fresh, but they don't have to be labeled frozen either. If a
turkey isn't labeled as either fresh or frozen, it's most likely
in this category. This type of bird may also be identified as
"hard-chilled" or "not previously frozen."
Thinking about hosting a holiday
Menus and Recipes
For Planning A Dinner Party
Are you planning on hosting a cocktail party?
Check out my favorite
- Lots of appetizer recipes from
easy-to-make to gourmet.
Appetizer Hints How many appetizers to make for your party.
Peggy's Baking Corner
Peggy says, "For a holiday morning, I like a breakfast that is filling, easy, and
tasty. This is the recipe that I use.
Holiday Morning Coffee Cake
Caviar for that special day
Learn how to handle and serve caviar
To purchase your caviar for the upcoming holidays, check it out here:
What's Cooking America's Caviar Specials
Thanksgiving Dinner Planning - How To Plan Thanksgiving Dinner
It's that time of year again -
time to think about planning your Thanksgiving dinner.
Thanksgiving Day is the time to gather with your friends and
family, turn on some football, and enjoy your Thanksgiving meal.
The Thanksgiving meal is the one meal of the year that you
usually know what to expect and what you will be eating.
Different areas of the United States have different thanksgiving
traditions, plus family have their traditional dishes that must
be prepared. Honor your family traditions and make the
traditional foods expected. Then add a new dish that you would
like to introduce.
Check out my
Thanksgiving Dinner Menu (includes recipes) for some great ideas.
Thanksgiving Planning - Stress-Free Thanksgiving
The Thanksgiving dinner is a simple meal to prepare. All it takes to pull it off is some
advance planning. The best advice is to write down everything you'll do
and then prioritize according to your needs and schedule. And, above
all, give yourself ample time to prepare everything; do not "rush
Guidelines for Brining Poultry
The secret to juicy chicken breast is simple - brine them before grilling or baking! This is the secret that chefs never tell you about. It's very easy and
economical, and requires no special cookware. Brining is like a marinade as it keeps food moist and tender. Brining or salting is a way of increasing the moisture
holding capacity of meat resulting in a moister product when it is cooked.
Oven Roasted Turkey America's traditional Thanksgiving turkey dinner. Guideline for roasting a whole
turkey. It appears that "timing is NOT everything." Recommended cooking techniques must also be followed.
A meat thermometer should be used to check the internal temperature of the bird in several places for safety's sake and to prevent overcooking.
Oven-Roasted Turkey Tips to help you.
Turkey Terminology - Types of Turkeys
Cajun Fried Turkey
This is the best way of cooking a turkey I've ever tasted. The turkey is anything but greasy as the deep-frying process seals the outside and the
turkey remains incredibly juicy, while the skin gets wonderfully crispy.
This is a very easy and efficient way to cook your Thanksgiving turkey. No mess in your oven or the kitchen. A
whole turkey may be prepared on either a gas grill or a charcoal grill.
The absolute first step in doing a turkey on a smoker is to pick out a bird that is not the biggest one you can find.
A Turducken is a 5 to 16-pound de-boned turkey (except for wing bones and drumsticks), a fully hand
de-boned duck, and a fully hand de-boned chicken, all rolled
into one and stuffed with lots of delicious stuffing (three (3)
kinds of stuffing are layered between the three (3) kinds of meat). This regional delight has become one of the latest food
fads. From the outside it looks like a turkey, but when you cut
through it, you see a series of rings making up the three birds
and three stuffing.
Linda's Favorite Turkey Stuffing
Whether you call it "stuffing" or "dressing," what's not to love about turkey stuffing? It's
often one of the best parts of a turkey dinner. Turkey stuffing is one of
my favorite dishes for Thanksgiving dinner. It is so easy to prepare. Also be creative - add your
family's favorite ingredients. The following recipe is how I basically make my turkey stuffing.
Advice on Stuffing a Turkey Safely
To stuff or not to stuff -- that is the question on the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Meat and Poultry Hotline. It is an important question to ask as the
Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday draws near, because cooking a home-stuffed turkey can
be somewhat riskier than cooking one not stuffed. If the stuffing is not cooked and
handled properly, food borne illness could occur.
Let's Make Turkey Stock
My favorite thing to do the morning after Thanksgiving is to make homemade turkey stock from the turkey carcass.
It is so easy to do and so delicious! The turkey stock can be used for a delicious soup or
frozen for future use. I love a good homemade turkey soup and after the heavy Thanksgiving
meal, it is just what my family needs. Be sure and refrigerate your turkey carcass until
your are ready to make the stock.
Perfect Turkey Gravy
When making sauces and gravies and want to get the right consistency without trial and error, just remember this easy 1-1-1 formula.
Gravy Making Tips
Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes
Wonderful recipe - use this easy-to-do potato dish for your next Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner. This recipe is especially great when serving a crowd as it
eliminates the mess and last-minute hassle of whipping potatoes.
Perfect Prime Rib Dinner
Includes a cooking timetable chart for the perfect prime rib.
Ham and Pork Recipes
Ham 101 - Learn all about the different types of ham and how to cook them.
Have a Safe and Fun
Thanksgiving Holiday Dinner
Food safety is the most important part
of holiday planning, as food can spoil very quickly out of
refrigeration. It is important to keep food safety in mind
when planning for and packing a picnic.
Advice on Handling Leftovers Safely - Leftover" foods are cooked foods that
you or your family do not eat within 2 hours after they are cooked.
The chance of food poisoning increases the longer you store a food
after it is cooked. Improper handling or storing cooked food is one
of the most common causes of food poisoning in the home.
Buffet and Party Safety - Have a safe and fun party
Food Safety - The golden rules of food safety
Using a Cookingor Meat Thermometer - For the perfect prime rib, turkey,
or ham for yourThanksgiving dinner. Have you ever cut into a roast or a turkey to see if it has finished cooking?
Never guess if your meat is done again!
Purchase and Use a Good Instant-Read Thermometers
Meat and Seafood Internal Temperature Cooking Chart