Turkey to many means a dish of festivities and thanksgiving—roasted turkey after all is served during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. Large, golden brown and heavy with bread stuffing, roast turkey showcases the wealth of blessings celebrated during the holidays. It completes the family dinner table, its carving a task reserved for the most revered in the family (the father as head of the family or anyone who has taken over the task). But roast turkey is just one of many incarnations of turkey recipes, as you can see in this section.
Turkey, as defined in the Merriam-Webster dictionary, is “a large North American gallinaceous bird that is domesticated in most parts of the world.” Beautiful off and on the dinner table, turkeys are sold in the market as fresh or frozen with the giblets included (useful in making gravy) or removed. There are several modern cuts available in the market, especially in the United States where it’s the time-honored Thanksgiving main course. According to the National Turkey Federation (NTF), turkey meat is sold as breast, cutlets, drumsticks, ground turkey, sliced deli turkey, tenderloins, thighs, sausage and wings.
Aside from being roasted whole, cooking methods for turkey also includes deep-frying (popular in the southern parts of America), slow cooking in a crock pot or slow cooker, grilling, smoking, and sausage preparation. It can be prepared using only the breast, legs, or as ground turkey for meatballs, sausages and hamburger patties. Temperature and cooking time for turkey depends on its weight—for example, an 8 to 12 pound turkey must be cooked for 2 ¾ to 3 hours.
High in lean protein, turkey is sometimes the bird of choice in place of chicken or meat. You would also find processed and canned turkey meats in supermarket shelves, touting its lean protein advantage. Though to some, turkey tastes a bit bland, it can be remedied easily through spice rubs, herb seasonings, marinades, and sauces which are added anyway before or after the turkey is cooked.
Smoked turkey and other deli turkeys are perfectly sliced and made into a nice sandwich with provolone cheese and jalapeño peppers. Ground
turkey makes for healthier meatballs and burger patties, for pasta or as a turkey burger. These are some of the turkey recipes that go beyond the image of the roasted turkey—all of them as delicious as the cook is willing to make them.