Thanksgiving Dinner Plate

 

Celebrate Thanksgiving with Ohio Turkey Farmers!

Happy Thanksgiving from Ohio turkey farmers!

Thanksgiving is a time that revolves around food, family and friends - of course, the turkey is the star of the show. About 88 percent of Americans eat turkey at Thanksgiving, so November is a busy time of year for Ohio turkey farmers!

Ohio farmers work hard to ensure that families receive quality, healthy turkey year-round. Ranking ninth nationally in turkey production with more than 280.7 million pounds of turkey produced, Ohio turkey farming is responsible for the creation of 3,461 jobs annually and $113.6 million in earnings.

Meet an Ohio Turkey Farmer

One of those 3,461 jobs belongs to Drew Bowman. Since his childhood, Drew has been involved with his family's fourth-generation turkey farming operation, Bowman & Landes, located in New Carlisle, Ohio. Drew's grandfather, Ken, established Bowman & Landes more than 70 years ago with a close friend, Dennis Landes. Since it was established, Bowman & Landes has taken its responsibility for growing safe, wholesome turkey for Ohioans very seriously. Bowman & Landes is unique to other turkey farms because it raises free-range turkeys that have access to pastureland without the use of antibiotics. Drew is primarily involved with the farm's sales and marketing, but is always ready to help out in other areas.

"We take extra measures to ensure we are doing the right thing and are respected in our community and by our farming peers," said Drew. "We are glad to provide high-quality, wholesale turkey products to families around Ohio."

How to Host a Thanksgiving Dinner for Small Gatherings

We know that Thanksgiving gatherings will undoubtedly look a little different this year, but different doesn't have to mean that your Thanksgiving favorites have to be compromised! To tackle a potentially smaller gathering this year, follow these tips:

  • Cook a turkey breast instead of a whole bird, such as delicious Bourbon-Brined Turkey Breast and Legs.
  • Try making dishes in individual portion sizes. Desserts, like mini pumpkin pies, can be made prior to Thanksgiving and in ramekins or muffin tins for each guest.
  • Make dinner more manageable by cutting down on the amount of side dishes and customizing the menu. Stick to the group's beloved Thanksgiving side-dish favorites like mashed potatoes, stuffing and green bean casserole instead of having a plethora of overwhelming options. Try a new twist on the cornbread classic recipe by serving up Red Pepper and Corn Spoon Bread.
  • Plan ahead for leftovers and think about breakfast and lunch ideas that will incorporate leftover Thanksgiving foods.

Tips for Choosing the Perfect Thanksgiving Turkey in 2020

Are you grappling with what size turkey to purchase this year for your family's Thanksgiving feast? Whether you decide to go big or scale it down for a smaller group, a solid tip to remember is to plan on feeding 1 to 1.5 pounds of turkey per person. Typically, the smallest turkeys a consumer will find in the grocery store will be 10 to 12-pounds (however, who doesn't love a little extra turkey for leftovers?).

For families looking for an alternative to purchasing the whole bird, the Ohio turkey experts recommend purchasing turkey breasts or thighs and cooking them individually. Turkey parts can be roasted in the oven, just like a whole turkey, or even in a slow cooker.

Tips For Cooking The Perfect Turkey

Whether you choose a turkey breast or whole bird, follow these recommended practices for thawing, preparing, cooking, carving and storing turkey.

  • Thawing: When gearing up for the big day, be sure to thaw your turkey using the refrigerator for the safest result. Frozen turkeys should be thawed 24 hours for every four to five pounds it weighs. If you choose to thaw your turkey in cold water, change the water every 30 minutes. Using this method, it takes about 30 minutes per pound to thaw.
  • Prepping: Once thawed, remove remove the packaging, drain the juices and pat dry with clean paper towels. Brine or season the turkey to your liking. If stuffing the turkey is your preference, stuffing should be prepared and stuffed into the turkey immediately before it's placed in the oven for cooking. If you have prepared the stuffing ahead of time, wet and dry ingredients should be refrigerated separately and combined right before stuffing the turkey. Stuff the turkey loosely, about 3/4 cup stuffing per pound of turkey.
  • Cooking: Roast the turkey in a 325°F oven. Lightly brush or spray the turkey with vegetable or cooking oil for best appearance. As a rule of thumb, it takes approximately 15 minutes per pound at 325°F to cook an unstuffed turkey, longer if you cook the stuffing in the turkey. When the turkey is about 2/3 done, loosely cover he breast with aluminum foil to prevent over cooking. Your turkey is done when a meat thermometer inserted into the deepest portion of the thigh is 180°F. Next insert the meat thermometer in the center of the breast, it should read 170°F. If you cook the stuffing in the bird, move the thermometer to the center of the stuffing - it should reach 170°F. Once all of the temperatures have been reached, the turkey should be removed from the oven.
  • Carving: Once removed from the oven, allow the cooked turkey to sit for around 20 minutes before carving. Begin carving your turkey by separating the drumsticks from the rest of the bird. Then, cut between the legs and breast and slice sideways. Finally, carve the turkey breast and serve!

Storing Turkey Leftovers

Storage:   Cooked turkey should be carved, enjoyed and stored within two hours of cooking. Remove the stuffing and carve the extra turkey meat from the bones before storing away. Leftovers should be stored in shallow containers and refrigerated or frozen within two hours of cooking.

Shelf life:   Leftover turkey and stuffing should be consumed within 3-4 days. While gravy lasts for only one to two days in the refrigerator. Cooked turkey can be kept in the freezer for 3-4 months.

Tasty Turkey Leftovers Recipes

One of the best parts of the annual Thanksgiving meal - the turkey leftovers! Get creative with these tasty leftover recipes that are sure to please even the pickiest of eaters: