To Your Health

To Your Health Let's Talk Turkey

Turkey is synonymous with family, friends and giving thanks. The turkey has come a long way. Centuries ago, turkey was strictly for royal banquet tables but soon the birds became widespread and today 97 percent of Americans will eat turkey on Thanksgiving. Turkey is a great combination of flavor and nutrition.

A turkey is 70 percent white meat and 30 percent dark meat. The white meat is lower in calories but dark meat offers a rich flavor for soups and stews. White meat is generally preferred by Americans while other countries choose dark meat.

Be thankful for the nutritional value of turkey. It is an inexpensive source of protein, niacin, vitamin B6, phosphorous, zinc and is low-fat. To cut the fat even more, go skinless. This can cut calories by 20 percent. Turkey is also a good source of selenium which has been recognized for its role in cancer prevention.

Give thanks for convenience. Turkey can be enjoyed year-round thanks to new convenience products and cuts of meat. We no longer have to cook a whole turkey; it is now available in tenderloin, breast, cutlet and ground. Many people use ground turkey as a substitute for ground beef in chili, meatloaf, tacos, burritos and casseroles.

If you have the honor of making turkey this Thanksgiving, remember to follow these turkey tips:


* When buying a turkey, allow one pound per person.


* Thaw the turkey in the original wrapper on a tray in the bottom of the refrigerator.


* Do not thaw the turkey on the counter.


* Allow 24 hours of thawing for every five pounds of weight. For example, for a 20-pound bird, allow four to five days to thaw in the refrigerator.


* Thawing in cold water in your kitchen sink is safe. Change the water every 30 minutes. Allow 30 minutes per pound. Do not use hot water.


* When roasting a turkey, set the oven to 350 degrees and allow 3 to 3-3/4 hours for a 12- to 14-pound bird. It is recommended to cook the stuffing outside the bird � in a casserole dish or on the stove.


* Debone turkey and refrigerate leftovers within two hours. Use leftover turkey within three to four days, stuffing and gravy within one to two days.

Bourbon-Glazed Roasted Turkey

All you need:

1/2 cup Hy-Vee butter, melted

1/4 cup packed Hy-Vee brown sugar

2 tbsp. Hy-Vee chicken grill seasoning

1 tbsp. Hy-Vee orange juice concentrate, thawed

1/4 cup bourbon

16 lb. turkey, thawed

All you do:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium bowl, combine butter, brown sugar, chicken grill seasoning, orange juice concentrate and bourbon. Place turkey breast-side-up, on a rack in a shallow roasting pan.

Fill a marinade injector with two-three ounces of the bourbon mixture. Inject each breast, thigh and leg section one to three times. Brush remaining bourbon mixture over the outside of turkey.

Cover turkey loosely with foil. Roast for four hours or until thermometer registers an internal temperature of 180 degrees. Remove foil during the last 30 minutes of roasting to let turkey brown.

Remove turkey from oven and let stand 20 minutes before carving.

Recipe developed in the Hy-Vee Test Kitchen.

Hy-Vee registered dietitians are available to the public to answer questions about smart eating. For more information, recipe ideas, or to contact your local dietitians, visit www.hy-vee.com and click on health or call toll-free 866-865-4878.

This information is not intended as medical advice. Please consult a medical professional for individual advice.

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