Thanksgiving’s More Expensive Than Ever—Now What?

These days, it’s hard to go even an hour without hearing about supply chain issues, both in the United States and abroad. With shortages on everything from beauty products to toilet paper (again) to food, consumers are going to have to plan early and m…

These days, it’s hard to go even an hour without hearing about supply chain issues, both in the United States and abroad. With shortages on everything from beauty products to toilet paper (again) to food, consumers are going to have to plan early and most likely spend more this holiday season. The Farm Bureau estimates that Thanksgiving 2021 will cost $46.90 for a group of 10, but to loosely quote our president, that’s a load of malarkey.

A typical Thanksgiving feast will likely feature at least a 12 to 14 lb. turkey, mashed potatoes, an assortment of vegetable side dishes, dinner rolls, a few kinds of pie, and most likely some good wine. Even if you’re not serving a heritage turkey, rolls with cultured butter, and mashed potatoes with truffles, Thanksgiving is pricy and this year, The New York Times says that it will be the most expensive feast ever. “There is no single culprit,” writes Times reporter Kim Severson. “The nation’s food supply has been battered by a knotted supply chain, high transportation expenses, labor shortages, trade policies, and bad weather.”

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There’s a Major Recall on Ground Turkey

Thanksgiving is less than six weeks away, but there’s already cause for concern over this year’s turkey supply. Butterball has issued a recall of more than 14,000 pounds of ground turkey product because it is suspected to be contaminated with blue plastic. According to Butterball, the ground turkey was distributed to Kroger and BJ’s grocery stores. No other Butterball turkey products are affected by this recall and the brand is cooperating with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to complete a thorough investigation to confirm the safety of the rest of their products.

According to the USDA, the affected ground turkey products include 2.5-lb. trays containing “farm to family Butterball all-natural Ground Turkey” with the case code 50211271, a sell or freeze by date of 10/18/2021, and timestamps from 2123 through 2302 printed on the packaging; and a three-pound tray containing “Kroger Ground Turkey” with the case code 50211271, a sell or freeze by date of 10/17/2021, and timestamps from 2314 through 2351 printed on the packaging.

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Thanksgiving is less than six weeks away, but there’s already cause for concern over this year’s turkey supply. Butterball has issued a recall of more than 14,000 pounds of ground turkey product because it is suspected to be contaminated with blue plastic. According to Butterball, the ground turkey was distributed to Kroger and BJ’s grocery stores. No other Butterball turkey products are affected by this recall and the brand is cooperating with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to complete a thorough investigation to confirm the safety of the rest of their products.

According to the USDA, the affected ground turkey products include 2.5-lb. trays containing “farm to family Butterball all-natural Ground Turkey'' with the case code 50211271, a sell or freeze by date of 10/18/2021, and timestamps from 2123 through 2302 printed on the packaging; and a three-pound tray containing “Kroger Ground Turkey'' with the case code 50211271, a sell or freeze by date of 10/17/2021, and timestamps from 2314 through 2351 printed on the packaging.

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18 Turkey Recipes to Gobble up on Thanksgiving

Maybe you’re the family’s go-to turkey whisperer. Or maybe this is the first year you’re in charge of cooking the perfect turkey for Thanksgiving dinner. You’re looking to roast, smoke, fry, or grill a meal to remember, and don’t want to let your fans …

Maybe you’re the family’s go-to turkey whisperer. Or maybe this is the first year you’re in charge of cooking the perfect turkey for Thanksgiving dinner. You’re looking to roast, smoke, fry, or grill a meal to remember, and don’t want to let your fans (aka your friends and family) down. Look no further! I’ve gathered Food52’s best turkey recipes for Thanksgiving, from traditional to dark horse favorites. If this is your first time cooking a turkey, you’ll be amazed at how far herb butter, salt, and pepper can go.

A brined turkey is a must to seal in those good juices, but whether to wet or dry brine it is up to you. Most of our recipes are traditional methods for roasting a whole turkey, but you may want to spatchcock it for speedier service. Or maybe the deep-fryer that you saw in your neighbor’s backyard last year is calling your name this time around. The world is your oyster and these 18 recipes will put you on the right track. Once you remove the turkey from the oven, let it rest, and carve it, you’ll feel a huge sense of accomplishment...then grab the wishbone and pray to the turkey gods that you’ll nail it next year, too.

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Does Turkey Actually Make You Sleepy?

By now we’re probably all familiar with the idea that eating turkey induces sleepiness. After hours of making our way through mounds of mashed potatoes, cups of cranberry sauce, pounds of roasted parsnips and carrots, spoonfuls of sweet potato casserol…

By now we’re probably all familiar with the idea that eating turkey induces sleepiness. After hours of making our way through mounds of mashed potatoes, cups of cranberry sauce, pounds of roasted parsnips and carrots, spoonfuls of sweet potato casserole, and slice after slice of pumpkin pie, who wouldn’t want a nap? Any large amount of food is bound to make you feel stuffed and sleepy. But what is it about turkey that makes you so dang tired on Thanksgiving? I’ve been known to blame many a post-Thanksgiving nap on “all that tryptophan,” an amino acid found in turkey and other protein-rich foods that is said to cause an intense desire for slumber. It’s a common experience: gorging on plates full of Thanksgiving fare, only to retreat to the sofa, satisfied but sleepy, blinded by the desperate need for a nap.

But how much of this comfortable myth is couched in reality? To what extent should you blame the turkey for these post-feast fits of fatigue? I set out to do some (light) research on how sleep-inducing foods affect our serotonin levels.

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How to Freeze Leftover Turkey (Because We Know You Have Tons)

For many of us, Thanksgiving is the one meal where we purposefully plan for leftovers. A Thanksgiving meal without leftovers just isn’t right in my opinion. This Thanksgiving, much like last year, will probably look a little different than the traditio…

For many of us, Thanksgiving is the one meal where we purposefully plan for leftovers. A Thanksgiving meal without leftovers just isn’t right in my opinion. This Thanksgiving, much like last year, will probably look a little different than the traditional holiday—whether that means on a video call or just pared down. Either way, smaller celebrations can mean more leftover food, especially if you can’t fathom Turkey Day without the turkey. So when it comes to leftover turkey, how long does it actually last in the fridge? And can you freeze it? It’s not as simple as a yes or no, so let’s dive in.

First let’s clarify something: We’re talking cooked turkey. If you have leftover raw turkey, you can certainly store it in the freezer and save it for another day! Here are two tips to help ensure you’re doing it safely. First, keep turkey, or any meat for that matter, in its original packaging. Manufacturers choose this packaging because it’s typically air-sealed to keep bacteria out. If there’s a tear or puncture in the packaging, you should repackage it in an airtight container or wrap tightly in plastic wrap. The more you expose the meat to air and bacteria, the more you increase the potential for spoilage. Secondly, make sure your freezer is set to actually freeze; that means it maintains a temperature of 0°F or below. If you have a separate fridge or chest freezer in the basement that gets used less frequently, this is the time to use it. The more you open and use the freezer, the harder it has to work to regulate the temperature. A frozen whole turkey can be kept for approximately 12 months in a freezer set at or below 0°F, while pieces will start degrading in quality slightly sooner, at around 6 to 9 months.

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8 Leftover Turkey Pasta Recipes (Because We Can’t Eat Another Sandwich)

Picture this: It’s two days after Thanksgiving, and you’ve consumed more “Moist Maker” turkey sandwiches than any one person needs to eat. And yet, when you open the fridge, there’s still pounds upon pounds of cooked turkey leftovers staring back at yo…

Picture this: It’s two days after Thanksgiving, and you’ve consumed more “Moist Maker” turkey sandwiches than any one person needs to eat. And yet, when you open the fridge, there’s still pounds upon pounds of cooked turkey leftovers staring back at you. We’ve all hit the wall of Thanksgiving leftovers: the flavors of sage, rosemary, and turkey gravy infiltrating every taste bud, the thought of cold, dry turkey haunting your dreams.

1. Turkey Pho

Vietnamese noodle soup may not be the first thing that comes to mind when staring at a fridge full of leftover turkey, but it should be. Raid your pantry for spices like coriander, cinnamon sticks, star anise, and cloves to transform leftover chicken or turkey broth (or homemade from the turkey bones if you’re feeling ambitious!). Rice noodles are traditional in pho, but cellophane noodles or any other thin non-wheat noodle you have on hand will work in a pinch.

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Wait, We Don’t Need to Clean Our Thanksgiving Turkey?

Prepping for Thanksgiving is no easy feat. From battling amusement park-long lines in grocery stores to artfully arranging pumpkins on your front porch to rolling out pie crust after pie crust after pie crust, it takes weeks to get ready for the feast …

Prepping for Thanksgiving is no easy feat. From battling amusement park-long lines in grocery stores to artfully arranging pumpkins on your front porch to rolling out pie crust after pie crust after pie crust, it takes weeks to get ready for the feast of the year. And at the center of it all—literally—is the turkey. Do you wet brine or dry brine? Fill the cavity with lemons and herbs or a cornbread stuffing? Will you roast the turkey the traditional way or try your hand at deep-frying? And wait, is it necessary to clean a turkey before cooking it? Just as there are thousands of recipes for roast turkey, there are many theories about whether or not you should rinse the bird.

Should You Rinse a Turkey?

In short, no. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), rinsing a raw turkey in the kitchen sink can lead to the spread of bacteria on countertops, nearby food, and other surfaces, which can cause cross-contamination. The contaminated water can spray as far as three feet away, making it nearly impossible to disinfect every single object within reach.

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How—and When—to Defrost Your Turkey

We don’t need to tell you that Thanksgiving involves a little prep…okay a lot of prep. Peeling potatoes, cubing stale bread for stuffing, rolling out pie dough, folding buttery biscuit dough over itself once, twice, three times for pillowy rolls. But defrosting the turkey is one of those things that seems like it should just happen without much effort. While you’re busy filling the fridge with casseroles and potatoes and pies—there’s not a lot of room (physical or mental) to add a raw, frozen bird. But (surprisingly!) the turkey won’t magically thaw the morning of. In fact, depending on how big the bird is, you might even need to take it out now. (If you’re reading this in September, it’s probably too early…but if it’s the week of Thanksgiving, it’s definitely time to take the turkey out of the fridge to thaw it).


How to Defrost a Turkey

The easiest and safest way to defrost your turkey is in the refrigerator (kept at 40°F). The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommends one day of thawing in the refrigerator for every 5 pounds. So if you have a 15-pound bird, you’ll need to start defrosting at least three days in advance. If you’re planning to brine your turkey, you may want to allocate for an extra day, as brining is best done over the course of at least 24 hours. Make sure to place the wrapped turkey breast-side up on a roasting rack near the back of the refrigerator, where it will remain consistently cold. You might also want to keep it on a bottom shelf to prevent cross-contamination from any possible leakage. Once your bird has thawed, cook it within the next 4 days.

Read More >>

We don’t need to tell you that Thanksgiving involves a little prep...okay a lot of prep. Peeling potatoes, cubing stale bread for stuffing, rolling out pie dough, folding buttery biscuit dough over itself once, twice, three times for pillowy rolls. But defrosting the turkey is one of those things that seems like it should just happen without much effort. While you’re busy filling the fridge with casseroles and potatoes and pies—there’s not a lot of room (physical or mental) to add a raw, frozen bird. But (surprisingly!) the turkey won’t magically thaw the morning of. In fact, depending on how big the bird is, you might even need to take it out now. (If you’re reading this in September, it’s probably too early...but if it’s the week of Thanksgiving, it’s definitely time to take the turkey out of the fridge to thaw it).


How to Defrost a Turkey

The easiest and safest way to defrost your turkey is in the refrigerator (kept at 40°F). The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommends one day of thawing in the refrigerator for every 5 pounds. So if you have a 15-pound bird, you’ll need to start defrosting at least three days in advance. If you’re planning to brine your turkey, you may want to allocate for an extra day, as brining is best done over the course of at least 24 hours. Make sure to place the wrapped turkey breast-side up on a roasting rack near the back of the refrigerator, where it will remain consistently cold. You might also want to keep it on a bottom shelf to prevent cross-contamination from any possible leakage. Once your bird has thawed, cook it within the next 4 days.

Read More >>

Brined, Roast Pork

I’m often asked what my favorite cookbooks are and invariably I pull out a copy of The Zuni Cafe Cookbook by Judy Rodgers. It’s one of those rare books where you learn something from every sentence on every page, and in every recipe that you make from it. Judy was an amazing cook and whatever she made was unusually good, in spite of its (seemingly)…

I’m often asked what my favorite cookbooks are and invariably I pull out a copy of The Zuni Cafe Cookbook by Judy Rodgers. It’s one of those rare books where you learn something from every sentence on every page, and in every recipe that you make from it. Judy was an amazing cook and whatever she made was unusually good, in spite of its (seemingly) relative simplicity, ranging from the lightest ricotta gnocchi you’ll ever have to the legendary Zuni roast chicken, which was worth the one-hour wait after you ordered it at the restaurant. It gave you plenty of time to have a margarita, a pile of shoestring fries, and a classic Caesar Salad. (Fun fact: I worked at Zuni Cafe when I first moved to San Francisco and made a lot of Caesar Salads, which, if I may be so bold, were excellent and the recipe is in the book.)

Continue Reading Brined, Roast Pork...

Slow Cooker Turkey Chili

Crockpot Turkey Chili One of Josh’s favorite post-ski meals is his Slow Cooker Turkey Chili. He throws all of the ingredients into the slow cooker before he heads up the mountain and when he comes home he has a hot bowl of chili waiting for him.&…

Crockpot Turkey Chili One of Josh’s favorite post-ski meals is his Slow Cooker Turkey Chili. He throws all of the ingredients into the slow cooker before he heads up the mountain and when he comes home he has a hot bowl of chili waiting for him.  It’s the perfect meal for a cold day or…

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