Category Archives: Preparing Whole Turkey

The Joy of Thanksgiving Turkey: A History

At the first Thanksgiving, they probably didn’t have a turkey.

According to a story by NPR’s Robert Krulwich, the main course was probably deer (brought by the Wampanoags), goose and duck (brought by the English).

But in these United States, in 2012, Thanksgiving just isn’t Thanksgiving without a fat, browned bird popping and sizzling in the oven, rendering fat for a rich gravy, leaving behind a wishbone for kids to fight over.

“I believe from a good turkey all Thanksgiving flows,” wrote Kim Severson in The New York Times, in a story headlined “After the Turkey, Everything Else is Secondary.”

“Norman Rockwell didn’t spend all that time painting pans of sweet potatoes and cranberry sauce, did he? No. He painted turkeys.”

For Americans, the bird is central to (arguably) the biggest feast of the year. Expatriates, like David Leite in France, students abroad in Spain and Peace Corps workers in Morocco go to great lengths to procure, prepare and serve a bird, which, thousands of miles away, tastes a little bit like home.

One small food pantry gives out 2,000 Thanksgiving meals on the weekend before the holiday, anchoring each one with a Jenny-O or a Butterball between 13 and 20 lbs.

Even Sam Sifton, the former New York Times restaurant critic and author of “Thanksgiving: How To Cook It Well” (Random House, October 2012), will never forget the memory of the first turkey he cooked as a college kid.

“The aroma that wafted through the house for the duration of that first college Thanksgiving was and remains incredible to me,” Sifton writes. “I have forgotten the conversations. But never the meal. I have been cooking that Thanksgiving turkey ever since.”

Charles Masters for CookingLight.com

Your family Thanksgiving table might include sweet potatoes with Gorgonzola, creamy corn casserole, roasted cauliflower or stuffing with spicy peppers. It might include Jell-O salad, cranberry sauce from a can and Stove Top stuffing.

But your Thanksgiving table, like mine — like 88 percent of Americans’ — needs a beautiful, browned turkey to make it complete. And that is a very delicious tradition.

Here at gThankYou!, we wish you and your family a joyous Thanksgiving.  We are grateful for all of your support, inspiration and business.

Gratefully yours,
The gThankYou! Team

About gThankYou, LLC

Turkey Gift Certificates and Turkey Or Ham Gift Certificates by gThankYou! are two of America’s favorite employee gifts and can be redeemed for any Brand (Turkey or Turkey Or Ham), at virtually any Grocery Store in the U.S.

gThankYou, LLC provides company leaders with a variety of easy, meaningful and affordable ways to recognize and reward employees, holiday time or anytime.  gThankYou! Certificates of Gratitude and our free Enclosure Cards are personalizable including incorporating your company logo. And, nearly all orders ship same day.

gThankYou, LLC (www.gthankyou.com) is based in Madison, Wisconsin.  Contact:  Rick KileyChief ThankYou! Officer, gThankYou, LLC at info@gthankyou.com or 888-484-1658.
Follow the Company Blog –  “Celebrating Work”.
Join the Conversation @gThankYou 
Watch our gThankYou! YouTube Video – “Learn More About Us”.

“G” logo and “Certificates of Gratitude” are trademarks and “gThankYou” is a registered trademark of gThankYou, LLC.

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How to Carve a Thanksgiving Turkey: Good Tools and Confidence

Carving a turkey for the first time can be a truly imposing task. In the same way that little Cornish hens or poussins are like miniature versions of familiar roast chicken, a turkey looks like that chicken on steroids. All other considerations aside, most turkey is huge.

But the encouraging fact is, even though your Thanksgiving turkey is significantly bigger than a chicken, the process of taking it apart is largely the same.

Tools

To carve a turkey, you need a few basic tools:

  • A large cutting board, preferably one with drainage grooves or a “well” around the outside to catch drippings
  • A sharp knife — some like a long carving knife, others prefer a chef’s knife
  • A carving fork
  • A warm patter, to put the carved meat on
  • A warm pot of turkey stock nearby, to moisten the meat before it goes out (optional)

From Flickr.com

Tips

First, don’t carve your bird at the table. It’s messy. Present the bird to the dining room table if you must (although before dinner, doesn’t everyone hang around in the kitchen anyway?) and then return to the kitchen to carve.

Second, let the bird rest for around 30 minutes before carving. (Longer is usually fine; just stick the platter in a warm oven when you’re done carving.) Resting time is important because it allows all those good juices to re-infuse the meat. Carve too soon and you’ll have a dry bird (and also a very hot one, which makes it harder to carve).

Step-by-Step

These are just the basics, based on how we carve. Refer to the pros (see video below) for other methods, all of which work. For a photo step-by-step, check out this post on The Huffington Post.

1. Remove the drumsticks. My husband sometimes removes the thigh and leg pieces together, separating them after they’re off the bird. Holding the drumstick vertically, cut the meat off in bite-size pieces.

2. Remove the wings.

3. Separate the breast halves. Cut the breast meat horizontally, creating slices at whatever thickness you like.

4. With the large pieces you have, cut as much good meat off as you can. If you like, save the bones for stock and the drippings for gravy.

From The Huffington Post slide show.

Watch and Learn

Alton Brown at the Food Network presents How to Carve a Turkey

How to Carve a Turkey at Martha Stewart Living‘s “Everything Thanksgiving”

Cook’s Illustrated video: Carving a turkey

The Butcher Carves a Turkey” by Craig Duff, The New York Times

With the right tools and your new knowledge, carving your Thanksgiving turkey should be both straightforward and easy to manage.  All the best for a very happy Thanksgiving!
The gThankYou! Team

About gThankYou, LLC

Turkey Gift Certificates and Turkey Or Ham Gift Certificates by gThankYou! are two of America’s favorite employee gifts and can be redeemed for any Brand (Turkey or Turkey Or Ham), at virtually any Grocery Store in the U.S.

gThankYou, LLC provides company leaders with a variety of easy, meaningful and affordable ways to recognize and reward employees, holiday time or anytime.  gThankYou! Certificates of Gratitude and our free Enclosure Cards are personalizable including incorporating your company logo. And, nearly all orders ship same day.

gThankYou, LLC (www.gthankyou.com) is based in Madison, Wisconsin.  Contact:  Rick KileyChief ThankYou! Officer, gThankYou, LLC at info@gthankyou.com or 888-484-1658.
Follow the Company Blog –  “Celebrating Work”.
Join the Conversation @gThankYou 
Watch our gThankYou! YouTube Video – “Learn More About Us”.

“G” logo and “Certificates of Gratitude” are trademarks and “gThankYou” is a registered trademark of gThankYou, LLC.

Looking for Thanksgiving Recipes? Start Here

The holidays can be a thoroughly overwhelming time — even when they technically haven’t started.

Getting a sense of your Thanksgiving Day feast menu in advance can ease the stress of the day, and ensure you’re not quick-thawing a 20-lb. turkey the day you plan to serve it.

A home cook might compile recipes in a Word document (as I have done for years, with a fair amount of success). Even simpler, some of the sites below will make up a menu for you.

One Epicurious app for Android allows you to choose the recipes you want to make, and then puts the ingredients from each one into a shopping list. So easy.

1. Epicurious is a great place to start for Thanksgiving recipes. I like the handy timeline; a list of budget-conscious, American wine recommendations; suggested tools; and tons of recipes from Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Sunset Living and more.

I love the suggestions from fellow cooks — you can click on helpful reviews and have them print along with the recipe, a great tool — and I love this Thanksgiving menu planner.

It asks six simple questions — like: How many people are you serving? Do you want something traditional, modern, exotic? Do you want the dishes to be healthy? — and then spits out a menu (I got “Ted Allen’s Modern Thanksgiving“) you can reject or accept.

gThankYou! Ginger Pumpkin Pie by Cooking Light

Cooking Light’s Ginger Pumpkin Pie
Photo by Charles Masters

2. If this is your first Thanksgiving at the stove, check out Cooking Light’s Thanksgiving for the Novice. Their suggested lineup is basic: creamy salsa dip, sausage and mushroom stuffing, honey-roasted sweet potatoes, classic pumpkin pie. But there are also dozens of fun, approachable and often health-conscious feast day recipes to be found here, including ideas for cocktails, “perfect” pies and what to do with leftovers.

3. A new site for me, and the one I’m using to plan my own meal this year, is Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs’ Food52. There are ideas for how to dress up your Thanksgiving table, an approachable how-to for the Russ Parsons dry-brined “Judy bird,” and contests among home cooks to find the best recipes for Thanksgiving staples like mashed potatoes.

Recipes that are currently catching my eye: cider-glazed sweet potatoes with bacon, pecans and blue cheese (below); beer-and-bacon glazed collard greens; crispy delicata squash rings with currant, fennel and apple relish.

If you like a recipe, you can click the button with the little turkey on it that says “Add to My Menu” and it pops the recipe into a Thanksgiving file. I love this.

Photo from SuperStarter on Food52.

4. A few other sites to try include Martha Stewart Living’s Everything Thanksgiving (it does literally look like EVERYTHING, from appetizers and side dishes to fall centerpieces and projects for the kids).

Thanksgiving Turkey Cake at Chow.com

I like the practical thrust and the nice visuals at the Food Network, which is a great place to find themed recipes for a Paula Deen-style Southern menu or a failsafe batch of ideas from science guru Alton Brown. If you want how-to videos, this is also the best place to start.

Finally, if you like moral support in your cooking adventures, start with the Thanksgiving recipes at Chow, the site connected to the active Chowhound forums. Search the Home Cooking board before you ask your question; chances are, it has been asked (and answered, in detail) before.

What are your favorite Thanksgiving Recipe sources?  Happy Cooking!

About gThankYou, LLC

Turkey Gift Certificates and Turkey Or Ham Gift Certificates by gThankYou! are two of America’s favorite employee gifts and can be redeemed for any Brand (Turkey or Turkey Or Ham), at virtually any Grocery Store in the U.S.

gThankYou, LLC provides company leaders with a variety of easy, meaningful and affordable ways to recognize and reward employees, holiday time or anytime.  gThankYou! Certificates of Gratitude and our free Enclosure Cards are personalizable including incorporating your company logo. And, nearly all orders ship same day.

gThankYou, LLC (www.gthankyou.com) is based in Madison, Wisconsin.  Contact:  Rick KileyChief ThankYou! Officer, gThankYou, LLC at info@gthankyou.com or 888-484-1658.
Follow the Company Blog –  “Celebrating Work”.
Join the Conversation @gThankYou 
Watch our gThankYou! YouTube Video – “Learn More About Us”.

“G” logo and “Certificates of Gratitude” are trademarks and “gThankYou” is a registered trademark of gThankYou, LLC.

Five Ways to Add Flavor to Your Thankgiving Turkey

Turkey by itself — especially the breast meat — doesn’t have a ton of flavor and can run a little dry. For the best-tasting, juiciest turkey, most birds need a little help.

Here are five ways to add richness, spice and excitement to your Thanksgiving turkey.

Photo via Indulgy.com

1. Brine it. The white meat of turkey is not naturally  juicy. To add both moisture and flavor, soak the bird in brine the night before you plan to cook it. It works wonders.

There is a fair amount of internet buzz for Alton Brown’s five-star-rated Good Eats Roast Turkey, which as of this posting has 4,007 reviews on Food Network. To make his brine, you basically make a tea using kosher salt, brown sugar, vegetable stock, peppercorns, allspice and candied ginger. Cool it down and then soak the bird in the mixture for 8 to 16 hours.

The results? See the reviews: “A HUGE hit,” “soooooo easy,” “awesome turkey flavor, mild, subtle, and what Thanksgiving is all about!”

2. Inject it. You can buy pre-injected turkey, though some are wary of these — a whole frozen turkey from Butterball, for example, includes “modified food starch, sodium phosphates (and) natural flavorings.”

Williams-Sonoma Flavor Injector

You’ll know exactly what’s in the injection if you do it yourself. Granted, this requires some tools, but those who tried Brian Page‘s butter-injected turkey with thyme gave it “four forks” out of four on Epicurious.com.

“By putting the butter inside of the turkey it makes the turkey moist inside,” wrote one reviewer. “When the butter comes out into your water it makes it good for basting, because it helps brown the skin on the outside. I also use poultry seasoning, putting some on the inside and out.

3. Rub spices on the skin. Add flavor fast with a simple spice rub, which can range from basic to bold. One Cooking Light recipe packs tons of flavor, with cumin, coriander, oregano, sage, thyme, dry mustard and a little brown sugar.

Saveur has a recipe for a beautiful chile-rubbed Mexican turkey, involving toasted pasilla chiles, 30 cloves of garlic, orange juice, olive oil and honey.

Chile-rubbed roasted turkey. Photo by Landon Nordeman for Saveur.

4. Spread herb butter under the skin. No time to brine? This is a great last-minute technique that you can easily adapt for roast chicken, too.

Both Ina Garten and Martha Stewart offer step-by-step instructions for making a compound butter (with chopped herbs and lemon zest), then (in Martha’s case) loosening the skin of the bird and slathering the slightly softened butter underneath. Ina gets brown skin by brushing the melted butter mixture on top.

5. Stuff it. Take a lemon or an orange, a quartered Spanish onion or a full head of garlic, a bunch of rosemary or a few sprigs of thyme, and shove them into the cavity of the bird. (Apples are delicious, too.) This perfumes the meat lightly. Garlic left in its papery skin emerges melting and sweet, amazing spread on crusty bread.

Happy Cooking! Let us know what you do to make your Thanksgiving Turkey it’s flavorful best.

About gThankYou, LLC

Turkey Gift Certificates and Turkey Or Ham Gift Certificates by gThankYou! are two of America’s favorite employee gifts and can be redeemed for any Brand (Turkey or Turkey Or Ham), at virtually any Grocery Store in the U.S.

gThankYou, LLC provides company leaders with a variety of easy, meaningful and affordable ways to recognize and reward employees, holiday time or anytime.  gThankYou! Certificates of Gratitude and our free Enclosure Cards are personalizable including incorporating your company logo. And, nearly all orders ship same day.

gThankYou, LLC (www.gthankyou.com) is based in Madison, Wisconsin.  Contact:  Rick KileyChief ThankYou! Officer, gThankYou, LLC at info@gthankyou.com or 888-484-1658.
Follow the Company Blog –  “Celebrating Work”.
Join the Conversation @gThankYou 
Watch our gThankYou! YouTube Video – “Learn More About Us”.

“G” logo and “Certificates of Gratitude” are trademarks and “gThankYou” is a registered trademark of gThankYou, LLC.

Choosing the Perfect Thanksgiving Turkey

It used to be that every Thanksgiving table proudly bore a Butterball, fat, browned and juicy. But with a growing interest in sustainable food culture and heritage breeds making a comeback, the choice of a Thanksgiving centerpiece has become a bit more complex.

How to Choose the Perfect Turkey

Here are the basics:

Turkey, plain and simple: Commercial turkeys have been bred for a white-meat market, which means they’re big on size but skimp on flavor. Most common in the grocery store is the Broad-Breasted White, bred to grow fast — they’re ready for sale in just 14 weeks, according to Cook’s Illustrated. (Heritage breeds can take up to eight months to be ready for market.)

While they’re the cheapest option, “commercial birds grow so fast, they don’t have time to accumulate much flavor,” Cook’s Illustrated writes. That makes them prime candidates for brines, spice rubs and smoking.

Natural: This weak label doesn’t mean much, except “no artificial ingredients” including flavor, coloring and preservatives. There are no regulations about how the turkey is raised or what it’s fed. Not generally worth any extra cost.

Free-range: According to the USDA, “free-range” indicates a bird that was not raised in a cage and had access to the outdoors (even if that’s a little door across a crowded henhouse). Raising a turkey free-range is generally considered more humane and healthy. Available at specialty markets, farmers’ markets and bigger grocery stories, free-range is a good option if you don’t want to spring for organic.

Certified Organic: Certified organic turkeys are free-range, free of antibiotics and fed an all-vegetarian diet of organic grain and pesticide-free grasses. They’re expensive, but many cooks say they’re worth it, both for the benefits to the environment and for superior taste.

Heritage turkeys: At top dollar ($100 for a big bird) heritage turkeys are older breeds making a comeback. According to the food-centric radio show The Splendid Table, flavors are more distinctive than a supermarket turkey, but expect more bone to meat and less fat.

A heritage bird won a Cook’s Illustrated turkey tasting for “excellent flavor,” but tasters were unsure whether it was worth more than four times the price of a supermarket turkey.

Lynn Rosetto Kasper says don’t brine a heritage bird — just slow-roast it and make a pan gravy to moisten the meat.

Self-basted (or pre-brined): Turkeys that are “self-basting” can be a time-saving choice for a busy cook, since the brine/marinade — a solution of salt, butter or oil, as well as herbs, spices and other preservatives — has already been injected into the meat.

This saves the trouble of shoving a big turkey into a bag of brine, but you run the risk of a mushy texture and odd flavor.

If you definitely don’t want a self-baster, check the label and make sure the only ingredient is “turkey.”

Kosher: A kosher turkey has been prepared under rabbinical supervision under Jewish dietary law. For practical purposes, kosher turkeys are covered in kosher salt, then rinsed several times in cold water. According to Epicurious, this results in “juicy, flavorful meat,” though you may have to pull out a few extra feathers; the “koshering process makes them harder to pluck.”

Note: Don’t brine a kosher or pre-brined turkey; it will be too salty.

Let us know what type of Turkey you choose for this Thanksgiving feast!  

About gThankYou, LLC

Turkey Gift Certificates and Turkey Or Ham Gift Certificates by gThankYou! are two of America’s favorite employee gifts and can be redeemed for any Brand (Turkey or Turkey Or Ham), at virtually any Grocery Store in the U.S.

gThankYou, LLC provides company leaders with a variety of easy, meaningful and affordable ways to recognize and reward employees, holiday time or anytime.  gThankYou! Certificates of Gratitude and our free Enclosure Cards are personalizable including incorporating your company logo. And, nearly all orders ship same day.

gThankYou, LLC (www.gthankyou.com) is based in Madison, Wisconsin.  Contact:  Rick KileyChief ThankYou! Officer, gThankYou, LLC at info@gthankyou.com or 888-484-1658.
Follow the Company Blog –  “Celebrating Work”.
Join the Conversation @gThankYou 
Watch our gThankYou! YouTube Video – “Learn More About Us”.

“G” logo and “Certificates of Gratitude” are trademarks and “gThankYou” is a registered trademark of gThankYou, LLC.

The Secret to a Perfect Holiday Turkey: Dry Brining

Every November, people wrestle bulky birds into bags of brine, slopping all over the kitchen and making a mess in the name of a more tender turkey.

No more.

Wet brining — making a solution of water, salt, herbs and spices in which the turkey would sit for 12 to 24 hours — is undoubtedly a fine way to infuse flavor into a conventional store-bought turkey (most of which have been bred for size, not taste). But dry brining is so much simpler, and the results are so consistently good, that there’s no shame in taking the easy way out.

A dry-brined turkey, called “The Judy Bird” after Zuni Café owner Judy Rodgers, who pioneered the technique. Photo credit Food52.

One of the first chefs to introduce the idea of a poultry dry brine into home cooks’ regular rotation was Judy Rodgers, owner of Zuni Cafe in San Francisco. In “The Zuni Café Cookbook” (W.W. Norton & Co., 2002), Rodgers wrote that the brine on a small roasting chicken “improves flavor, keeps it moist, and makes it tender.”

Applying salt in advance at first draws moisture out of the bird, but over time it draws it back in again, resulting in much juicier meat. When talking to home cooks who attempted her method, Rodgers reported that “the results are startling and delicious when they prepare a chicken this way in their gas or electric ovens.”

To dry brine your turkey, begin the Sunday night before Thanksgiving. Just before roasting, give it a few hours uncovered in the fridge so it dries out (that will help the skin get golden brown).

Credit: Washington City Paper

Measure one tablespoon of kosher salt for every five pounds of turkey (for a 15-pound turkey, that means 3 tablespoons). Sprinkle the salt all over the outside of the turkey and lightly on the inner cavity. It should look well-seasoned but not over-salted. (With chicken, I sometimes add pepper or other seasonings here — thyme and rosemary are lovely, as are blends like za’atar and an ancho chile combination.)

To store the turkey, you can put it in a sealable plastic bag, or simply cover it with a towel. It should be breast-side up; turn it occasionally.

When you’re ready to cook, give the turkey about an hour to come to room temperature. Then roast as usual — Rodgers recommends a higher heat, about 425°F, rotating midway through to make sure the skin gets evenly browned.

Find other converts to the dry-brine method at the LA Times, Food52 and Martha Stewart Living.

About gThankYou, LLC

Turkey Gift Certificates and Turkey Or Ham Gift Certificates by gThankYou! are two of America’s favorite employee gifts and can be redeemed for any Brand (Turkey or Turkey Or Ham), at virtually any Grocery Store in the U.S.

gThankYou, LLC provides company leaders with a variety of easy, meaningful and affordable ways to recognize and reward employees, holiday time or anytime.  gThankYou! Certificates of Gratitude and our free Enclosure Cards are personalizable including incorporating your company logo. And, nearly all orders ship same day.

gThankYou, LLC (www.gthankyou.com) is based in Madison, Wisconsin.  Contact:  Rick KileyChief ThankYou! Officer, gThankYou, LLC at info@gthankyou.com or 888-484-1658.
Follow the Company Blog –  “Celebrating Work”.
Join the Conversation @gThankYou 
Watch our gThankYou! YouTube Video – “Learn More About Us”.

“G” logo and “Certificates of Gratitude” are trademarks and “gThankYou” is a registered trademark of gThankYou, LLC.

Thanksgiving Dinner Planning Starts NOW: Mining the Food Magazines

It’s time. The Thanksgiving-themed glossy food magazines have arrived!

I love these covers. The birds themselves are always quite beautiful, burnished golden and ornamented with grapes and figs and sprigs of thyme. (I’ve decided not to worry about what advanced techniques may have made them so attractive. Food photography is a magician’s craft, and it works like magic — good enough for me.)

This is also where being a minor magazine collector comes in handy. Every year I return to my growing stash of Thanksgiving-themed mags, finding new inspiration and ideas. My personal favorite: Bon Appetit, November 2009 (top row, center):

I know, they all kind of blur together, don’t they? Here are a few of my favorite recipes (with more to come!) to help you get started planning your Thanksgiving feast:

Salted roast turkey with herbs and shallot-Dijon gravy, by Rick Rodgers, Bon Appetit, November 2008: This is hands down my favorite way to prepare Thanksgiving turkey.

Photo by Tim Morris for Bon Appetit

The salt dry rub is much easier than a wet brine (no watery mess!) and the rosemary, sage and thyme are a classic holiday combination that make the meat incredibly flavorful. Read the comments for more ideas and tips, but you really can’t go wrong here.

Salted roast turkey with orange, fall spices and sherry gravy from the same issue uses the same technique, but with an Asian twist; spices include star anise, Szechuan peppercorns, clove, coriander, fennel seed, cinnamon and orange peel.

Roast heritage turkey with bacon, sage and herb butter; Bon Appetit, November 2008: It’s the compound butter that makes this bird, studded with thyme, sage, lemon peel and applewood-smoked bacon. You can change-up the recommended vegetables (onion, celery, fennel, carrots and apples) with whatever you like best.

Photo by Elinor Carucci for Bon Appetit

Shown above, sourdough stuffing with sausage, apples and golden raisins by Jeanne Thiel Kelley; Bon Appetit, November 2009: It’s important to use a good hearty sourdough here, ideally from a bakery (not the grocery). Let it sit out for a day or two before assembling this dressing. Tart baking apples are best in this.

Roasted brussels sprouts with pomegranate seeds and vanilla pecan butter, from “Throwdown with Bobby Flay (episode: Thanksgiving Feast, November 2010): I know the combination of cabbage-y brussel sprouts and sweet pecan butter seems weird, but trust me. This will change your life. (And as a bonus you end up with pomegranate molasses, which is truly amazing on ice cream.)

Photo by Randy Mayor for Cooking Light

Brussels sprouts with crisp prosciutto; Cooking Light, December 2003: An easier take on the sprouts. Sub bacon if necessary.

Butternut squash and cheddar bread pudding, by Molly Wizenberg; Bon Appetit, November 2oo9: A perfect main dish for the vegetarians at your Thanksgiving table, this wonderful recipe combines sharp cheddar cheese, Tuscan kale and lots of eggs for a divinely rich entrée.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be sharing ideas for green salads and sweet potato side dishes and exploring the many aspects of your holiday turkey, from brining to carving, plus the best recipe sites and who to ask for help.

For more magazine recipe testing, check out the guys at The Bitten Word. Each year they do a “Fakesgiving” where they invite over family and friends to try out holiday recipes from that year’s food magazines. It’s pretty great.

What are some of your magazine recipe favorites for Thanksgiving?  Be sure to check back as we will have more to share!

About gThankYou, LLC

Turkey Gift Certificates and Turkey Or Ham Gift Certificates by gThankYou! are two of America’s favorite employee gifts and can be redeemed for any Brand (Turkey or Turkey Or Ham), at virtually any Grocery Store in the U.S.

gThankYou, LLC provides company leaders with a variety of easy, meaningful and affordable ways to recognize and reward employees, holiday time or anytime.  gThankYou! Certificates of Gratitude and our free Enclosure Cards are personalizable including incorporating your company logo. And, nearly all orders ship same day.

gThankYou, LLC (www.gthankyou.com) is based in Madison, Wisconsin.  Contact:  Rick Kiley, Chief ThankYou! Officer, gThankYou, LLC at info@gthankyou.com or 888-484-1658.
Follow the Company Blog –  “Celebrating Work”.
Join the Conversation @gThankYou
Watch our gThankYou! YouTube Video – “Learn More About Us”.

“G” logo and “Certificates of Gratitude” are trademarks and “gThankYou” is a registered trademark of gThankYou, LLC

Free eBook: The Ultimate Thanksgiving Turkey Guide by gThankYou!

Free eBook- The Ultimate Thanksgiving Turkey Guide by gThankYou

Click Image to Download!

gThankYou! is excited to announce our free eBook, “The Ultimate Thanksgiving Turkey Guide”, the  perfect addition to help make your Thanksgiving Turkey a great success!

In this handy, straightforward guide, you’ll find everything you need to get started choosing, preparing and serving your Thanksgiving turkey.  Whether it’s a Butterball or a heritage bird that’s pre-brined, roasted or destined for the smoker, use this guide to streamline the centerpiece of your holiday feast.

Novice or seasoned pro, you’ll find useful tips and resources in this handy guide to successfully serving your Holiday Turkey.

Here’s a peek at our “Ultimate Thanksgiving Turkey Guide” Table of Contents:

TABLE OF CONTENTS
Part One: Getting Started

  • How Much Turkey Do I Need?
  • Fresh versus Frozen
  • Types of Turkey
  • A Thanksgiving Turkey Timeline
  • Prep Work
  • Two Ways to Brine

Part Two: Cooking the Turkey

  • Ways to Cook a Turkey & Cook Times:
    Roast
    Grill
    Smoke
    Deep Fry
  • A Word about Stuffing
  • Stuffing versus Dressing
  • Where Does the Thermometer Go?
  • What’s the Magic Number?

Part Three:  The Fine Points

  • How to Know When the Turkey is Done
  • How to Carve a Turkey
  • How to Make Gravy
  • A Word About Leftovers
  • Thanksgiving Tools of the Trade

Part Four: Helpful resources

  • Where to go for Help
  • Where to go for Turkey Recipes

Download your free copy now by clicking this link:
The Ultimate Thanksgiving Turkey Guide”

Please share this blog with friends and let us know how you like our new eBook. We hope you enjoy it!
The gThankYou! Team

About gThankYou, LLC

Turkey Gift Certificates and Turkey Or Ham Gift Certificates by gThankYou! are two of America’s favorite employee gifts and can be redeemed for any Brand (Turkey or Turkey Or Ham), at virtually any Grocery Store in the U.S.

gThankYou, LLC provides company leaders with a variety of easy, meaningful and affordable ways to recognize and reward employees, holiday time or anytime.  gThankYou! Certificates of Gratitude and our free Enclosure Cards are personalizable including incorporating your company logo. And, nearly all orders ship same day.

gThankYou, LLC (www.gthankyou.com) is based in Madison, Wisconsin.  Contact:  Rick Kiley, Chief ThankYou! Officer, gThankYou, LLC at info@gthankyou.com or 888-484-1658.
Follow the Company Blog –  “Celebrating Work”.
Join the Conversation @gThankYou
Watch our gThankYou! YouTube Video – “Learn More About Us”.

“G” logo and “Certificates of Gratitude” are trademarks and “gThankYou” is a registered trademark of gThankYou, LLC.

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Thanksgiving Turkey – When is it Done?

The appointed hour has arrived: it’s time for you and dozens of your relatives and friends to gather around the dining room table, stretched out to its full capacity for the most celebrated meal of the year –Thanksgiving. But, like a weary child from the backseat during a cross-country trip, one question nags at you: Are we there yet? Am I sure the turkey’s done?

gThankYou! Turkey in the Oven PhotoFor cooks who are afraid of disappointing all their aunts, uncles and cousins on a national holiday, here is a quick list of tell-tale signs that your Thanksgiving turkey is ready for its grand entrance.

  1. It’s golden brown.
    The skin of the turkey often browns early in the baking process, so this alone won’t tell you it’s done, but it’s a delicious indicator that you’re getting closer.
  2. It has baked for the recommended time, at the recommended temperature.
    This is one case when reading the directions will save all kinds of heartache (and tummy aches!). Your turkey likely came with specific instructions on thawing and cooking the bird. If not, the USDA has a handy website on safely cooking Turkey which you can check out.
  3. It wiggles.
    When you gently pull on the end of the drumstick, the turkey leg will wiggle easily, with almost no resistance. If you have to force the drumstick away from the body of the bird, it’s not quite ready.
  4. The juices run clear.
    You’ve shaken hands with the turkey, now it’s time to give it a poke. Insert a knife at least an inch into the breast. When you remove it, look for lovely turkey juices to come bubbling up. If they are clear, that meat is cooked. If they are cloudy or pink, it’s still got some time in the oven. (Remember to drain off all those wonderful juices after you remove the turkey from the pan – they are a great base for gravy!)
  5. It’s feeling the heat.
    Some turkeys come with built-in “pop-up” thermometers, which should tell you when the internal temperature of the bird has reached 165°. Even if your turkey has its own plastic gauge, it’s a good idea to invest in an instant-read meat thermometer, just to double-check. Insert the tip of the meat thermometer in the thigh muscle just above the lower part of the thighbone (but not touching the bone!). In about 15 seconds you’ll have a definitive answer.

And as anxious as everyone is to dig in, you’ll be even more thankful that you let the turkey rest for at least 20 minutes after you took it out of the oven. Set it on a heat-proof surface and drape it with a tent of aluminum foil, while you get all the accoutrements ready to serve. The turkey will be juicier and also, easier to carve.

So now that you know it’s done. . .the only big question left is, “who’s going to do the dishes?”

About gThankYou, LLC

gThankYou! Turkey Gift Certificates are one of America’s favorite employee gifts and can be redeemed for any Brand whole Turkey, at virtually any Grocery Store in the U.S. 

gThankYou, LLC provides company leaders with a variety of easy, meaningful and affordable ways to recognize and reward employees, holiday time or anytime.  gThankYou! Certificates of Gratitude and free Enclosure Cards are personalizable including incorporating your company logo, and ship same day.

gThankYou, LLC (www.gthankyou.com) is based in Madison, Wisconsin.  Contact:  Rick Kiley, Chief ThankYou! Officer, gThankYou, LLC at info@gthankyou.com or 888-484-1658.  Follow the company blog “Celebrating Work” at blog.gthankyou.com.

“G” logo and “Certificates of Gratitude” are trademarks and “gThankYou” is a registered trademark of gThankYou, LLC.

Thanksgiving Turkey – Where Does the Thermometer Go?

It’s that age-old question, where do you put the meat thermometer in a turkey?

You may have spent days looking at recipes, brining your Thanksgiving turkey, and finding just the right ingredients for some amazing stuffing, but if you serve raw turkey at your next Thanksgiving dinner, all that effort will be wasted. (Not to mention a lot of good food!) Fortunately, there’s a very simple way to make sure your turkey is cooked properly – just look in the housewares section of your grocery store for a meat thermometer. Follow the instructions below for proper use and rest assured — your bird will be perfect! Oven-safe or instant-read, a meat thermometer is a good investment in great taste!

Whole Turkey
The tip of the meat thermometer should be placed in the thigh, just above the lower part of the thighbone (but not touching the bone!), pointing toward the body. For the stuffing temperature, the tip of the thermometer should be in the center of the body cavity.

gThankYou! Turkey with Thermometer

Whole Breast and Boneless Turkey Roasts
Similar to the whole turkey, you should insert your thermometer deep into thickest part of the meat, not touching any bone. (Bone conducts heat differently than the meat of the bird, so if it may give a false reading if they touch.)

Instant Read Thermometers
Remove the turkey from the oven and place the thermometer in the thickest part of the thigh, away from the bone. It will register the temperature of your turkey within 15 seconds. If it needs more time, be sure NOT to pop the thermometer in the oven with your turkey. Instant read thermometers were not designed to withstand hours of high temperatures.

Oven Safe Thermometers
Insert the thermometer in the deepest part of the thigh before you put the raw turkey in the oven. You can leave the thermometer in during the entire cooking process, and check the temperature dial periodically while it roasts. If the thermometer moves while the turkey is baking, simply reposition it.

What’s the Magic Number?
Turkey and stuffing are safe when cooked to a minimum internal temperature of 165 °F.  Many like the deep thigh meat temperature at 180 °F.

Even if your turkey has a “pop-up” plastic thermometer, it’s a good idea to double-check with a trusty thermometer of your own.

Happy cooking!

About gThankYou, LLC

gThankYou! Turkey Gift Certificates are one of America’s favorite employee gifts and can be redeemed for any Brand whole Turkey, at virtually any Grocery Store in the U.S. 

gThankYou, LLC provides company leaders with a variety of easy, meaningful and affordable ways to recognize and reward employees, holiday time or anytime.  gThankYou! Certificates of Gratitude and free Enclosure Cards are personalizable including incorporating your company logo, and ship same day.

gThankYou, LLC (www.gthankyou.com) is based in Madison, Wisconsin.  Contact:  Rick Kiley, Chief ThankYou! Officer, gThankYou, LLC at info@gthankyou.com or 888-484-1658.  Follow the company blog “Celebrating Work” at blog.gthankyou.com.

“G” logo and “Certificates of Gratitude” are trademarks and “gThankYou” is a registered trademark of gThankYou, LLC.