Working in the Butterball Kitchen has its perks for a Turketarian like me! Turkey is a great everyday ingredient that brings great taste and healthy protein to any meal. As a Butterball Kitchen chef and recipe developer, I have the privilege to experiment with turkey and create tasty, easy-to-make recipes that the whole family will enjoy. From testing new product offerings to sharing kitchen tips and trying out the latest new food trends and cooking techniques, there is never a dull moment here in the Butterball Kitchen. As Thanksgiving approaches, I wanted to share a few helpful tips to ensure your Thanksgiving celebration is a success.
Before you get started in the kitchen, you should keep the following in mind:
-Wash your hands often throughout the cooking process. For extra protection when handling raw turkey, invest in a pair of food safe gloves.
-Always be sure to cook food to proper temperatures. To help ensure your turkey is cooked through, rely on a meat thermometer that is easy to read and use.
-Sometimes meals are best as leftovers – but always be sure to cover or seal leftovers and promptly refrigerate them within two hours after eating to keep them fresh and safe.
As I mentioned, one of my favorite parts about working in the Butterball Kitchen is developing simple recipes that are sure to be crowd-pleasers. Recipe development is a very important part of my job – there is always new inspiration to create something unique and delicious. I like to keep an eye on food trends and develop fun new ways to put a spin on my favorite recipes.
Check out a few examples of some go-to recipes that are perfect for Thanksgiving – or even a Friendsgiving celebration (If you haven’t done a Friendsgiving event in the past, you should definitely consider it. It’s a great way to celebrate Thanksgiving with friends the weekend before the big day, having a great time, while trying out some recipes for Thanksgiving Day):
Pumpkin Pie Sundae Bar
-1 (9-inch) prepared pumpkin pie
-8 scoops vanilla ice cream
-1 cup whipped heavy cream
-24 candied pecan halves
-1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
-1 ½-2 cups of Crushed Candy (Butterfinger, Heath Bar), Chocolate Chips, Butterscotch Chips, or Toffee Pieces (As many as desired)
Method of Preparation
Place the pumpkin pie in a bowl large enough to hold whole pie- with a spoon mix and combine the pie filling together. Place 2 scoops into a sundae style dish and top with 1 scoop of ice cream. Then, top with a spoonful of whipped cream, candied pecan halves and a quarter cup of chosen candy. Serve and enjoy!
Stuffin’ with Cranberry Muffins
-Non-stick cooking spray
-1 box (6 oz.) turkey flavored stuffing mix*
-1 1/2 cups half and half
-1/4 cup butter, melted
-2 large eggs, beaten
-1/2 cup canned whole cranberry sauce
Method of Preparation
Place the stuffing mix into a mixing bowl, pour in the melted butter and blend well. Combine the eggs, half & half and blend well. Pour into the stuffing mix and blend well. Allow the mixture to stand 15-20 minutes (the crumbs will absorb the liquid) and stir 2-3 times during this rest period. Lightly spray a 6-count muffin tin (2-½ inch X 1 inch) with oil, then fill each cup with the stuffin’ muffin mixture. With a tablespoon bore a hole into the center of the filling then fill the hole with 1 ½ tbsp. of whole cranberry sauce. Bake in a preheated 350ºF oven for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve hot.
*Note: If you don’t want to use boxed stuffing mix, you may use your own stuffing mix – just make sure it is prepped, but not baked, when you begin preparing this recipe.
While these recipes are fairly easy, carving the turkey on the big day can be a little more complicated, yet it’s one of the most important things to prepare for on Thanksgiving. Following are a few of my simple tricks that should help you master the Thanksgiving carve.
1. First, make sure you have a sharp knife and a proper fork to safely carve.
2. Remove the drumsticks and thigh from the turkey.
3. Then, remove the breast from the turkey. While the breast is intact, slice the breast meat and place the meat on the serving platter as you slice.
4. Remove the bone from the thigh and then slice the thigh and put it on the serving platter.
5. Leave the drumsticks intact and place them on the serving platter for eating.
For additional cooking tips, food preparation advice and recipe ideas check out our how-to videos and photos on Butterball.com.
Follow Butterball on Instagram for a further behind-the-scenes look at the Butterball Kitchen.
I hope these tricks of the trade help you prepare your best Thanksgiving Day feast yet!