Turkeys are big, domesticated birds, native to North America. It is distinguished by its white plumage and a bare wattled neck and head. It has brown feathers with buff-colored features on the tail and on the tips of wings.
The name turkey was first applied to the guinea fowl that was presumed to have originated in Turkey. However, the American turkey is a quite different species from the guinea fowl, though the name remained. In fact, the wild turkey was a staple food in the North American diet. It was known as a”peru” from the 18th century. The Wampanoag tribe introduced the wild turkey to the Pilgrims. They helped the Pilgrims to raise the domesticated turkeys that they brought with them. In 1621, the first Thanksgiving was celebrated with the Wampanoag tribe members as Guests of Honor. It is believed that turkey was served at the feast, even though there is no hard evidence for this. Thanksgiving became an official holiday in 1863 by a proclamation given by President Abraham Lincoln. The fourth Thursday of November is Thanksgiving Day.
Turkeys are especially associated with Thanksgiving. It’s a really important part of the Thanksgiving menu. In fact, Thanksgiving Day is also known as Turkey Day. Turkeys are generally 25-35 lbs in weight. Turkeys can be purchased fresh or frozen. Birds that have smooth, soft and creamy skin without any bruises or cuts are usually healthy. Fresh turkey should not be stored for more than 2 days, even in the deep freezer. Frozen turkey ought to be less than 2 months old. The giblets should be removed and stored separately while keeping fresh turkey.
Turkey, like other poultry products, is likely to be influenced by bacteria. Thus the cooking area should be very clean; the turkey needs to be washed and cooked properly. The stuffing should be carried out just before it is baked. This can be checked by using an internal meat thermometer.
Some favorite turkey Thanksgiving recipes are: grilled turkey brat hoagies, turkey chili, turkey breast Diane, turkey enchiladas, garlic roasted turkey, ginger lime turkey strips, seasoned turkey with rice pilaf, turkey sausage with pasta, turkey bratwurst kabobs, turkey lasagna, turkey meatloaf, turkey parmesan, turkey sausage, turkey scaloppini, stir fried chicken with walnuts and cashews, grilled southwestern Bratwurst, turkey pizza, turkey burgers and so on.