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Turkey for Two? A Feast for Four? Thanksgiving Comes in All Sizes

Family and food are the heart of the Thanksgiving tradition, a time to come together and celebrate everything we are thankful for. The holiday will certainly feel different this year, with the COVID-19 pandemic restricting travel and large gatherings. But that doesn’t mean every tradition should go by the wayside. Now is a great time to highlight a custom sure to make it look – and taste – like the Thanksgiving we all love – that big, beautiful American-grown turkey.

Talking Turkey

Did you know that between 2014 and 2018 approximately two thirds of U.S. turkey meat was produced in just six states: Minnesota, Indiana, North Carolina, Virginia, Arkansas, and Iowa? Minnesota, the largest producer, produces more than 15 percent of U.S. turkey meat annually.

Start Your Turkey Tradition with USDA Grade A

Serving turkey as the centerpiece to a meal is an American tradition that dates to colonial times. Wild turkey was a plentiful game source in early America, hatching in the spring and reaching table weight by the first crisp days of autumn, making wild turkey a perfect choice as the centerpiece of Thanksgiving celebrations. Turkeys continue to hold a prominent place in our celebrations and family feasts.

Working Together to Keep the Nation’s Poultry Healthy!

Poultry owners all know how devastating a disease outbreak can be. Whether it’s a backyard farm with a few birds or a large commercial operation, losing your flock to disease causes more than just financial losses. That was never truer as we faced the Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) outbreak a few years ago.

Now What? 5 Ways to Use Leftover Turkey

This week, many Americans will gather together with friends and family to celebrate Thanksgiving. When the fun is done, you may be left with more turkey than you anticipated. MyPlate is here to help with these unique ways to use up those leftovers!

How to Safely Thaw a Turkey

While frozen, a turkey is safe indefinitely. As soon as it begins to thaw, bacteria that may have been present before freezing will begin to grow again. There are three safe ways to defrost a turkey: in the refrigerator, in cold water, and in a microwave oven.

Refrigerator Thawing (Recommended)

The USDA recommends thawing your turkey in the refrigerator. This is the safest method because the turkey will thaw at a consistent, safe temperature. This method takes some time, so allow one day for each 4 - 5 pounds of weight. If your turkey weighs 16 pounds, it will take about four days to thaw. Once thawed, the turkey is safe for another two days, so you can start thawing it six days before thanksgiving (the Friday before Thanksgiving).