Turkey is a popular domesticated bird, most commonly associated with Thanksgiving dinner in the United States.
When roasting, the temperature must reach 180 °F in the thigh of a whole turkey (center of the stuffing should reach 165 °F) before removing it from the oven. Cook a turkey breast to 170 °F.
Alive the turkey is a partially flightless bird only capable of flying short distances, like chickens. They have dark brown feathers all over their body with black and white feathers on their wings. The males have a peacock like tail, but short that are black and white as well. Some females are even white. There are no feathers on their heads and they have a large red waddle. In the grocery stores they are found in most cases already frozen and bound, headless and plucked like most grocery store fowl.
Selecting and Buying
Commercial breeds of turkeys are grown for their large breast and quick growing season. The Broad Breasted White turkey is the most commonly used breed in commercial turkey farms.
Heritage breed turkeys are smaller, and take longer to grow to market size, and are raised organically or in organic-like conditions, often free ranging. Heritage breeds mature with hen turkeys in the 7 - 20 pound range, and tom turkeys in the 12 - 35 pound range.
Preparation and Use
Most turkeys are roasted in an oven, fried in a frier, or cooked in a rotisserie. They are cleaned and trussed, and occasionally basted with various flavorings and seasonings. Popular uses for leftover turkey meat: sandwiches, salads, stews, and the broth kept for soups.