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It’s Turkey Time!

Nov 24, 2014

Most of us can agree: It’s not a proper Thanksgiving feast without turkey. But there’s more to this bird than looking delicious amongst the mashed potatoes and gravy.

Chances are a turkey will land on your Thanksgiving table—a bird simmered in American tradition.

The turkey was once so common and popular that it was considered for our national emblem along with the bald eagle. Turkeys are America’s largest game bird.  They are swift runners and quick flyers for short distances.  They have over 5,000 feathers.

Turkeys were domesticated by Native Americans and brought to Europe in the sixteenth century.  Taken from Mexico by the Spanish Conquistadors, turkeys later returned as domesticated birds with the English settlers.

The wild turkey almost disappeared from North America due to excessive hunting and loss of forest habitat. Today, restoration efforts have brought the turkey back in Missouri.

Recipe: Roast Turkey and Stuffing

  • If turkey is not young, parboil or pressure-cook it for 1-2 hours. Rub the turkey with butter and turn breast down in pan to roast in slow oven. Cook the neck, wings and giblets together for dressing broth.
  • Dressing:
    • 2 to 3 quarts soft bread crumbs
    • 1 to 2 teaspoons poultry seasoning
    • 1/2 to 1 cup celery, chopped
    • 1/2 to 1 cup onion, chopped
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 2 eggs
    • Pepper to taste
    • Broth or milk to moisten
  • Combine all ingredients and place in turkey cavity. Pour some dressing around the turkey and roast until dressing is lightly brown. Baste turkey occasionally while baking.

Get more turkey recipes from the MDC’s website.

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