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Turkey talk: Oaklanders share Thanksgiving cooking tips

on November 22, 2010

Cranberry sauce, green beans, mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie – Thanksgiving calls to mind a literal cornucopia of foods. But the pièce de résistance of a traditional Thanksgiving meal won’t be found among the side dishes. There’s a reason they call it Turkey Day.

But transforming a turkey from a raw piece of poultry into a Norman Rockwellian culinary centerpiece isn’t exactly an easy endeavor. From picking out the right bird (How much meat per person? Frozen or fresh? Heritage breed or Broad-breasted White?) to deciding how to prepare it (Roasted? Deep-fried? Pre-brined? Barbequed?), the turkey-making process is enough to baffle both first-time and experienced cooks.

And the culinary fiasco stories don’t help: forgotten bags of giblets discovered only upon carving; breast meat so that dry that an ocean of gravy can’t save it; deep-fried disasters charred on the outside and still-frozen on the inside.

But if you’re feeling intimidated, not to worry — advice is on the way. Oakland North reporters Laith Agha and Teresa Chin asked local butchers at Ver Brugge and Marwa Market, and experienced turkey-makers at the downtown farmer’s market, to weigh in on the best way to make your Thanksgiving turkey a main dish to remember.

Got any tips on how to pick out or prepare the perfect Thanksgiving turkey? Share them with other readers in the comments section below!


  1. Samantha on November 22, 2010 at 12:32 pm

    How about encouraging a more veg friendly Thanksgiving instead? An alternative that is much healthier for individuals, animals and the environment. It is unfortunate, for many reasons, that this holiday is commonly referred to as “turkey day”. This website is an excellent source for information on how to have a cruelty-free holiday:

  2. […] Thanksgiving recipes? We’ve collected some great ones from our readers! (Plus: a few tips on cooking the perfect bird.) And Hell’s Kitchen winner Rahman “Rock” Harper has a few ideas of his own. […]

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