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Thanksgiving turkey preparation tips

Published: Nov. 20, 2020 at 5:51 PM CST
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NORTH PLATTE, Neb. (KNOP) - As you’re getting ready to cook your Thanksgiving dinners Food, Nutrition and Health Extension Educator, Brenda Aufdenkamp, shares some tips and tricks on how to make your food healthy and safely and also some new side dishes you may not have tried yet.

Aufdenkamp says to make sure you get the right size turkey for the size of your gathering and to wash your hands before and after handling the turkey.

“Generally the standing rule is with a boned turkey you want to plan on one pound of turkey per person so if you’re having 6 people you’re probably looking at a 5,6,7 pound turkey. And if you’re going to buy a turkey breast that has no bones in it they recommend looking at about a half a pound of turkey per person,” said Aufdenkamp.

She says to keep meats separate from produce when grocery shopping and to cut them separately, she uses colored cutting boards to help organize.

“They want you to separate your produce from your protein. So the red one is really for cutting meats and your turkey if you’re going to take it out and do anything with those proteins. The yellows are for poultry for your chicken and your turkey is what they’ll tell you. And then the green are for your vegetables or your produce items,” said Aufdenkamp.

To safely thaw a 25-pound turkey keep the turkey in the refrigerator six days so it has time to thaw. Make sure the turkey is cooked until it has an internal temperature of 165 degrees. She recommends this year none of us give up our favorite foods and offers some fun side dish ideas such as pumpkin pie in a bag.

You can find these recipes and step by step instructions on a variety of ways to cook your turkey on the website Food.unl.edu.

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