It’s turkey time

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What would Thanksgiving be without turkey? There’s a reason it is the most common entrée found on Thanksgiving tables in the U.S.: It’s also the time of year when supplies peak. All across the state, you’ll find plenty of options for pennies a pound. But that only saves you money if you shop smartly.

Start by looking at how many guests you’ll be serving. If it’s only a couple and you know all prefer certain cuts, there’s no reason to purchase a whole bird. There are tenderloin, drumstick and breast options that can be tailored to fit the tastebuds of your company. Most people, however, will purchase a whole turkey, which is the least-expensive per-pound option. Like all meat and poultry, the more a turkey is cut, the more it will cost, so the deals will be found with the whole birds.

Supplies and costs are easily covered, but set aside enough time when planning a perfect feast. The majority of whole turkeys are sold frozen. That means you’ll need plenty of time for it to thaw. Always thaw in the refrigerator. The time it will take depends on the size of the bird you buy, but plan for one day for every 4 pounds. And if you end up with it thawed a bit early, that’s OK! A thawed turkey can be kept in the refrigerator up to four days before cooking.

Enjoy a food-safe Thanksgiving! And to locate local fall produce or seasonal farm activities, visit www.picktnproducts.org.

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About Author

Tammy Algood

Originally from Starkville, Miss., Tammy Algood is a viticulture and wholesale produce specialist for the Tennessee Department of Agriculture's Market Development Division. She has a Bachelor’s of Science from Mississippi State University and a Master’s from Middle Tennessee State University. She writes about food for The Tennessean and monthly for The Tennessee Magazine. As the spokesperson for the statewide “Pick Tennessee Products” campaign, Tammy also develops recipes for their website at www.picktnproducts.org. Broadcast appearances include Nashville’s local ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox affiliates as well as statewide on PBS. Tammy can also be seen nationally on the HGTV and DIY networks.

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