Turkey is native to both Mexico and the United States. Europeans learned of this native American food when Christopher Columbus returned from the New World with these beautiful gobbling fowl. By the mid to late 1500s the French English and Italians were domesticating turkeys for common tables.
The history of the United States is forever entwined with the turkey in the form of the themed Pilgrim Thanksgiving dinner. Benjamin Franklin’s affection for the turkey was so strong that he was reportedly quite disgruntled to learn that the eagle has been chosen as the national bird over his turkey.
Helps to maintain psychological health
Supports cardiovascular health
Good for hair and skin health
Improves bone health
Treats iron deficiency - DARK MEAT
Turkey is particularly high in the amino acid tryptophan, a building block of the brain compound serotonin. Since serotonin is a sleep inducer, consumption of turkey may help improve sleep quality. The meat’s high level of tryptophan may also explain why some people want to take a nap after their Thanksgiving meal. Other health benefits center around its excellent nutritional profile especially as a lean source of high-quality protein.
Turkey is also loaded with B vitamins:
Vitamin B3 (niacin) - This vitamin is important for efficient energy production and cell communication
Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) - This vitamin supports amino acid formation and helps produce neurotransmitters
Vitamin B12 (cobalamin) - Vital for DNA production and the formation of red blood cells
Vitamin B1 (thiamine) - Promotes digestion by aiding in acid production
Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) - Provides antioxidant properties and defends against cancer
Vitamin B9 (folate) - Improves cognitive function
Turkey is also a good source of selenium, zinc, and phosphorus:
Selenium - Helps your body produce thyroid hormones, which regulate your metabolism and growth rate
Zinc - Supports immune function and may help fight infections/colds
Phosphorus - Vital for bone health
Magnesium - Relaxation and better sleep
Potassium - Boosts heart health
THANKSGIVING DINNER PREPARATIONS…
#1 - Getting the right Turkey
Here we go again with labels.. it’s all about the buzz words these days. NOT..!!If you’re going for quality, then head to the PASTURE - RAISED section. This means the turkeys were allowed time to forage outdoors. Natural diets and sunlight increase their levels of nutrients.
Another little fun fact: 80% of antibiotics sold in the US are used for animal agriculture, organic turkeys are antibiotic-free
#2 - Choosing the cooking method
Braised - Turkey parts
Fried - By far the most dangerous...yikes
SousVide - Breast only
Slow Cooker / InstaPot - Smaller birds
Rotisserie on the Grill
When doing the research for this week's Foods That Heal, I ran across this UNIQUE way of cooking turkey…
Have you ever heard of a SPATCHCOCKED TURKEY?
Thank you, J. Kenji Lopez-Alt at Serious Eats for sharing this video..!!
#3 - Choose the style/technique
#4 - Flavors | A few of our fav's !
Red Chili & Orange
Brown Butter Sage
Mayonnaise - WHAT..?
Bacon & Sage Butter
GOT ALL THAT..? GOOD GRIEF….!!
Thanksgiving Leftovers | Turkey Chili
Prep Time 30 MIN | Cooking Time 1 HR | 6 Servings
3 cups cooked Turkey, (Thanksgiving leftovers are a great shortcut)
1 Medium Onion, Chopped
1 Clove Garlic, Minced
1 15 oz Can Pinto Beans
1 15 oz Can Cannellini Beans
3 Cups Chicken Bone Broth
1 4 oz can green chilis, (hatch preferably)
1 Tbsp Coriander
1 Tbsp Cumin
1 Tbsp Chipotle Chili Powder
1 Tbsp Granulated Garlic
1 Tbsp Granulated Onion
2 tsp Thyme
Salt / Pepper to taste
Minced Red Onion
In a dutch oven or soup pot, sauté onion and garlic on medium heat for 3 minutes until translucent.
Add: Granulated Onion, Granulated Garlic, Coriander, Cumin, Chipotle, Thyme and sauté until fragrant
Add Turkey, Beans, Broth, and Green Chilis.
Add salt and pepper to taste.
Simmer for 30-60 minutes
Serve with any combination of garnishes. SOUR CREAM IS THE BEST !!
Note: The longer it simmers the better it gets. It's even better the next day.