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Kosher Turkey Talk

David Elliot Poultry Farm

Chef Avram Wisema
Chef Laura Frankel

Just in time for Thanksgiving, we are delighted to present the second annual Kosher Turkey Talk! 

In conjunction with David Elliot Poultry Farm, and featuring acclaimed chefs – Chef Avram Wiseman, Dean of Students, Center for Kosher Culinary Arts and Chef Laura Frankel, author and KosherEye foodie friend – we hope to help both novice cooks and experienced chefs prepare terrific, kosher turkey and trimmings!

Have you always wanted to know the best ways to prepare kosher turkey (yes, it is somewhat different than non–kosher preparation), how to select a turkey, the difference between fresh and frozen turkeys, proper size, how to defrost, how to season, roast, carve, serve, stuff, thaw? How to marinate; should you brine—and in what? Which side dishes, salads and desserts work best? Which wine and beer should you pair with turkey? What are the health benefits of eating turkey? What to do with leftovers? Should you freeze? Can you prepare a turkey ahead? What about gravy, etc…

Kosher Turkey Talk is all about kosher Turkey – facts, tips, statistics, flavors, preparation, storage and history too.

Ask our experts questions -– Share your recipes – Try our recipes or just Turkey Talk!

Before we start, read an excerpt from an essay by Rabbi Michael J. Broyde about the History of American Thanksgiving.

Introducing our Kosher Turkey Talk Partners

davidelliotlogo-2David Elliot Poultry Farms. Read more about the company that prides itself on quality over quantity.


chefwithguys-1Chef Avram Wiseman, Dean of Student Affairs at the Center for Kosher Culinary Arts (CKCA). Read more about Chef Wiseman, a highly experienced professional chef and culinary educator.



laurapix1Chef Laura Frankel, Executive Chef at Wolfgang Puck Kosher Catering at the Spertus Institute for Jewish studies in Chicago. Read more about Chef Laura, an avid farmer’s market supporter, who give demos and teaching classes all over the country featuring market produce.



Rubbermaid, For The Kitchen – Organize, Store, Serve. Read more about this amazing company that started out as a maker of toy balloons!

allens-quality-vegetablesAllen's Inc., Quality Vegetables. Read more about the company that produces 210 kosher certified canned vegetables.

Wholly Wholesome Pies, Pie Shells, Pie Crusts. Read more about the company that produces wholesome, yet tasty, baked foods and ready to bake products .

Ask the Experts
To send us your Kosher Turkey Talk comments or questions, use the Comment Box below or email us via our Contact Us page. Please allow 24 hours for a response.

From the National Turkey Federation, how-to instructions from their Turkey Preparation Guide.
•  Purchasing a Turkey.
•  Turkey Cooking Basics Chart
  Thawing a Turkey
  Stuffing Tips
  How to Store Turkey
  Cooking a Turkey
•  Turkey Breast Roasting Time Chart
  Thermometer Guidelines
•  Smoking a Turkey
  Deep Frying a Turkey
  Grilling a Turkey

Roast Turkey Tips and Tricks from Chef Avram Wiseman
Wash and dry the turkey very well before roasting.

Place a cut-up orange and lemon in the cavity. Citrus in the cavity of the turkey lends a beautiful aroma to the bird and cuts the strong flavor of turkey fat. Discard the fruit after the bird is cooked.

Truss the legs of the turkey. Trussing (tying the legs together with string) allows the bird to cook more evenly.

•  I do not recommend salting or peppering the outside of the turkey. Kosher turkeys are, in essence, already brined as part of the kashering process. When you think about it, Jews have been brining their turkeys since we started eating them. In contrast, brining for Thanksgiving turkeys is a relatively recent trend.

Rub all over with canola oil, not olive. Canola is a high cooking temperature oil and allows for even browning.

Roast your bird, breast up, in a preheated oven at 450 degrees (convention setting if possible), until it browns (45 minutes to an hour). Then cover the breast and legs with aluminum foil, and turn the oven temperature down to 375 and cook it until it reaches 160 degrees (internal temperature at the thigh). Turkeys cook at a rate of approximately 18 minutes per pound, so a 10 pound turkey takes approximately three hours to cook. Cooking time begins at the time the bird is placed in the oven, not when the temperature is turned down.

Let the turkey rest for 20 minutes to half an hour before carving, so that the juices can redistribute.

From, How to Carve a Turkey


Rubbermaid For the Kitchen
Organize, Store, Serve
Our focus is on Rubbermaid and the kitchen. At Thanksgiving food storage is at the forefront. Cooking ahead, serving and then packaging leftovers is certainly part of holiday cooking.

rubbermaidglassWe particularly like their line of glass containers with easy find lids. (Oh yes, we are always searching for the correct lids for our storage containers!) The Rubbermaid lids are bright red and do stand out in our cabinet. These Rubbermaid storage containers are made from clear, tempered glass, safe for microwave, oven, freezer, dishwasher and they double as servers! The Easy Find Lid organization system  makes storage compact. The lids snap to the bottom of the container and to each other to make finding the right lid quick and easy. The containers have a built–in gasket to create a leak proof seal to keep foods fresher, longer.

Watch the following Rubbermaid kitchen video and storage tips:
Kitchen Storage Organizing Tips
Pantry Organization Tips

Enjoy the following COUPONS from our friends at Rubbermaid:
Rubbermaid Glass with Easy Fit Lids container
Rubbermaid Easy Find Lids or Produce Save containers

Allens Inc. Quality Canned Vegetables

popeyespinachCanned vegetables are convenient! Although, of course we usually prefer fresh vegetables, cans have a long shelf life and are pantry friendly over the long term.  Those cans are always there, sitting “at the ready” in our pantry. We applaud Allens for supplying a wide and excellent variety of canned vegetables for the kosher consumer –  many are parve, Star-k certified. The convenience and value can’t be beat. And in some recipes, such as those nostalgic ones such as-green bean casserole, corn casserole, sweet potato pie and “veggie” chopped liver – we admit, we actually prefer our Allens canned veggies to fresh ones. By the way, all of Allens canned goods are gluten–free.  For recipes using Allens canned vegetables, please go to Kosher Turkey Talk Recipes. Allens is sharing:

Thanksgiving Cooking Tips:

•  Looking to kick things up a notch? Add a can of Allens Hoppin John to your favorite dish this holiday season.

•  Substitute your whole sweet potatoes for a can of Allens Princella Sweet Potatoes. They are both nutritious and delicious, and will save you a bundle of time in the kitchen!

•  Add a can or bag of Allens products to your meal. Our brands are Star-K certified, which means our products have been designed to fit the needs of the kosher consumer. Go to for a complete listing

•  Save time and energy when making a big meal by measuring everything out before you start cooking. This is a great time-saver!

•  Make Allens your choice for gluten-free foods this holiday season. Add one of our canned products to your recipe this Thanksgiving.

•  Tired of the same old roasted turkey? Change things up by using Allens Veg-All canned vegetables as a broth to cook your turkey in. Works great as a topping as well!

•  Carefully plan and write out a cooking schedule and timetable. Indicate what can be made ahead of time, what be frozen, and what has to be made last minute.

•  Serve up a delicious appetizer by combining your favorite Allens Beans with Tortilla Chips, or use it as a topping for your favorite dish.

Wholly Wholesome Pies, Pie Shells, Pie Crusts
The Wholly Wholesome products are "Wholicious"! The pie shells are parve, OU certified kosher and our pie shell of choice for Thanksgiving. They are organic, delicious, wholesome, convenient and dairy free. We always keep several in the freezer and just fill and bake – couldn't be easier. Doon Wintz, president and founder of Wholly Wholesome has shared his recipe for apple pie.

Doon's Easy Apple Pie
Core peel and slice fresh apples; toss with sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg. Place in a Wholly Wholesome pie shell with a few pats of butter or margarine. Invert another shell on top. Crimp edges, slit and bake at 375 for about 50 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. For a shiny finish, brush on a mixture of beaten egg and milk or one part boiling water and 3 parts sugar prior to baking.

7-Ways to Use Wholly Wholesome Pie Crusts This Thanksgiving:
•  Crumble up a 9” Wholly Wholesome Graham Cracker Pie Crust and use as a topping or sprinkle for your favorite dessert. Tastes great with Strawberry Short Cake.

•  Use a pastry cutter and cut a 9” Wholly Wholesome Pie Shell into long, thin strips. Lightly butter them and sprinkle them with cinnamon and sugar. Then simply twist them and bake them at 375ºF until golden brown.

•  Roll your leftover shells into an oblong about 1/4 inch thick. Sprinkle with grated cheese, pressing it into the dough. Fold into thirds and press it down firmly. Roll into an oblong again and, if desired, sprinkle with your favorite seasoning. With a knife or pastry wheel, cut strips measuring 5" X 1". Twist the strips gently two or three times and place on a cookie sheet, pressing the ends down firmly to secure them. Bake in a preheated hot, 425°F, oven about 10 minutes, or until browned.

•  Cut up a 9” Wholly Wholesome Pie Shell and roll into balls. Sprinkle nuts, chocolate chips or another favorite filling as you are rolling. Then sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar or a chocolate drizzle. Bake at 375º until golden brown.

•  Line a muffin pan with a 9” Wholly Wholesome Pie Shell and insert apples and cinnamon. Gently fold the tops over and bake at 375º until golden brown. Instant Apple Tarts!

•  Cut a Wholly Wholesome Pie Shell in 1/4” thin strips, plait them together and brush them with melted butter. Bake, and then dip one end into chocolate and refrigerate. You can also sprinkle them with powdered sugar for a little extra sweetness!

•  Crumble up a 9” Wholly Wholesome Chocolate Pie Crust and mix into your favorite holiday pudding to create a “mud” pudding. Simple and delicious!

For recipes using Wholly Wholesome Pie Crusts, please go to Kosher Turkey Talk Recipes.

Reynolds ProductsFor Fuss-Free (Almost) Cooking and Clean-up


The turkey roasting pan − Major, major big-time clean-up! But it doesn't have to be if you use Reynolds Wrap® Aluminum Foil (to line the pan) or Reynolds Oven Bags.

Introduced in 1947, as "the pure aluminum foil for 1,001 kitchen miracles", we consider it an indispensible kitchen tool. It is moisture-proof, odor-proof, withstands high heat and can be used to line pans. But best of all, after that turkey comes out of the oven and you have removed the pan dripping—just wad it up and throw it away!

Our friends at Reynolds are experts in the kitchen. The following links to the Reynolds Kitchen – Reynolds Turkey Tips Central, will provide tips and guidelines to assist you in Thanksgiving preparations.
•  Defrosting a Turkey
•  Testing for Doneness
•  Handling Turkey Safely and Handling Leftovers
•  Storage Times for Leftovers
•  Safely Ladling Juices from the Roasting Pan
•  How to Line a Pan with Foil Video

Enjoy the following COUPONS from our friends at Reynolds Products.

We have a fabulous collection of Thanksgiving recipes from Chefs Avram Wiseman and Laura Frankel, Reynolds Products, Allens Inc. – you are in for a treat! To make it easier for you, we have also included several recipes from our website. We present everything you need in one place-- and yes, you can ask questions too! How can we help you prepare your most delicious Thanksgiving feast ever? Let us know.

Wine Suggestions From Hagafen Wine Cellars*, Napa, CA: 
To complement your dinner, Aine Kelly, Assistant Coordinator of Hospitality, Hafen Wine Cellars, recommends the following four "Turkey Talk wines".

•  Library Release of 2004 Hagafen Estate Pinot Noir – One word, Scrumptuous!  Cherry, berry, hint of smokiness, at its peak! $60.00 (limited quan.)

•  Prix Reserve 2009 Sauv Blanc, Moskowhite Ranch, Blk #53 –  Brand New, soon-to be-released. Amazing structure and complexity, oaked with a buttercream finish. $27.00

•  Don Ernesto 2010 Collage Table White Wine – Round fruit, deliciously versatile, Rhone style blend. Can't beat the price point. $15.00

•  Hagafen Cellars Lake County White Riesling, Devoto Vinyards – Always a hit. Floral honeysuckle aromas, with apricot/apple/citrus and 2.5% residual sugars 100% Certified Organic. $18.00

Fun Turkey Trivia!
How did the turkey get it's name? How do you tell the HENS from the TOMs? Did you know - a baby turkey is called a "poult"?  Read more of these "fun turkey facts" and take the quizz!

*Paid Sponsor

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