As Thanksgiving approaches, Minneapolis-based Cargill’s U.S.-focused “Future of Turkey” study indicates a return to traditional Thanksgiving celebrations, with more than eight in 10 consumers who responded saying they plan to purchase a whole turkey this year.
This marks a turnaround from previous years, when consumers often purchased individual turkey parts such as turkey breasts as they exercised caution during the pandemic with smaller gatherings and celebrations.
“Americans hold onto the belief that a whole turkey should be the centerpiece of a Thanksgiving meal with family and friends,” said Hans Kabat, president of Cargill’s North American protein business.
“I am so grateful for our employees and the hundreds of independent farmers we partner with, who are all working hard to put our turkeys on one out of every three Thanksgiving dinner tables this year.”
With a return to whole turkey purchases, the Cargill study additionally indicated that nearly half of Americans who aren’t planning to buy a whole turkey are worried about having “too many leftovers.”
To help home chefs to maximize the value of their whole turkey purchase this year, Cargill Corporate Chef Janet Bourbon shares four ways consumers can enjoy and make the most of their whole turkeys this Thanksgiving.
- Maximize turkey meat: Carve the turkey and store the meat in sealed containers to keep it fresher for longer. Consumers should remember to consume leftovers within three to four days to ensure food safety and quality or freeze them to be eaten later.
- Use all the giblets: The giblets, including the heart, liver, gizzard and sometimes the neck, are flavorful areas that are often neglected and thrown away.
- Savor the gravy: Create a giblet gravy by simmering the turkey neck, wing tips, half an onion, carrot and celery in water. Strain and reserve the liquid for your gravy. Sauté the chopped gizzard, liver, and heart in butter until browned and add them to your gravy.
- Treat your pets: Cooked giblets can also serve as a fun treat for animals, especially dogs.
Read more meat news from The Shelby Report.