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“Stuff”-ing About Turkey

Thanksgiving Day is less than a week away. Are you prepared to buy your bird and do you now how to cook it?

The experts at Catanzaro Quality Meats, 550 Farmington Ave., say you should plan on buying 1 ½ pounds of turkey for each person coming to dinner.

“That includes a little bit of extra for leftovers,” said Lawrence Catanzaro “That is if it is bone-in.”

Catanzaro’s sells a variety such as boneless, breast, frozen and fresh whole turkeys. The last day to get them at the meat store will be Wednesday, Nov. 27, but it is wise to call in advance.

“Mainly fresh turkeys will be available that day,” said Catanzaro. “Frozen ones need to be purchased ahead of time.”

Once you purchase your holiday bird, he recommends you defrost it at a rate of 5 hours per pound.

“Many people should start defrosting in the refrigerator on Friday,” he said. “A 20 lbs turkey takes four days to defrost.”

Catanzaro Meats sells thousands of turkeys to store owners and individuals. The fresh ones come in a chill pack at 32 degrees so they stay cold and almost defrosted. They stay fresh for a week and one-half.

The average person buys about a 16-18 pound bird, but Catanzaro has turkeys up to 32 lbs. which serve close to 20 people.

One of the secrets to success of get a great tasting turkey, said Catanzaro, is in the brining process. He recommends mixing 2 cups of kosher salt and 2 gallons of water. Put that in with the turkey in a huge pot and then add 3 ½ quarts of cold water. Remove the giblets. Then immerse the pot in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours. No longer than 24 hours.

Catanzaro said, to then cook it for 20 minutes per pound at 325 degrees Fahrenheit.

“Thanksgiving is all about the turkeys, but for the Christmas holiday it is very different,” said Catanzaro. “People want ham, kielbasa, prime rib roast, leg of lamb, shrimp and some see strange things off Food Network and want bison steak or frogs legs. I get all kinds of weird stuff for people.”

To order your turkey or other meat at Catanzaro’s, call 860-229-6089.