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I love where I live. With Sonoma’s breathtaking beauty among her rolling hills, picturesque vineyards, and the close-knit community I am blessed to call home, it's easy to say I love what I do. As a real estate professional and food writer, Sonoma Dish endeavors to share with you my enthusiasm for living the wine country lifestyle.



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  • Writer's picture Therese Nugent

Order That Turkey, Stat!

If Thanksgiving won’t feel like a holiday to you without a turkey, you’d best get

on sourcing the bird asap. Last year, during the Pandemic, the traditional roast turkey

remained a staple of the Thanksgiving table, albeit smaller in size due to our smaller sized

COVID-induced gatherings.

And it appears “smaller” is on the menu again. A survey conducted last month by

Butterball, America’s most trusted turkey brand, found that approximately one-third of

consumers will again be hosting more intimate get-togethers. Combine this with

indications from turkey producers in key supply chain areas that there may be a shortage, the culinary centerpiece of your

Thanksgiving feast may be in jeopardy.

The nation’s food supply has been battered by a disrupted supply chain and,

coupled with the steep decline in demand for a larger bird, it’s being reported that

producers may not be able to supply enough of the smaller variety to meet this sustained

trend of more intimate holiday gatherings.

What’s a host to do? Dare I say frozen? Ok, hear me out. When it comes to

quality—and taste—you won’t notice much of a difference between fresh and frozen

turkeys. Truth be told, cost and preparation are the two significant differences. If you can

accommodate storing a frozen bird and allow for thawing time, I’d argue that it’s easier,

cheaper, and just as tasty to opt for the frozen route.

While we’re downsizing the dinner table, let’s downscale our culinary efforts, too.

For all the fanfare afforded the bird, the truth is more work does not produce a tastier

dish. Some of my more creative cooking pursuits including brining, frying, and roastingon-

end, have yielded some interesting results but I always come back to tradition and

simplicity, and a request from my family to stick to my simple, tried and true method.

Speaking of tradition, Butterball is celebrating its 40th anniversary of the Turkey

Talk Line where home economists have been standing by to answer your most pressing

cooking questions. You can reach them by phone at 1-800-Butterball or this year you can

text them 24/7 at (844) 877-3456. My advice? Keep it simple and you won’t need to

make that call. And that’s something we can be thankful for.

Happy Thanksgiving!


Simple Roast Turkey

Serves 8

1 10-12 pound whole turkey

salt and freshly ground black pepper

halved lemon

quartered onion

fresh thyme sprigs

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

1 cup chicken stock

1. Remove the giblets and neck from the turkey. Rinse the turkey with cold water and

pat dry. Liberally season the inside of the turkey with salt and pepper and stuff the

cavity with the onion, lemon and thyme. Truss the turkey and place it breast-side up

on a rack in a large roasting pan. Brush the melted butter on the turkey and season

with salt and pepper. Pour the chicken stock into the pan.

2. Roast the turkey in a preheated 450-degree oven for 30 minutes. Reduce the

temperature to 350 degrees and continue roasting until an instant-read thermometer

inserted into the thickest part of the thigh reaches 165 degrees, approximately 1 ½ to

2 hours more. When finished roasting, remove the turkey from the pan, cover with

aluminum foil and let rest for 30 minutes before carving.


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