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Thanksgiving Dinner-Arizona Style

November 19, 2010

The Thanksgiving dinner is a great time for friends and family to gather to celebrate the year while feasting on a Thanksgiving meal, lovingly prepared. Chances are, by now, you’ve already begun pulling together the menu and started shopping for the ingredients. You know that your Arizona farmers and farmers’ markets have almost everything you need to feed the family and all the guests who will be arriving.

Whether you’ll be serving the traditional turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce or shaking things up with Arizona beef and different fixings, check with the local farmers for their offerings for your holiday table. When you sit down to your dinner, you will be carrying on a tradition that started with the Pilgrims and Native Americans in 1621. Did you know, though that Thanksgiving wasn’t recognized as an official American holiday until 1941?

One Thanksgiving holiday favorite is beef and there is nothing like Arizona Legacy Beef; they are the growers of Criollo Beef – this beef is aged for 18-21 days, is naturally lean and is antibiotic and hormone free. Can you imagine a juicy cut of prime rib as an addition to your succulent turkey?

For an appetizer, why not try 5 Minute Stuffed Medjool Date Appetizers made with fresh Arizona dates?  Green salads are always a hit at Thanksgiving; why not try our Grilled Romaine with Creamy Balsamic Vinaigrette on your table?  Did you know that Yuma, Arizona, is the winter lettuce capital of the world? Arizona  ranks second in the U.S. in head lettuce, leaf lettuce, romaine lettuce, cauliflower and broccoli production, ingredients that are mainstays on our nation’s Thanksgiving table.  Look for Arizona farmers like McClendon Farms at an Arizona farmers market for these and all the fresh produce you need for your Thanksgiving dinner.

If you’re baking pies, look for Arizona’s own Hickman’s Eggs for the eggs to add to your recipes. As a matter of fact you can check out this delicious pumpkin pie recipe from Grandma Gertie – it’s sure to be a crowd pleasing dessert. You can also make homemade whipped cream to top off your pies or pour a tall, cool class of milk from Superstition Farms or Shamrock Farms to enjoy with your desserts.

Have some lime trees in your back yard? Why not make some limeade or use lime juice — squeezed from them after you’ve picked them fresh from the tree – to drizzle over your roasted or grilled veggies to add a unique flavor?

And if you’re thinking of wine, Arizona has award winning wines.  So for a local winery on our http://www.FillYourPlate.org website.

Because November in Arizona is still warm, you might not want to heat up your kitchen with the turkey so we’ve provided you a recipe for a grilled turkey from our Fill Your Plate site.

Citrus Marinated Grilled Turkey

  • 4 Oranges or Tangerines
  • 1 Lemon
  • 1 Garlic Head, Halved
  • 4 Sprigs Rosemary
  • 4 Sprigs Thyme
  • 1 Tbsp Whole Black Peppercorns
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1-12 lb Turkey
  • Kosher Salt
  • Ground Black Pepper

Directions

Put all the marinade ingredients into a bowl and pour over a generous amount of olive oil. Squeeze everything together with your hands to blend flavors. Have the butcher cut the turkey into 4 pieces and remove the bones from the breast. Save the neck and backbone for the gravy. To marinate, put the turkey on a large platter and pour on the marinade. Turn the turkey over in the marinade to make sure it is well coated on both sides. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight. Remove the turkey from the refrigerator about 1/2 hour before you are ready to grill it. Heat the grill to medium and wipe the grate with some oil. Wipe the marinade from the turkey and season it well with salt and pepper. Put the turkey on the grill, skin side down, and cook for 30 minutes. Turn the bird over and continue grilling, basting with more olive oil until the juices run clear and the internal temperature of the thigh is 180 degrees, about 1 hour total. Set aside, cover with foil, and let it rest for about 10 minutes before carving.

Enjoy your Thanksgiving!

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