What To Do With Thanksgiving Turkey and Leftovers: Tips and Tricks

Chef Uyehara says to share Thanksgiving with people who may not have families to share it with. (c) 2017 Prena Dadlani

NCC News reporter Prena Dadlani speaks with culinary specialist Chris Uyehara on ways to safely prepare a turkey.

By Prena Dadlani SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) — In the midst of Thanksgiving chaos, it is hard to remember everything. Catching up with family, watching football, and eating to the heart’s content can be difficult to multitask. However, Chef Chris Uyehara said that the most important thing is storing leftovers as soon as everyone is done eating.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), leaving turkey meat out for over two hours can pose health risks because of how quickly bacteria tend to grow.

As for the bones of the turkey, Uyehara likes to use them and make them into something else.

“I like to boil it down for maybe an hour and make a turkey rice soup,” said Uyehara. “We freeze it in containers and on a winter night it’s nice to just take out a container and heat it up and have dinner.”

And if cooking a turkey in the first place, Uyehara advised that the turkey is baked for the correct amount of time, depending on the size of the turkey.

As far as with baking time, 12-14 pounds will be three to three and quarter hours,” said Uyehara. “14-18 pounds will be three and three and a quarter to four and a half hours.”

He also said that if stuffing the turkey, add an extra hour when baking.