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[Kitchen 143] Winner winner, turkey dinner

Michelle Aventajado

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[Kitchen 143] Winner winner, turkey dinner
Poultry lovers here in the Philippines can rest assured that US Poultry is strictly monitored by the USDA and hormones and additives are prohibited

MANILA, Philippines – September marks the beginning of the holiday season. This means that holiday gatherings will soon begin and the country will be shining with tinsel and gold to celebrate Jesus’ birthday. If one entertains, this is the time when pocket gatherings are scheduled and reunions are booked well in advance. Entertaining can be made easy, especially when celebrating Thanksgiving for a small group.

Brunch, Food, Plate
WINNER. A winner winner, turkey dinner can be easy to put together with minimal preparation. Michelle Aventajado/Rappler

Poultry lovers here in the Philippines can rest assured that US Poultry is strictly monitored by the USDA and hormones and additives are prohibited. The poultry products we receive are certified safe before freezing and then shipping for export to our shores. We can enjoy the ease of preparing chicken, duck, turkey, and even eggs for our holiday dinners.

TURKEY BREAST. No need to wait for Thanksgiving for these delicious turkey dishes! Michelle Aventajado/Rappler

But, we don’t have to wait for November 23rd for the big bird! Because we have accessible frozen turkey breasts readily available in our supermarket freezers, we can have a turkey dinner any time of the week! 

SWEET. Prepping the sweet potatoes ahead of time means you can just peel and add your brown sugar, pecans, maple syrup, and cinnamon. Bake to meld and then top with marshmallows. Michelle Aventajado/Rappler

Planning the menu is easy, and if you do your food shopping to prepare for the week, you can have your candied yams, green beans, pan fried stuffing, and cranberry sauce on the table with your turkey breast in just a couple of hours. Because the turkey breast is already prepared, all you have to do is open the outer package and pop it in the oven. Before putting the turkey breast in your pan, simply cut three slits in the special oven bag and yes, you can put the breast in the oven while the breast is still frozen.

Bean, Food, Plant
GREEN BEANS. Sometimes the most delicious dishes are made simply. Dressing the French beans with just EVOO and garlic is the fastest way to prepare. If i have more time, I would make a fresh green bean salad with feta and dill. It’s a T-day staple on our table. Michelle Aventajado/Rappler

After about an hour of cooking, you can start working on your side dishes for your “Turkey and the Fixins’“ dinner. Best to get the sweet potatoes boiled first so you can make your candied yam casserole and if you enjoy Italian sausage stuffing like we do, you can start pan frying the ingredients to get them ready. 

FAMILY FAVORITE. This side dish is usually the first to go. My mom’s sausage stuffing has just been tweaked a bit for #TeamGellibean’s preferences but the base ingredient remains the same. Michelle Aventajado/Rappler

By the time the turkey is done in the oven and has reached an internal temperature of 165° all the side dishes can be done and ready to serve. Let the kids set the table and you can take the time to give thanks.

Here are some tips and tricks to pulling off this easy mid-week dinner:

  • Plan ahead. Make your shopping list and have all the ingredients on hand for ease and preparation.
  • Stock the hard-to-find items in the pantry. When I see cranberry sauce in the membership super stores, I usually buy 5-6 cans to keep them on hand.
  • Use dry goods for dishes like mashed potatoes. You can keep these in the pantry as well. Easy to order and have delivered to your door step ahead of time from Dane International
  • Make sure the oven is pre-heated before you put your frozen turkey breast in for cooking. This allows for better cooking. Have your oven calibrated and serviced routinely so that you know the hot spots and can adjust.
  • Mise en place. Having everything ready to cook makes for quick dishes AND an organized kitchen.
  • CLAYGO. Even our kids learn this in school. Cleaning as we cook ensures that after we are done with our meal, we are coming back to a relatively manageable kitchen.
  • Use kitchen hacks and ask for help. Sharing our Easy Italian Sausage hack in case you would like to use this for your own sausage stuffing.
ALWAYS A HIT. Coupled with fresh celery, fresh button mushrooms, dried cranberries, and pignoli nuts, this sausage-based rice stuffing is always a hit. Michelle Aventajado/Rappler

Dinner for a family of six isn’t always easy to throw together when balancing the responsibilities of work, taking care of the home, and foundation work. But with a little help in the kitchen from the kids and help in getting the food to the table it can be made easier. Even more so when we have products that can go from freezer to oven and then from oven to table with ease. –

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Michelle Aventajado

Michelle Aventajado is a Filipina American striving for an ever-elusive balance in everything she does. Advocating for individuals with IDD through Best Buddies Philippines, sharing her parenting journey with her daughter's extra chromosome through Momma 'N Manila, and churning out love of home and hearth through Kitchen 143 are just some of the things that fuel her passion and serve her God-given purpose.