How to find and prepare a gluten-free turkey
Having a gluten-free thanksgiving also means finding a gluten-free turkey. Not sure how to find and prepare a gluten-free turkey? Read on for our tips to buying and cooking the best gluten-free turkey this Thanksgiving!
Turkey or other poultry, at first glance, doesn't seem like a gluten-filled food. It's not, technically. However, many turkey sellers inject their turkeys with brine and other marinades during the production process containing -- you guessed it -- gluten.
Find a gluten-free turkey
Always check turkey labels for their ingredients, even if you think they're gluten-free. Not sure? Your best bet is to call the company and ask one of their customer service reps -- because the staff at your grocer might not know. Also, avoid purchasing turkeys that come pre-packaged with gravy or stuffing.
Gluten-free turkey brands
A few manufacturers offer kosher and gluten-free turkeys year-round.
- Honeysuckle White -- Honeysuckle offers several varieties of their gluten-free fresh and frozen turkeys, including All Natural Whole Turkey, Extra Tender and Juice Young Turkey, Fresh Bone-In Turkey Breast, Frozen Whole Turkey, and Frozen Bone-In Turkey Breast.
- Jennie-O -- Jennie-O's gluten-free fresh and frozen turkeys come in several varieties, including Jennie-O Prime Young Turkey, Jennie-O Turkey Store Oven Ready Turkey Breast and Jennie-O Frozen Turkey Breast. It's also important to note that the included gravy packets contain gluten.
- Perdue Brand -- The company says that all of their turkey and chicken products are gluten-free.
It's important to note that Butterball brand turkeys do not claim to be gluten-free.
Preparing a gluten-free turkey
The process of cooking a gluten-free turkey isn't much more difficult than that of a regular turkey -- mostly you just have to pay attention to the cleanliness of your kitchen counters.
First, wash and sanitize your counters to get rid of any flour or cross-contamination. Also, rewash any utensils that may come in contact with gluten, including turkey basters and pans.
Next, unwrap the turkey and remove any gravy, stuffing packets, giblets and anything else inside the turkey's cavities. Wash your turkey inside and out, as normal.
Unthaw and brine your turkey overnight using salt water and sugar. Spice your turkey as desired; just make sure the spices don't contain flour. Finally, replace any recipe calls for regular flour with rice flour -- rice flour doesn't contain gluten.
Serve your gluten-free turkey separate from other gluten-filled foods for your gluten-free guests. The gluten from other foods can accidently rub off on the gluten-free turkey.