Farm Fresh Menus for Smaller and Socially Distant Thanksgiving Celebrations
NORWALK, CONN., October 26, 2020 – This year, Thanksgiving across America might look a little different: instead of dozens of family members gathering around the table at grandma’s for a big turkey dinner, smaller and socially distant groups might be enjoying a turkey breast.
Stew Leonard’s surveyed our Facebook fans in September to find out how Covid-19 would impact their Thanksgiving plans. When 9 out of 10 customers responded that their holiday gathering would be with fewer people this year compared to last, Stew’s chefs, bakers, and butchers scaled down the farm fresh food store’s offerings to reflect smaller menus and safer celebrations. But, no matter what your celebration looks like this year, Stew Leonard’s chefs have solutions for fresh, easy, and heartwarming meal.
“While holiday get-togethers will be smaller this year, nobody is going to skip Thanksgiving,” noted Stew Leonard, Jr. “We’re encouraging our shoppers to pick up their Thanksgiving turkeys as early as November 18 so that they can beat the crowds, plus we have delivery via Instacart and curbside pickup for shoppers who are not comfortable shopping in a store right now.”
Stew Leonard’s butchers ordered 20% fewer larger turkeys – those weighing over 16lbs – and ordered 20% more turkey breasts, which will traditionally feed 4-6 people. Items like Stew’s cookie, shrimp, and sushi platters have also been scaled down in both price and quantity, and the catering team is expecting orders for their sliced turkey breast to increase.
OUR CHEFS MAKE IT EASY
While Stew’s Chefs will again offer their popular “Dinner for 8” Thanksgiving meals, they will also roll out four new “Dinner for 4” meals this holiday:
Roasted Turkey Breast Dinner for 4 ($99.99)
Our chefs take our turkey breast and roast it with rosemary sage salt to create a fragrant, juicy meal. It is served with your choice of two sides plus gravy, cranberry sauce, stuffing, snowball rolls, and half of a pie.
Spiral Cut Smoked Ham Dinner for 4 ($69.99)
A 4lb. spiral cut ham that’s been roasted perfection and smothered in our chefs’ homemade pineapple glaze! The meal also includes your choice of two sides, extra pineapple glaze, snowball rolls and half of a pie.
Grilled Atlantic Naked Salmon Dinner for 4 ($89.99)
Our chefs grill 7-8 oz. portions of our antibiotic and hormone free Naked salmon and serve it with a lemon butter sauce as well as your choice of two sides, snowball rolls, and half of a pie.
Surf and Turf Dinner for 4 ($119.99)
Our chefs have put together a meal of succulent baked lobster tails, served with clarified butter, and four tender grilled filet mignon, served with bordelaise sauce and creamy horseradish sauce, that includes your choice of two sides, snowball rolls, and half of a pie.
Traditional sides – including mashed potatoes, stuffing, and mac and cheese – will be available as always, however, Stew’s chefs have also cooked up four new side dishes for the holiday:
Roasted Tri-Colored Organic Carrots with Olive oil and Fresh Rosemary: Stew’s own chefs take whole baby purple, white and orange organic carrots – with their fresh stems still attached – and then roast them until crisp before tossing them with olive oil and fresh rosemary.
Organic Pee Wee Potatoes roasted in Garlic Oil: Roasted with a touch of garlic oil, these organic pee wee potatoes are a fragrant and healthy holiday side dish.
Organic Butternut Squash roasted with fresh Sage: A harvest-season staple! Organic butternut squash is roasted with fresh sage for a nutritious and versatile side.
Roasted Yam Wedges with Orange Juice and Honey: Yam wedges are browned to perfection with orange juice and honey, with just a touch of spicy red pepper flakes.
For complete Thanksgiving menus, visit stewscatering.com to place an order up to one week in advance of Thanksgiving.
IF YOU ONLY COOK A TURKEY ONCE A YEAR…
Every year, our customers ask Stew’s chefs the same five questions about the best way to choose, prepare, and cook their holiday turkey. Afterall, most home cooks will only roast turkey once a year at Thanksgiving! Stew Leonard Jr. shares his top turkey tips that he’s picked up over the course of his lifetime in the grocery business:
Q. What size turkey should I buy and how far in advance can I buy it?
A. Stew Leonard’s offers a range of sizes to meet everyone’s needs! Our turkeys weigh in anywhere between 12lbs to 28lbs! Now that’s a big bird! But I think that having leftovers is just as important as the big meal itself, so I always make sure that we have a bird that allows for 2lbs. per person. If you’re not a fan of leftovers though, I think that 1.5 lbs per person is just fine. Our fresh turkeys can be purchased 10 days in advance, giving you more time to prepare for the big day!
Q. What’s the difference between the different turkeys you sell?
A. Our fresh turkeys are from the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia and have no artificial ingredients added to them. My family always gets our all-natural free-range Naked Turkey from the Lehigh Valley to put on the table; these turkeys are fed a 100% vegetarian diet and are NEVER given antibiotics or added hormones. We like cooking this bird because it has 50% more white meat and 55% less fat than regular turkeys! You can’t buy a better turkey! We also have kosher as well as Organic turkeys.
Q. How should I store my turkey prior to cooking?
A. Once you have your turkey home, it should be stored in the coldest part of your refrigerator, which is the bottom back corner. Keep it wrapped in the plastic until just ready to begin preparing. Our chefs also recommend putting the raw turkey on a plate or in a pan just to make sure no juices accidently drip inside the refrigerator.
Q. How do I prep my oven and turkey before cooking?
A. First, I always make sure the oven is fully preheated. I generally turn the oven on when I take the bird out of the refrigerator to begin preparing it. That way, a bit of the chill is gone from the turkey, giving it the opportunity to cook at a more even pace. You will want to cook the turkey for 15-20 minutes per pound at 350F. For a plump and juicy bird, layer our Stew Leonard’s aromatics in the bottom of your roasting pan and place the bird on top. Once the skin is brown, tent the turkey with a piece of parchment paper and then a piece of foil on top. The parchment will prevent the foil from sticking to the skin. You’ll want to cook the bird until a meat thermometer inserted into the thigh joint reaches 165F. Pop up timers will go off once the breast reaches 165F, but our chefs tell me to check the thigh to make sure the turkey is cooked through! Take the bird out of the oven to rest, still tented under the foil, for about 15-20 minutes before carving.
Q. Does your family stuff the turkey before roasting? I’ve heard it’s not safe but everyone seems to be doing it!
A. We like to use our chef’s Turkey Marinade inside of our bird- it gives the meat a wonderful flavor and the aroma is incredible! If your family really prefers to stuff your turkey, just be sure to place fully cooked stuffing in the turkey right before roasting, never the night before (this could grow bacteria), and make sure the stuffing is at least 165 degrees F before removing from the oven. Keep in mind that when you stuff the bird the cook time increases slightly, up to 5 extra minutes per pound of turkey.
STEW LEONARD’S ROASTED TURKEY BREAST WITH ROSEMARY SALT
If you’re not expecting a crowd for this year’s holiday, or if you’re feeding mostly white meat lovers, Stew’s chefs’ roasted turkey breast with rosemary salt is a moist, fragrant addition to your dinner table. This recipe will make about 1 ½ cups of rosemary salt, so don’t be afraid to store the leftover salt in the refrigerator. It’ll stay fresh for about a month and goes great on grilled meat, roasted vegetables, and more
• 1 cup kosher salt
• 1 whole lemon, zested
• 8 cloves garlic
• 12 full sprigs of rosemary
• 6 full sprigs of sage
• 3-4 lb. split turkey breast (with skin on)
• 2 oz. Stew Leonard’s Italian Olive Oil
• 2 oz. of Rosemary Salt
• Stew Leonard’s Turkey Aromatics
• Preheat oven to 325F
• Rough cut the garlic and the leaves of the rosemary and sage
• In a food processor, combine the salt, lemon zest, garlic, rosemary, and sage and pulse for 15 seconds. Scrape interior corners and pulse again for 5 seconds
• Rinse the turkey breast with cold water
• Pat dry the turkey breast before rubbing the interior and exterior with the olive oil and rosemary salt
• Place Stew Leonard’s Turkey Aromatics into the bottom of the roasting pan and place the turkey breast on top, bone down
• Roast in a roasting pan for about 40 minutes or until a meat thermometer reads 165f
• Allow the turkey breast to rest tented under foil for least 5-10 minutes before cutting and serving
FAR FROM HOME FOR THE HOLIDAY?
Let friends and family know you’re thinking of them by sending a 9-11-pound smoked turkey from StewLeonardsGifts.com. This delicately cured bird is plump, tender and moist, and is ready to eat cold or served warm.
TURKEY EMERGENCY? CALL STEW’S!
Stew Leonard’s is open on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 26, 2020. From a broken oven to a turkey that’s been nibbled on by Fido or Fluffy, our chefs are here to help with any turkey emergencies that day!
About Stew Leonard’s
Stew Leonard’s, a family-owned and operated fresh food store founded in 1969, has stores in Norwalk, Danbury, and Newington, Conn.; in East Meadow, Farmingdale and Yonkers, N.Y.; and in Paramus, N.J. Stew’s earned its nickname, the “Disneyland of Dairy Stores” because of its country-fair atmosphere, with costumed characters and animated entertainment throughout the store that keep children entertained while parents shop. Stew Leonard’s legion of loyal shoppers is largely due to the stores’ passionate approach to customer service: “Rule #1 — The Customer is Always Right”; Rule #2 – If the Customer is Ever Wrong, Re-Read Rule #1.” This principle is so essential to the foundation of the company that it is etched in a three-ton granite rock at each store’s entrance. The company’s culture is built around an acronym for S.T.E.W.: Satisfy the customer; Teamwork gets it done; Excellence makes it better; WOW makes it fun. For more information, visit Stew Leonard’s website at www.stewleonards.com.