Fried Turkey-Louisiana Fat Facts plus Leftover Turkey Recipe

Here in Louisiana, we love our fried turkey and we always order one for the holidays (we don’t fry it ourselves).  And, I use leftovers for gumbo and to make my fabulous salad from Too Hot in the Kitchen.  I have always wondered if fried turkey was not as good for you so I was thrilled to discover these facts.  I found this information in our newspaper, The Advocate, our newspaper and wanted to share some of this information with you. And, give you one of my favorite recipes to use that leftover turkey to make another light but yet, festive and delicious meal.

Fried turkey is not as unhealthful as it sounds –if you don’t eat the skin–but experts recommend not eating the skin no matter how a turkey is prepared.  “Frying a turkey in oil does not necessarily increase the amount of fat in the turkey,” Beth Reames, a nutritionist with LSU Ag Center says. “Frying correctly helps to prevent a greasy turkey.  The high heat of the oil sears the skin quickly, preventing the oil from being absorbed and keeping the juices inside.”

Because skin is a major source of fat in the turkey, nutrition and health experts recommend removing poultry skin before eating. “Even cooking your turkey in a turkey fryer or roaster that doesn’t use oil won’t conserve calories and fat if you eat the skin,” Reames said.  Remember, turkey is a great source of protein and is low in fat!  It is an inexpensive source of iron, zinc, phosphorus, potassium and B vitamins, Reames said.  Here’s my recipe for Turkey Apricot Salad from Too Hot in the Kitchen, my hot new cookbook!

Turkey Apricot Rice Salad
Holiday time, you can count on having extra wild rice and turkey, so turn leftovers into tomorrow’s dinner by spiking the rice with vivid colors and flavors and toasty crunchy almonds for an undemanding and unforgettable salad.  Rotisserie or grilled chicken works well also.

Makes 8 cups

2 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons roasted garlic seasoned rice vinegar
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
4 cups cooked wild or brown rice
2 cups chopped boneless skinless cooked chicken breasts or rotisserie chicken
1 cup dried apricots strips (about 6 ounce package)
1/2 cup dried cranberries or mixed berries
1 cup chopped green onions
1/3 cup sliced almonds, toasted

1. In small bowl, whisk together rice vinegar, lime juice, oil, honey and ginger;  set aside.
2. In large bowl, combine remaining ingredients except almonds.  Combine with dressing and refrigerate.  When serving, toss with almonds.

Nutritional information per serving:
Calories 277
Calories from fat 23%
Fat 7g
Saturated Fat 1g
Cholesterol 30mg
Sodium 111mg
Carbohydrate 39g
Dietary Fiber 4g
Sugars 19g
Protein 16g
Dietary Exchanges: 1 1/2 starch, 1 fruit, 2 lean meat

Spicy Advice:  Use kitchen scissors to cut dried fruit into strips or even cut your meat or chicken.

Check out Holly’s easy healthy holiday recipes!

 

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