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Press inquiries only please; customers should contact their local Stew Leonard’s Catering Department with any questions
TALKING TURKEY WITH STEW LEONARD’S!
Farm Fresh Menus for a Stress-Free & Affordable Thanksgiving Day Meal
To place a Thanksgiving order or to ask our chefs a question, customers should contact their local
Stew Leonard’s Catering Department!
NORWALK, CONN., November 2, 2023 – Family-owned and operated Stew Leonard’s sells more than 20,000 turkeys, 55,000 pies, and 10,000 pounds of mashed potatoes every Thanksgiving, making the farm fresh food store a go-to destination for the holiday. This year, there’s even more reason for Stew’s shoppers to be thankful as the traditional holiday meal is shaping up to be about the same or less expensive than last year, with many prices holding steady and a few holiday dinner table staples even dropping in cost.
“The good news is that there’s no turkey shortage this year, and my family and I are proud to offer our antibiotic and hormone free Naked Turkey at the same price as last year,” notes Leonard. “We work closely with our farmers and suppliers to get the very best prices for our customers, and family favorites like our cranberry sauce, organic broths, and fresh-baked apple pies will be at the same price as last year. You’ll pay even less for other staples this holiday – including eggs, butter, potatoes, and milk. But some crops were damaged due to extreme weather this past year, so you’ll be paying more for vegetables like asparagus and brussels sprouts.”
Thanksgiving can be one of the most reasonably priced holiday dinners to put on the table compared to other celebrations where fish or red meat are the centerpieces. In addition to shopping around to get the best price, Stew Leonard Jr, president, and CEO of Stew Leonard’s, recommends that customers shop early to make sure they get everything they need for their Thanksgiving celebration and to keep their budget in mind as they shop. Plus, using Stew Leonard’s app for special deals, purchasing in-season or local produce, and even buying Stew Leonard’s private label products – which can add up to a 30% savings over national retailers – are all wallet-friendly tricks that can be used all year long.
OUR CHEFS MAKE IT EASY – AND AFFORDABLE
Stew Leonard’s catering team will again offer their popular “Dinner for 8” Thanksgiving meal this holiday for $199, which works out to be about $25 per person and takes all the guesswork out of putting a delicious meal on the table. However, they’ve also streamlined the ordering process even more with a “Stew’s Choice Dinner for 8” with pre-set menu options featuring everyone’s favorite holiday classics. Stew’s Choice features a marinated medium turkey that’s been stuffed with aromatics before it is slow roasted until it is golden and delicious. Side dishes include Country Style stuffing, fresh Idaho Mashed Potatoes, and tender Green Beans. The dinner also comes with turkey gravy, cranberry-orange sauce, and rolls and pies fresh from Bethy’s Bakery.
For complete Thanksgiving menus, visit stewscatering.com to place an order up through Monday, November 20, 2023.
If You Only Cook a Turkey Once a Year…
Stew Leonard’s customers will gobble up more than 300,000 pounds of turkey this Thanksgiving, with about 20% of those birds prepared by Stew’s very own team of chefs. 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:
- What’s kind of turkey should I buy?
- 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!
- What size turkey should I buy and how far in advance can I buy it?
- Stew Leonard’s offers a range of sizes to meet everyone’s needs, and most turkeys weigh anywhere between 12lbs to 28lbs! 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. of turkey meat 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!
- How should I store my turkey prior to cooking?
- Once you have your fresh 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.
- How do I prep my oven and turkey before cooking?
- 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.
- Does your family stuff the turkey before roasting? I’ve heard it’s not safe, but everyone seems to be doing it!
- We like to use our chef’s turkey aromatics 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°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.
RECIPE: THE PERFECT TURKEY
The Leonard family’s recipe for a perfect Thanksgiving turkey cooks up a bird with complete with crispy skin and tender, well-seasoned meat. For step-by-step directions, check out Stew Jr’s video!
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cooking Time: 4-5 hours
Total Time: Approximately 4 hrs. and 45 minutes
- 1 (18-20 lb.) Stew's Turkey, giblets and neck removed
- 4 oz. Stew's Unsalted Butter, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon chopped Rosemary leaves, plus sprigs for stuffing
- Zest of one Orange
- Zest of one Lemon
- Stew's Kosher Salt, to taste
- Stew's Fine Ground Black Pepper, to taste
- 2 cups Stew's Low-Sodium Chicken Broth
- 2 Lemons, halved
- Take the turkey out of the refrigerator 30 minutes before roasting.
- Preheat oven to 450°F.
- Pat the turkey dry with paper towels for a crispier skin.
- In a small to medium bowl, add the butter, and chopped rosemary and thyme. Mix well to incorporate all of the ingredients.
- Stuff the turkey cavity with the halved lemons and the rosemary and thyme sprigs.
- Gently loosen the skin from the breasts and legs.
- Spread half of the herb butter under the skin. Be sure to spread over the breasts and legs.
- Rub the remaining herb butter over the outside of the turkey.
- Sprinkle generously with kosher salt and ground black pepper.
- Set turkey, breast-side up, on the roasting rack in a roasting pan.
- Add the chicken broth to the roasting pan.
- Place the turkey on bottom rack in the oven and lower oven temperature to 350°F.
- Roast for approximately 4-5 hours. (Plan on 13 minutes per pound but start checking the temperature about 4 hours into the cooking time.)
- Tent the turkey breast with aluminum foil if skin is getting too dark.
- Turkey is done when an instant read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh reaches 165°F.
- Let the turkey rest (without the aluminum foil) at least 30 minutes before carving.
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. An eighth store is scheduled to open in Clifton, N.J. in 2024. 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.
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