Turkeys are big business, not only at Thanksgiving, but year round. Poultry growers are adept at fostering our continuing affection for the American turkey with promotions that are a blend of turkey-on-the-table and turkey-in-the-straw.

A prime example of this is the North Carolina Turkey Festival held each fall in Raeford, N.C. One of the main attractions is the State Turkey-Cooking Contest; five finalists were chosen from hundreds of entries, and a Gingered Turkey Salad recipe entered by Frances Andrews of Wilson, N.C., reigned supreme this year.

The turkey-cooking contest was serious business, but at the Turkey Olympics, less serious matters were afoot, as live birds ran and jumped obstacles along a race course. Owner-coaches had to adhere strictly to humanitarian rules: no poking, no prodding, no abuse of any kind. The only encouragement allowed was shooing.

While owners bellowed "Shoo! Shoo!" the turkey competitors either ran or did not. Some strutted and strolled. A few refused to budge. There were several heats, but with all the fuss and feathers and bellowing, it was difficult to determine the winning turkey.

Back on Raeford's Main Street, which was blocked off for the festival, celebrants ambled among crafts booths and sampled turkey products and other foods. Anyone so inclined could turkey trot to ear-splitting music from a variety of bands -- rock, bluegrass, marching. And as proof that turkeys are not bothered by competition, there also was a fish fry.

For the cooking contest, five separate kitchens were set up under tents on the grounds of the Hoke County Public Library; sponsors provided the turkeys and kitchens, contestants provided the ingredients and the culinary skill. While Andrews walked off with the $500 top prize, other honors, determined by a panel of nutritionists and food experts, went to recipes for Tasty Turkey Puffs, Turkey Quiche, Turkey Wings Sweet 'n' Sour and Turkey Lasagne Mornay. The Festival Winners GINGERED TURKEY SALAD

First Prize (6 servings)

6 ounces long grain and wild rice combined

3 cups smoked turkey breast, cubed

1 cup green peas, cooked

1/2 cup scallions, sliced

1/2 cup celery, sliced

1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped

1/3 cup red pepper, diced

1 tablespoon ginger root, grated

1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted

2/3 cup olive oil

3 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon dijon mustard

Endive or curly leaf lettuce

Cook rice according to package directions. In a large bowl, combine rice with the next 8 ingredients. In a small jar, place the remaining ingredients except lettuce, and shake to blend well. Add to turkey-rice mixture and toss to mix. Serve warm on endive or curly leaf lettuce. TASTY TURKEY PUFFS (6 servings)

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons flour

2 cups broth

3/4 cup milk

2 eggs, beaten

1 tablespoon grated parmesan cheese

3 ounces cream cheese

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

2 cups cooked turkey, cubed

1/2 cup butter, melted

12 sheets frozen phyllo dough, thawed

In a saucepan, melt butter and add flour gradually. Stir in broth and milk. Cook over medium heat, stirring, until thickened. Remove from heat and beat some of mixture into eggs, then return egg mixture to the pan. Add cheeses, pepper, nutmeg and turkey.

Brush insides of muffin cups with melted butter. Set aside. Stack 6 sheets of phyllo dough together, brushing each with butter, and cut into 6 pieces. Line muffin cups with phyllo, then fill with turkey filling. Fold corners of pastry over filling to cover. Brush with melted butter. Bake at 375 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden. Let stand in pan 5 minutes before removing. TURKEY QUICHE (6 servings)

3 cups stuffing

1 cup chopped turkey

1 cup shredded swiss cheese

4 eggs, beaten

5 1/3-ounce can evaporated milk or generous 1/2 cup half-and-half

1/8 teaspoon pepper

Press stuffing into 9-inch pan to form a crust. Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes.

Combine turkey and cheese and sprinkle into crust. Beat eggs, milk and pepper together. Pour mixture on top of turkey and cheese. Bake at 350 degrees 35 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. TURKEY WINGS SWEET 'N SOUR (6 servings)

6 turkey wings

4 cups water

1 rib celery

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

3 tablespoons cornstarch

1 1/2 cups turkey stock

1 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup vinegar

1/3 cup soy sauce

1/3 cup ketchup or chili sauce

2 tablespoons oil

1 cup carrots, sliced

1 cup green pepper, cut into strips

1 cup pineapple chunks, drained

Separate wings at joints and discard tips. Wash, drain and simmer in water to cover, along with celery, salt and pepper, in a covered pan, until tender. Combine in a small saucepan the cornstarch, stock, brown sugar, vinegar, soy sauce and ketchup; cook and stir until thick and clear; set aside. Heat oil in large skillet and stir-fry carrots for 1 minute. Add green pepper and pineapple and heat through. Add sauce and tender wing pieces and simmer for 5 minutes. Serve hot over rice. TURKEY LASAGNA MORNAY (6 to 8 servings)

1 pound lasagna noodles

1/4 cup ( 1/2 stick) butter

1/3 cup onions, chopped

1/4 cup flour

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon white pepper

2 cups chicken broth, warmed

1 cup milk, warmed

1/2 cup freshly grated romano cheese

1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

1/4 cup dry sherry

1 pound turkey breast meat, sliced thinly

12 ounces mozzarella cheese, sliced

1 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced (save a few whole ones for garnish)

2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese

16 ounces cranberry sauce

Cook lasagna in boiling, salted water according to package directions until tender. Rinse with cold water; drain. In saucepan, melt butter and saute' onions until tender. Add flour, salt and pepper; blend thoroughly. Slowly stir in broth and milk, stirring constantly, until thickened. Stir in grated romano and parmesan cheese and sherry; simmer 5 minutes. In a 9-by-13-inch baking pan, layer lasagna as follows: 1/3 noodles, 1/2 each of turkey slices, mushrooms, mozzarella, 1/3 of the sauce. Repeat layers. Top with remaining 1/3 noodles and sauce. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Bake in a 350-degree oven for 45 minutes. Garnish with cranberry sauce slices and fluted mushrooms (dip in lemon juice to preserve whiteness). Other Thanksgiving Recipes BAYOU RICE AND OYSTER STUFFING (Enough for 15- to 20-pound turkey)

1/2 cup butter

10 to 12 scallions, chopped (tops included)

1 cup celery, chopped

2 small green bell peppers, chopped

1 quart oysters, undrained

Cooked giblets, chopped finely

3 cups cooked rice

1/2 cup parsley, chopped

Salt to taste

Red and black pepper to taste

Melt butter in frying pan. Add scallions, celery and green pepper and saute' until soft, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add oysters and liquid, and giblets. Stir together briefly and pour all over rice. Add parsley, salt and pepper and mix thoroughly.

(If stuffing is too dry, moisten with a little turkey broth in which giblets were cooked.) Stuff turkey loosely. TURKEY PIE (6 to 8 servings)

Pastry for double-crust 9-inch pie

1 medium onion, chopped

3/4 cup mushrooms

1 clove garlic, crushed

1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 1/2 cups milk

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1/4 teaspoon dried whole thyme

2 cups cubed cooked turkey

10-ounce package frozen peas and carrots, thawed

Roll half of pastry to 1/8-inch thickness, and fit into a 9-inch pie pan. Saute' onion, mushrooms and garlic in butter about 5 minutes or until tender; blend in flour. Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Gradually add milk; cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thickened and bubbly. Stir in salt, pepper, thyme, turkey and vegetables; spoon into pastry shell.

Roll out remaining pastry to 1/8-inch thickness; carefully place over pie, leaving a 1-inch rim beyond edge of pan. Seal and flute edges; cut slits in top for steam to escape.

Bake at 375 degrees for 35 minutes or until golden brown. TURKEY ROCHAMBEAU (6 servings)

6 slices toast, crusts removed

6 slices cooked ham, thinly sliced

6 slices cooked turkey breast, thinly sliced

FOR THE SAUCE POULETTE:

2 tablespoons butter

1 tablespoon flour

2 cups turkey or chicken broth

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pepper

2 sprigs parsley

2 egg yolks

Juice of 1 lemon

1 teaspoon parsley, finely chopped

3/4 cup small mushrooms, sliced and saute'ed

To make the sauce, melt 1 tablespoon butter in a saucepan, add flour and cook 1 minute. Add broth, salt, pepper and parsley sprigs, stirring constantly. Bring mixture to a boil, lower heat and simmer about 30 minutes. Discard parsley sprigs, remove sauce from heat and blend in egg yolks. Add lemon juice, chopped parsley, the remaining tablespoon butter and the mushrooms. Serve over ham and turkey slices on toast. TURKEY HAM ROLL-UPS (4 servings)

5 cups chopped cabbage, cooked and drained

1 cup shredded swiss cheese

8 thin slices fully cooked turkey ham (about 1 pound)

1/4 cup chopped onion

3 tablespoons butter or margarine

3 tablespoons flour

1 1/2 cups milk

2 teaspoons horseradish mustard

1 tablespoon chopped parsley

1/4 cup bread crumbs

Combine cooked cabbage and 1/2 cup cheese; spoon about 3 tablespoonfuls onto each ham piece and roll up; place, seam side down, in a greased baking dish.

Saute' onions in 2 tablespoons butter; blend in flour. Add milk and mustard and gently bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Add remaining 1/2 cup cheese and parsley. Pour over turkey ham rolls. Melt remaining 1 tablespoon butter, combine with bread crumbs and sprinkle over cheese sauce. Bake uncovered at 375 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes. TURKEY SCALLOPINI (3 to 4 servings)

1/4 cup butter

1/2 pound thinly sliced mushrooms

1/4 cup flour

1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 pound turkey breast slices or breast cutlets

1/4 cup dry sherry

1 tablespoon water

Chopped parsley

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms and saute' until tender. Remove from pan.

Combine flour and pepper; coat turkey with flour mixture, shaking off excess. Melt remaining butter in skillet over medium-high heat and brown turkey on both sides, a few pieces at a time, allowing 1 to 2 minutes per side. Remove from pan. Slowly add dry sherry and water to skillet, stirring until liquid is slightly thickened and smooth. Return turkey and mushrooms to pan until just heated through. Arrange on a serving platter and garnish with chopped parsley. TURKEY WITH ORANGE (6 to 8 servings, depending on size of parts)

2 turkey thighs, or 2 turkey drumsticks (2 to 3 pounds; thighs may be boned before cooking)

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1 medium onion, sliced

1/2 cup orange juice concentrate

1/3 cup water

2 tablespoons brown sugar

2 tablespoons chopped parsley

2 teaspoons soy sauce

1/2 teaspoon ginger

Rinse turkey parts and pat dry. Place under broiler to brown. (If using only thigh, skin can easily be removed with no need to brown skin.) Remove to dutch oven or roasting pan and sprinkle with paprika. Arrange onion slices over turkey parts. Combine juice concentrate, brown sugar, parsley, soy sauce, ginger and water. Pour over turkey and onions.

Cover well and simmer in 400-degree oven until turkey is tender, approximately 60 minutes, basting once or twice. Accompany with rice or pasta. Portion or slice meat before serving. Coat with sauce and garnish with orange twists.