Thanksgiving Turkey Recipes
Here are six delicious Thanksgiving turkey recipes. From a boneless stuffed breast to a buttermilk brined bird, there’s something to suit every taste.
Serving a turkey on Thanksgiving is a true American tradition, so here are a few tricks and tips to help you prepare for your perfect Thanksgiving meal.
Fresh or Frozen?
If you choose to buy a fresh turkey from a local farm, you will need to cook it within two days. Most farms take orders for fresh turkeys as early as October and have pickup dates within 1-2 days of the holiday.
Fresh turkeys from the supermarket are stored in industrial refrigerators just above 26°F. They won’t be as fresh as a bird off the farm, but you should still plan to cook it within a couple of days
When buying a frozen turkey, plan ahead. Thawing your bird will take one day for every 5 pounds, so if you have a 15-pound turkey, it will need at least 72 hours in the refrigerator to thaw properly.
Once thawed, your bird can sit another two days in your refrigerator before it needs to be cooked. We suggest placing a tray underneath your thawing turkey to catch any leaks.
How Big of a Bird?
For a large party estimate about 1-1/4 pounds per person but be aware that birds over 18 to 20 pounds can cook unevenly. For best results, consider cooking two small turkeys, or a 12 to 15-pound turkey and an additional turkey breast.
For fewer guests, aim for 1-1/2 pounds of turkey per person, as a smaller bird will have a higher bone to meat ratio.
Or, you can skip roasting a whole turkey altogether! With an intimate group, preparing and serving a turkey breast is a great way to include the signature dish without a mountain of leftover meat.
For more information check out our post on How To Cook The Perfect Turkey.
Choosing a Turkey Recipe
Now that you have decided fresh or frozen and how big your bird needs to be, there’s nothing that says you have to cook your turkey the same way every year!
This article was written by contributing author Jennifer Partridge. Jennifer is a freelance writer, artist, teacher, and experienced cook who has perfected a delicious gluten-free lifestyle. You’ll find her food articles and advice on gluten-free substitutions throughout the website.