the perfect turkey thanksgiving

Guide to Thanksgiving

ButcherBox Guide to Thanksgiving Dinner

Worried about Thanksgiving Cooking? Not Sure How to Cook Your Turkey?

At ButcherBox, we want to do more than just deliver amazing turkey directly to your door. We also want to help make your Thanksgiving experience better. So, we’ve included some of our favorite recipes, tips, and other tidbits of advice to make your Thanksgiving (or Friendsgiving!) meals stress-free and delicious.

 

friendsgiving cheers

Planning for Turkey Day

Whether it is early November, the night before Thanksgiving, or, even the morning of the big day, there is plenty of planning and last-minute tips that can make cooking easier.

Check out our easy Thanksgiving planning guide and more advice below:

Most important of all: Don’t forget to give your turkey a few days to defrost before cooking!

Cooking Your Thanksgiving Turkey

There are many ways to prepare your turkey for your Thanksgiving dinner. Many of them take a bit of time and patience—but we all know the wait is worth it. Check out our breakdown of the five most common ways to cook your bird: 5 Ways to Prepare Your Thanksgiving Turkey.

Here are the most popular methods:

 

 

turkey roasting in oven

 

We have a few great turkey recipes developed by our culinary team at our ButcherBox Test Kitchen:

Simple Roast Turkey

3.72 from 21 votes
Print Pin
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • 1 large 18-20 pound ButcherBox Turkey (giblets and neck removed and patted dry)
  • kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 lemons zested (or 1 orange)
  • 12 garlic cloves
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 3 celery stalks, chopped
  • 5 sage leaves
  • 5 bay leaves
  • 8 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • 4-6 cup low-sodium chicken broth (or water)
  • 1/2 cup white or rose wine
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce

Instructions

  • 1 hour before you plan to cook, take the turkey out of the fridge, pat very dry all over and set on a rack inside a large roasting pan. If you don’t have a roasting pan, a sheet pan will do. Tuck tips of wings under the turkey. In a bowl, mix together 3 tablespoons salt, the black pepper and zest. Rub the mixture all over the bird into every nook and cranny, including the main and neck cavities. 
  • After 1 hour, set a rack in the oven on the second- lowest level. Preheat to 450ºF degrees. Cut the lemons or orange into quarters. Stuff the main cavity with the onion, garlic, celery, sage leaves, bay leaves and citrus wedges. Stuff any remaining vegetables into the leg and wing nooks. Drizzle 3 tablespoons of the butter all over the turkey and transfer to the oven. Pour 4 cups of the stock or water into the bottom of the roasting or sheet pan and roast, uncovered, for 45 minutes. 
  • Meanwhile, stir the soy sauce and wine into the melted butter. Keep warm, but don‘t simmer.
  • After 45 minutes, turn the heat down to 325ºF. Add more stock or water to the pan to maintain about ½ inch of liquid. Brush the turkey with butter glaze. Repeat this process every 30-45 minutes until the turkey registers 165ºF with an instant-read thermometer set in the thickest part of a thigh, about 2 ½ hours total. 
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ButcherBox’s Easy Video Guides to Thanksgiving

Not sure what brining a turkey even means? Let ButcherBox Chef Yankel walk you through the easy steps to get a flavorful and tender turkey this year. Remember: Brining takes time so start the night before Thanksgiving.

 

SPATCHCOCK AND SMOKE A TURKEY THIS THANKSGIVING

 

Friendsgiving For All

Even if you celebrate a week before or even after Thanksgiving Day, getting friends together to share a turkey and more is something we can all be thankful for any time of November. We’ve got you covered whether it is just you and a certain someone special or all of your neighbors.

Even better, if you want to make life a little bit better for you—and busy for any little ones that may be amped up for Thanksgiving desserts—we have the perfect guide to getting the entire family involved in Thanksgiving prep: How to Cook Thanksgiving with Kids.

 

Cooking and eating thanksgiving dinner with kids.

 

Speaking of family, ButcherBox visited with one of our partners, Jaindl Turkey Farms, and learned how their operation exemplifies family farming in America. The trip was full of reminiscences for ButcherBox Chief Procurement Officer Michael Billings who grew up on a family turkey farm himself: Turkey Farming, A Family Affair.

 

The Best Way to Support Your Turkey

While turkey is the star of the Thanksgiving spread, we cannot forget that no turkey is complete without its amazing supporting cast. In this case, it is the side dishes and, most importantly in our mind, the gravy that makes the meal.

Here are our favorite options, including sausage and roasted chestnut stuffing and some bacon enhanced green beans:

What’s a Thanksgiving turkey without a little turkey gravy? Okay, a lot of turkey gravy: The Ultimate Guide to Turkey Gravy.

EASY HOMEMADE TURKEY GRAVY

Turkey gravy is easy you say? Make sure to check out our refresher from the ButcherBox Test Kitchen to perfect your homemade gravy this year.

A Use for All Your Leftovers

We know that sometimes, cooking too much food can be one of the best things to happen all Thanksgiving weekend. And so, we’ve got you covered with plenty of Thanksgiving leftover recipes: 11 Ways to Use Thanksgiving Leftovers.

 

leftover turkey pot pie

Some of our favorite leftover recipes include:

Lastly, ButcherBox hopes you enjoy Thanksgiving with all the special people in your world!