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.
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:
- Create Your Thanksgiving Menu
- Shopping List for Thanksgiving
- Planning the Perfect Thanksgiving Dinner
- A Timeline for Planning and Cooking for Thanksgiving
- 8 Kitchen Essentials Needed for Thanksgiving Prep
- Everything You Need To Know For Thanksgiving Eve
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:
- Oven-roasting your turkey
- Cooking your turkey in a slow cooker
- Deep-frying a turkey (Be careful though!)
- Smoking your Thanksgiving turkey
- Cooking your turkey on the grill
We have a few great turkey recipes developed by our culinary team at our ButcherBox Test Kitchen:
- The ButcherBox Thanksgiving Turkey with Apple Cider Brine recipe (See video below)
- The ButcherBox Sage Roasted Turkey with Gravy and Orange Cranberry Relish
- The ButcherBox Guide to Spatchcocking and Smoking a Turkey
- 1 ea ButcherBox Turkey
- 1 lb butter room temperature
- ½ c fresh sage finely chopped
- ¼ c garlic minced
- 3 Tbsp kosher salt
- 1 Tbsp ground black pepper
- 1 c chicken stock
- 2 med onions quartered
- 3 stalks celery cut into thirds
- 3 ea carrot cut into thirds
- butcher's twine
- 1 ea turkey neck giblets optional
- 4 c cold water
- 2 ea carrots cut into thirds
- 2 stalks celery cut into thirds
- 1 ea onion quartered
- 5 sprigs parsley
- 1 Tbsp peppercorns
- ¼ c white wine
- pan drippings strained to remove fat
- 3 Tbsp cornstarch
Orange and Cranberry Relish
- 1 ea orange cut into quarters, keep skin on
- 2 c fresh cranberries
- 3 Tbsp pure cane sugar
- Remove giblets and neck from turkey. Dry turkey inside and out. Meanwhile, prepare sage butter.
- Preheat oven to 400℉.
- In a mixing bowl combine soft butter, sage, garlic, salt and pepper. Your hands are the best tool for mixing seasoning with butter.
- Reserve ½ cup of sage butter and set aside.
- Push up those sleeves, this is the dirty part. With your hands separate the skin from the turkey breast and legs. Again, with your hands smear sage butter under the skin, in the cavity, and outside of the turkey. Tightly tie turkey legs together with butcher's twine.
- Place carrots, celery, onions and chicken stock (or water) in roasting pan. Then insert roasting rack.
- Place turkey breast-side-up on roasting rack, tuck wings under the turkey, and place in oven for 20 minutes.
- Melt reserved sage butter in small sauce pot. After 20 minutes baste turkey with all of the melted butter. Place back in oven for 10 minutes.
- After 10 minutes baste turkey again with pan drippings. Turn oven down to 300℉
- Continue cooking until thickest part of the breast and innermost part of thigh reaches 165°F. Figure 13-15 minutes for every pound.
- Once finished cooking, remove from oven, tent foil over turkey, and let it rest for 30 minutes before carving.
- Place turkey neck and giblets (if you choose), carrots, celery, onion, parsley, peppercorns and water in small sauce pot. Let simmer for 2 hours.
- Strain turkey stock. Discard turkey neck and the mirepoix (carrots, celery, onion, etc.). You should be left with 2 cups of stock.
- Once the turkey has been removed from the roasting pan, pour any liquid into a liquid measuring cup and let the fat rise to the top. Carefully pour out fat and reserve the pan drippings.
- Place roasting pan on two burns on medium-low heat. While pan is heating up scrap large bits off the bottom of pan. After about 2 minutes deglaze with white wine and reserved pan drippings. Reduce by half.
- Make a slurry with ¼ cup of warm turkey stock and cornstarch. Chef Tip: Gradually add turkey stock to cornstarch so you won't get lumps. If your slurry is lumpy your finished gravy will also be lumpy.
- Continuously whisk pan drippings while pouring slurry into pan. While this heats it will start to thicken. Once it begins to thicken gradually pour in the rest of the turkey stock. Continue to whisk, while the gravy comes to a soft boil. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper before serving.
Orange Cranberry Relish
- Place all ingredients in a food processor and purée until smooth. This can be done a day in advance.
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.
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.
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.
- 7 Thanksgiving Side Dishes You Need Beside Your Turkey
- Easy Mashed Potatoes
- Instant Pot Root Vegetables
- Roasted Brussels Sprouts
- Oven-Roasted Carrots
What’s a Thanksgiving turkey without a little turkey gravy? Okay, a lot of turkey gravy: The Ultimate Guide to 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.
Some of our favorite leftover recipes include:
- Leftover Turkey Hash
- Leftover Turkey Chili
- One Pan Leftover Turkey and Rice
- Leftover Turkey Stir-Fry
- Leftover Turkey Curry Soup
- Leftover Turkey Pot Pie Soup
- Leftover Stuffing Stuffed Squash
Lastly, ButcherBox hopes you enjoy Thanksgiving with all the special people in your world!
Table of Contents
Planning for Thanksgiving
- Perfect Plan for Thanksgiving
- Thanksgiving Kitchen Essentials
- Tips For Thanksgiving Eve
- Thanksgiving Menu
- Thanksgiving Timeline
- Thanksgiving Shopping List
Cooking Your Turkey
- Ways to Cook Thanksgiving Turkey
- ButcherBox Thanksgiving Turkey with Apple Cider Brine
- ButcherBox Sage Roasted Turkey with Gravy and Orange Cranberry Relish
- ButcherBox Step-by-Step Guide to Spatchcocking and Smoking a Turkey
Other Tips for Thanksgiving Cooking
- Prep Thanksgiving for a Small Crowd
- 7 Tips for Friendsgiving
- How to Cook Thanksgiving with Kids
- 7 Thanksgiving Side Dishes You Need Beside Your Turkey