This collection has 25 Best Thanksgiving and Christmas Turkey Recipes around. From small dinners to big ones, there is something for everyone.
Holidays are around the corner, and this is the perfect time to start planning the menu if you are entertaining family ad friends.
My collection of turkey recipes is created with the thought of helping you decide on different scenarios, from smaller celebrations to bigger ones. I hope you find something here to try.
One of the questions people often have when they host Thanksgiving is how much turkey they need to make.
It is important to know in advance how much meat is necessary for each guest and how many leftovers you will end up with. This will obviously determine the size of the turkey you will end up buying.
How much turkey meat per person?
This is a rule that most chefs and home cooks agree with. If you want to have enough turkey meat for serving, leftover meals for the next day, and doggy bags, plan about 1-1 ½ pounds per person.
The golden rule is that it is better to have more food than not enough.
It seems that every year, turkeys get bigger and bigger, and I think that bigger doesn't always mean better. I would suggest you to buy two smaller turkeys instead of one if you have to feed a crowd.
When you buy a big turkey, you start running into some issues. The bird takes longer to defrost if it is frozen, and then it takes forever to cook.
Plus, it might not cook evenly, and it will also be harder to carve, carry or manipulate. Make your life easier and go for two smaller birds. These turkeys can be roasted at the same time in the oven at the same temperature.
When you buy smaller turkeys, like the ones between 10-12 pounds, you might actually end up buying organic, humanely raised, local, and tastier birds than the regular, big ones.
If you ask me, this would be the way to go. I usually do not host big crowds because I do not have a big family, so I always end up buying smaller, organic turkeys.
White or dark meat?
Well, this is a matter of choice. If you feed a small crowd and you know that they like white meat, order a bone-in turkey breast. If they like dark meat, order turkey legs instead.
Fresh or frozen turkey?
Fresh: Fresh might not be as fresh as you think it is. Check labels, dates (sell-by or use-by date), and do not buy turkey earlier than 1-2 days in advance. Keep it in the fridge until ready to cook.
Frozen: Make sure you allow plenty of time for thawing the bird. As a rule of thumb, you need 24 hours for every 5 pounds of turkey. Here is more information about that.
You can also submerge them in cold water that you replace every 30 minutes. It will take about 30 minutes per pound to defrost.
What kind of turkey should I buy?
The least expensive ones are usually injected with a saline solution and oils (aka emulsifiers and artificial flavors). These birds are factory-farmed.
If you care about how the birds are raised, probably this type of turkey is not for you. Also, keep in mind that meat was already salted, so brining is not suitable before roasting the bird.
There is another category called natural turkeys, raised a little bit better, with no antibiotics or hormones, no artificial ingredients, or preservatives.
The meat is not salty, so you can actually brine the turkey if you want to.
Kosher turkeys, free-range turkeys, and free-roaming turkeys are better options, as depending on how much the turkeys are allowed to move and get some exercise, the meat will also be leaner.
They are humanely processed, there are no additives, or chemicals and the flavor is great.
Organic turkeys are more expensive, but they are fed organic feed and have good flavor.
I usually buy organic as I like the flavor and the fact that I can prepare the meat the way I want, adding the amount of salt I feel appropriate and the spices I like.
So, now that you know a little bit more about what kind of turkey to buy and how big a bird should be, here are the recipes to choose from.
Turkey Recipes For Small Families or Just Two People:
Sometimes we celebrate Thanksgiving in small groups or alone. These recipes are for these types of occasions when we do not need to cook an entire turkey.
Turkey Recipes for Bigger Celebrations
Well, this is it, my friends! I hope you find the perfect recipe for your Thanksgiving or Christmas celebrations!
I also hope your house is full of family and friends and your table full of beautiful dishes!
Happy holidays, everyone!