Call our Butcher for more meat options! 312-583-7263

Turkey FAQs

How big of a turkey do I need?

A tough question for sure! As the birds get bigger, so does the amount of meat per pound. We suggest a 12 lb bird for smaller groups (6-8) and for large groups (10-15) something in the 20-22 lb range. Much bigger than 25 lbs is hard to roast whole as it barely fits into most ovens and won’t cook evenly. If 20-22 lbs doesn't seem like enough for your group, we suggest getting a 20 lb turkey and an additional bone in breast to roast along side.

Does my turkey come with giblets?


Will my turkey be fresh or frozen?

If you pre-order online by our cut off, we will get you a turkey fresh from the farm. If you call after the cut off, we will do our best, but you may get a turkey from the freezer and we will do our best to get it thawed in time. The good news is that because we get such wonderful turkeys, even a thawed turkey will be much more delicious than a supermarket bird.

What is this "brining" thing all about?

Brining is submerging and/or injecting the meat with a solution of salt and water. Sugar, herbs and spices are often added and sometimes other aromatics like onions and garlic. It is used for getting extra flavor into the meat and can result in juicier meat. 

How to brine a turkey with The Butcher and Larder Brine kit:

If you bought a brine kit from The Butcher and Larder here are your instructions:

  1. Empty brine kit into a sauce pan and cover with 2 quarts of water
  2. Boil for 3 minutes and cool
  3. Add cooled brine to brine bag with turkey and 1 1/2 gallons of cold water
  4. Brine for several hours or up to overnight
  5. Pat turkey dry before roasting

How long will it take to cook my bird?

Fresh farm birds cook a bit quicker than supermarket turkeys. The best advice is to get a probe thermometer and set it to go off at 150°F and give it plenty of time to rest after cooking. Carve the bird after it has rested and is at room temperature (easier to handle!) and then reheat the carved turkey in a hot oven. Everything will still be juicy and the slices will be hot.

How do you de-bone or "spatchcock" a turkey and why would I do such a thing?

Spatchcocking or butterflying is when you (or your butcher!) remove the backbone and remove (or crack) the keel or breastbone so that the turkey (or chicken or pheasant or squab...) lays flat in the pan. Many people like to cook birds this way because it cooks, faster, more evenly and gets great color on the skin.

Should I cook my stuffing inside my bird?

We generally don't recommend it. It can be a potential food safety hazard as the stuffing may not reach a safe temperature (160°F) by the time the bird is cooked.

What to do with my leftover turkey?

Turkey sandwiches, turkey stock for turkey soup, turkey chili and turkey pot pie are a few of our favorites!

How do I roast a turkey?

***If you are brining your turkey, do so the day before roasting.***

Pre-heat your oven to 500°F.

Pat your turkey dry and rub with a few drops of olive oil.  If you didn’t brine your turkey, sprinkle liberally with kosher salt.  (Optional) Mix softened butter with herbs and sea salt and stuff it under the skin of the bird.

Place the bird on a rack, or on some sliced onions and celery ribs with a few sprigs of  thyme. Place a probe thermometer in the meaty part between the thigh and breast and roast at 500°F for about 25 minutes or until the breast starts to blush a light golden brown. Turn the oven down to 325°F and continue to roast until the thermometer registers 158°F. An average sized turkey (14-16 lbs will take about 2 ½ - 3 hours). Remove the turkey from the pan and let rest for at least 20 minutes on a carving board.

Butcher’s tip! Cook the turkey very early in the day and let it rest until it is room temperature. Remove the breasts whole and slice them and remove the leg quarters and separate the drumsticks from the thighs. After all your other food is hot and ready, put the carved pieces back in the oven to reheat (Turn the oven back to 425°F and the turkey should be piping hot and still moist and juicy in about 8-10 minutes). Arrange the slices and leg pieces on a platter and serve.

Can I buy other parts of the turkey?

We have turkey breast available to pre-order online.  Looking for something else? Call the butcher shop at 312-432-6575 to special order.