Turkey FAQs

Will my turkey be fresh or frozen?

Every year for Thanksgiving, our partners at Farmdale and Gunthrop Farms help us provide gorgeous, fresh turkeys for your Thanksgiving table. You must pre-order online by Thursday, November 21 to receive a fresh turkey. We sell frozen turkeys all year round.

How big of a turkey do I need?

Our turkeys come in two-pound ranges from 10 to 22 pounds. The size of your bird all depends on how much you like leftovers, but generally, we suggest no smaller than a 12-lb bird for a family of four. That'll be enough for Thanksgiving dinner plus lunch leftovers the next day. If you're feeding a large group, we recommend two 14-lb turkeys rather than just one enormous bird. It'll be easier to roast two smaller turkeys evenly, and you can carve one bird ahead of time and save whole bird for the wow factor. 

Does my turkey come with giblets?

Yep. We recommend using these to make some stock for your gravy. 

What is this "brining" thing all about?

Brining is the best way to ensure a flavorful and juicy turkey. There are two types of brining. Wet brining is submerging and/or injecting the meat with a solution of salt, water, sugar, herbs and spices. Dry brining is using the same combination of salt, sugar, herbs, and spices to coat the turkey before it is cooked. (Our team prefers a dry brine to a wet brine!)

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

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

  1. Pat the turkey dry.
  2. Rub the brining mixture all over the bird, coating the outside and inside evenly.
  3. Let sit for several hours or overnight.

What does "spatchcocking" a turkey mean? Should I try it? 

Spatchcocking a turkey will ensure it cooks faster and more evenly. By removing the backbone of the bird, it becomes easy to lay it flatter on the pan. Spatchcocking also makes it easier to separate the white meat from the dark meat, which is ideal because the two different kinds of meat cook at different speeds and need to reach a different temperature. Our team loves preparing a turkey this way, and we'd love to answer any questions you have about how to do it right.

How do I roast a turkey?

The first step to a well-roasted turkey is to brine it the day before. Whether you choose to do a wet or dry brine, make sure your turkey is dried appropriately before roasting. Three to four hours before roasting, bring the turkey to room temperature. Don't set yourself up for failure by putting a cold turkey in the oven!

Pre-heat your oven to 450-500°F.

Pat your turkey dry and rub with a few drops of olive oil. 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 (a Thanksgiving essential!) in the meaty part between the thigh and breast and roast at a high temperature 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 a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breast registers 155-160°F. The thighs should reach about 170-160°F. There's no magic number for how long your turkey will take to cook, so go with your thermometer and your gut. Remove the turkey from the pan and let rest for at least 20 minutes on a carving board. 

Our team likes to cook the turkey 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 warm up nicely without losing moisture in about 8-10 minutes.) Arrange the slices and leg pieces on a platter and serve.

What's the deal with stuffing?

It needs to change its name! You shouldn't cook your stuffing inside of your Thanksgiving turkey, and here's why. Your turkey will take longer to cook because you're putting a mass of product inside of a cavity that needs to reach a certain temperature, and the meat on the outside will overcook before the stuffing reaches a food safe temperature. And that's the best case scenario! The worst case scenario is that you'll undercook the stuffing and any raw product in there (like Butcher & Larder sausage) will pose a health risk to your friends and family. 

The best way to infuse your stuffing with that intense turkey flavor is to practice roasting a turkey the week before Thanksgiving and use those bones to make stock. (Or buy some stock from us and let us do the hard work!)

How long will it take to cook my bird?

There's no magic number! Every turkey and oven is different. See the roasting instructions above for how to take an accurate temperature.

What to do with my leftover turkey?

We here at Local Foods eat turkey leftovers all day the day after Thanksgiving. Start with a turkey and potato hash for breakfast, make the classic cranberry and turkey sandwich for lunch, and round out your day with Thanksgiving dinner part two!

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.