Order That Turkey, Stat!
If Thanksgiving won’t feel like a holiday to you without a turkey, you’d best get
on sourcing the bird asap. Last year, during the Pandemic, the traditional roast turkey
remained a staple of the Thanksgiving table, albeit smaller in size due to our smaller sized
And it appears “smaller” is on the menu again. A survey conducted last month by
Butterball, America’s most trusted turkey brand, found that approximately one-third of
consumers will again be hosting more intimate get-togethers. Combine this with
indications from turkey producers in key supply chain areas that there may be a shortage, the culinary centerpiece of your
Thanksgiving feast may be in jeopardy.
The nation’s food supply has been battered by a disrupted supply chain and,
coupled with the steep decline in demand for a larger bird, it’s being reported that
producers may not be able to supply enough of the smaller variety to meet this sustained
trend of more intimate holiday gatherings.
What’s a host to do? Dare I say frozen? Ok, hear me out. When it comes to
quality—and taste—you won’t notice much of a difference between fresh and frozen
turkeys. Truth be told, cost and preparation are the two significant differences. If you can
accommodate storing a frozen bird and allow for thawing time, I’d argue that it’s easier,
cheaper, and just as tasty to opt for the frozen route.
While we’re downsizing the dinner table, let’s downscale our culinary efforts, too.
For all the fanfare afforded the bird, the truth is more work does not produce a tastier
dish. Some of my more creative cooking pursuits including brining, frying, and roastingon-
end, have yielded some interesting results but I always come back to tradition and
simplicity, and a request from my family to stick to my simple, tried and true method.
Speaking of tradition, Butterball is celebrating its 40th anniversary of the Turkey
Talk Line where home economists have been standing by to answer your most pressing
cooking questions. You can reach them by phone at 1-800-Butterball or this year you can
text them 24/7 at (844) 877-3456. My advice? Keep it simple and you won’t need to
make that call. And that’s something we can be thankful for.
Simple Roast Turkey
1 10-12 pound whole turkey
salt and freshly ground black pepper
fresh thyme sprigs
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 cup chicken stock
1. Remove the giblets and neck from the turkey. Rinse the turkey with cold water and
pat dry. Liberally season the inside of the turkey with salt and pepper and stuff the
cavity with the onion, lemon and thyme. Truss the turkey and place it breast-side up
on a rack in a large roasting pan. Brush the melted butter on the turkey and season
with salt and pepper. Pour the chicken stock into the pan.
2. Roast the turkey in a preheated 450-degree oven for 30 minutes. Reduce the
temperature to 350 degrees and continue roasting until an instant-read thermometer
inserted into the thickest part of the thigh reaches 165 degrees, approximately 1 ½ to
2 hours more. When finished roasting, remove the turkey from the pan, cover with
aluminum foil and let rest for 30 minutes before carving.