Cranberry sauce, green beans, mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie – Thanksgiving calls to mind a literal cornucopia of foods. But the pièce de résistance of a traditional Thanksgiving meal won’t be found among the side dishes. There’s a reason they call it Turkey Day.
But transforming a turkey from a raw piece of poultry into a Norman Rockwellian culinary centerpiece isn’t exactly an easy endeavor. From picking out the right bird (How much meat per person? Frozen or fresh? Heritage breed or Broad-breasted White?) to deciding how to prepare it (Roasted? Deep-fried? Pre-brined? Barbequed?), the turkey-making process is enough to baffle both first-time and experienced cooks.
And the culinary fiasco stories don’t help: forgotten bags of giblets discovered only upon carving; breast meat so that dry that an ocean of gravy can’t save it; deep-fried disasters charred on the outside and still-frozen on the inside.
But if you’re feeling intimidated, not to worry — advice is on the way. Oakland North reporters Laith Agha and Teresa Chin asked local butchers at Ver Brugge and Marwa Market, and experienced turkey-makers at the downtown farmer’s market, to weigh in on the best way to make your Thanksgiving turkey a main dish to remember.
Got any tips on how to pick out or prepare the perfect Thanksgiving turkey? Share them with other readers in the comments section below!