What poultry do I cook for Thanksgiving dinner? That’s a question that just about everyone wonders about. It’s often asked in the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving when people plan what they’ll be serving on the big day.
More turkeys are eaten in the USA on Thanksgiving Day than at any other time during the year. So many, in fact that most people are just as familiar with turkey as they are with chicken. But there are plenty of other poultry options, and I think it’s time to try them. While the turkey is a classic, other birds are also worth trying.
Do you want to cook a turkey? Do you want to try something different than the traditional bird? Are you looking for something easy to prepare and cook? Or do you want something more exotic with a lot more flavor? There are so many options out there that it can be hard to choose just one.
So, what poultry do I cook for Thanksgiving dinner? If you’re like me, you may have already decided what poultry to cook—but if not, here are some of my favorite options: Here are some of the best options that will fit any budget:
When it comes to the holidays, it’s all about the bird!
Thanksgiving is a time for celebration, taking stock of what you have in life, and being grateful for your good fortune. Thanksgiving dinner is an opportunity to share that bounty with family and friends—and it’s also a chance to enjoy some delicious food!
The list of possibilities for Thanksgiving dinner can be overwhelming: what kind of bird should you cook? What do you do with all those leftovers? How much turkey do you need per person? The answers depend on personal preference and family tradition, but we’ve got some great tips for making the most of your feast.
You want everyone at the table happy and full when they sit down at dinner time—but that doesn’t mean everyone needs their whole turkey (or even half). Consider how much meat will make up each serving; if five people are eating dinner together, one breast or two thighs will probably be plenty as long as there’s something else on the plate, too (like stuffing). When doubting how much meat per guest is appropriate, err on caution by under-serving rather than over-serving; don’t forget those delicious sides like mashed potatoes or Brussels sprouts!
The Turkey, for Thanksgiving Dinner of course.
The turkey is a staple at Thanksgiving dinner. It’s the most popular choice for a reason—it’s easy to cook, low-maintenance, and delicious – if you know how to season the bird properly. You can’t go wrong with this classic! For a bone-in turkey, plan on about two pounds per person. For boneless breasts, plan on around one pound of meat per person. If you opt for thighs instead of breasts or legs, go with about one thigh per guest. Remember, the turkey is a large bird, so the pieces are significant.
Try something new if you’re feeling adventurous and want a new twist on the traditional Thanksgiving dinner menu! Try other turkey recipes, not the usual salt, pepper, and butter, as many people do. Brine the bird in a brining solution for at least a day; you will be surprised at the results. Try a wet seasoning; that cooking method is adopted by many people who love a well-seasoned turkey. Your guests may be surprised, but they will also probably love your new recipe!
There are a few key things to remember when cooking your turkey. First, ensure it’s entirely thawed before cooking; otherwise, it can dry out. Second, don’t try to cook more than one turkey at once—they take up too much space and can’t be adequately cooked if they’re touching each other (trust us). Third, use a meat thermometer! It’ll let you know when the turkey reaches an appropriate temperature for safe consumption.
Chicken, if you’re just not into turkey but want a bird.
If you’re not into turkey, chicken is a good alternative. Chicken is easy to prepare, and you can do so in under an hour without fuss. It’s also a healthy choice compared to many other types of meat and can be used in all kinds of dishes, from casseroles and soups to sandwiches and salads. And while it may seem like an expensive ingredient, the truth is that chicken breast meat is quite reasonable when it comes down to it (especially if you buy larger portions).
It’s also great if you’re not a fan of turkey or want something different this Thanksgiving.
Duck may be the new turkey, for some.
The duck may be the new turkey for some. Like turkey, you’ll usually find fresh or frozen duck in your grocery store. Whole birds are more common than ground meat, so it’s best to buy bone-in pieces when possible. It is possible to purchase boneless breasts and legs if you prefer, but a whole bird will give you more options for cooking later on—and it tends to be cheaper than buying individual parts separately.
The taste of duck is similar to that of turkey; both have dark meat and white meat with distinct flavors (duck being slightly fattier). Their texture is also similar; both are dense with many small bones that require a lot of chewing! This can make them difficult for kids who aren’t used to eating poultry with bones still attached, so if this sounds like something your family would struggle with, maybe stick with traditional Thanksgiving fare this year.
Cornish hens are good for smaller gatherings.
Cornish hens are small birds about the size of a chicken. They have a lot of dark meat and should be cooked whole, but they can also be cut up if you prefer. The skin is crispy and flavorful, and the meat is moist, so there’s no need to add additional fat or oil during cooking.
They’re best prepared on the grill but can also be baked in the oven for about 40 minutes at 350 degrees F (176 C). If you’re planning on stuffing them with breadcrumbs or other ingredients like apple slices, potatoes or onions then wrap them in foil before placing them in the oven so they don’t dry out too much while baking!
Don’t forget to shop for your cooking essentials on Amazon.com for your Thanksgiving Dinner
The best news of all? There are many different poultry options, and you don’t have to stick with just one. You can mix and match your Thanksgiving dinner, so it’s perfect for your family and guests.
Ultimately, there’s no wrong way to prepare a Thanksgiving dinner. Whatever approach you take and whatever recipes you use, we hope your time with family this Thanksgiving is memorable. And even once the big feast is over, you can always enjoy leftovers for days to come (if you can keep family and friends out of the kitchen). Good luck with all your preparations!