When it comes to the centerpiece of a classic Thanksgiving meal, you’ve got a lot of options — and they can get overwhelming! From brines to flavors to the size of bird itself, we’ve got you covered.
Whether you’re a pro at roasting a turkey or hosting your very first holiday this year, we’ve got a recipe that will rise to the occasion. We have options for crowds large and small, too.
Chile-Rubbed Roast Turkey, above. If you’re looking for an absolute showstopper of a turkey, something exciting and different, this bird from Toni Tipton-Martin’s new book, “Jubilee,” is the one you need! It’s beautiful and juicy, with a spicy, powerful rub that proves turkey should never be boring.
Roast Turkey With Garlic Cream. This one is roasted in an oven bag, which makes the turkey cook faster and softens the garlic within more thoroughly. (Cleanup is easier, too.) The creamy garlic spread is delightful served with the bird and saved for turkey sandwiches later.
Simply Seasoned Turkey. No brine. No fuss. Just rub and roast this bird and you’ll end up with a nicely browned turkey and pan juices that are flavorful enough to serve on their own.
Herb-Slathered Turkey. A coating of your favorite chopped fresh herbs and your mayo of choice (yes, mayo!) produced one of the moistest, most flavorful birds we’ve ever had here at @WaPoFood HQ. Give it a shot and get slathering. You won’t be disappointed.
Bragg Family Roast Turkey. You might not see burnished skin with this roast turkey recipe, but you will taste the most decadent turkey you’ve ever known. It’s essentially steamed/poached in an entire pound of butter! You can uncover the bird for the last 25 minutes of cooking to pick up some golden hue.
Instant Pot Thanksgiving Turkey. Could this prove that an Instant Pot can do it all? If you’re nervous about getting the turkey cooked through, try this method. You’ll need to dry-brine the turkey ahead of time, but then you can tuck it into the Instant Pot and forget about it.
Turkey Leg Confit. What do you do when more than two people want a whole turkey leg to themselves? Make this confit — it satisfies the dark-meat lovers and makes you feel like you’re at a Renaissance fair. Win-win.
Extremely Slow-Roasted Turkey Breast. This is perhaps our most foolproof recipe; you’ll cook the breast ultra low (175 degrees) and slow (for 8 to 9 hours). Plan ahead just a little, though, as you need to refrigerate the seasoned meat for 12 to 24 hours before roasting. If you’d rather use your slow cooker for a turkey breast, try Turkey Breast and Gravy, from America’s Test Kitchen’s 2011 book “Slow Cooker Revolution.” Both recipes use bone-in turkey breasts.
Herbed Turkey Breast With Delicata Squash and Brussels Sprouts. From our Nourish columnist Ellie Krieger comes this sheet-pan Thanksgiving supper, complete with a delightfully juicy turkey breast. If you’re having a small gathering for Thanksgiving, this is the simplest way to make the biggest impact.
Desperation Turkey (From Frozen). If you wake up Thanksgiving morning to realize you’ve still got a frozen turkey on your hands, don’t fear! You can cook it straight from frozen and it will be shockingly delicious.
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