My First Thanksgiving: Choosing the Bird

This year I’m making my first Thanksgiving dinner on my own. Yikes! Not only my first Thanksgiving dinner, but my first turkey! Turkeys scare me. Especially that bag of junk you have to pull out of them before you cook them. Scary. Since this is my first attempt at Thanksgiving dinner, I figured I’d share a little about my journey each day this week.

While we’re officially spending Thanksgiving with Man BFF’s family in Pennsylvania, my parents are visiting us in Chicago this weekend and we’re celebrating turkey day on Friday. I’m  excited for them to come, but cooking this turkey is weighing heavy on me right now. Christmas Vacation turkey disaster anyone?

Christmas vacation turkey

In order to avoid the above from happening, I’ve done a lot of research and felt confident enought to buy my turkey today. Here are my shopping tips:

1. Shop your local ads

I started my search online. Googling local grocery stores to see what turkey deals they could offer me. After comparing a few stores, I was happy to find a great deal close to us for $.78/lb. I went with a 10 lb gobbler (think 1.5lb/per person) and spent a solid $8! P.S. Don’t assume that the chain supermarkets will automatically have the cheapest turkeys. I got mine from a new local market that was mega fancy (there was a live pianist playing in the store)!

2. A lady or a gentleman

This is something you don’t really have to think about until you’re faced with buying your first turkey. Tom or hen? According to my googling, Tom’s are bigger and a good choice if you’re looking for quantity. Hen’s are your bird if you want a smaller, more tender turkey. Since I’m only cooking for four, hen it is!

3. Pre-Brined?

Another thing to consider when shopping for a turkey is if you want one pre-brined. I knew I wanted to use my own brine, so pre-brined was not right for me, but I definitely can see the perks to having it done for you. With my brining recipe, I need a solid 2-3 days to marinate the turkey. Don’t have that kind of time (a.k.a. you forgot the buy the turkey ahead of time)? Pre-brine!

Speaking of brine, stay tuned for my post tomorrow on choosing the perfect brine!

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