What Is My Thanksgiving Turkey?
Click through this slideshow for some of our favorite holiday turkey recipes!
Apple-Shallot Roasted Turkey
Roasting the herb-rubbed turkey with apples and shallots is the secret to flavorful meat. Extra shallots in the roasting pan give the gravy a rich, caramelized shallot flavor.
Click here for the recipe: Apple-Shallot Roasted Turkey
Soy Sauce and Honey Glazed Turkey
"We never had turkey on Thanksgiving," says Joanne Chang, "only duck. I love turkey with sage and butter, but I crave the flavors I grew up with." Here, she marinates and bastes the bird with soy, sesame, honey and ginger, giving it superb flavor and a beautiful mahogany color.
Click here for the recipe: Soy Sauce and Honey Glazed Turkey
Turkey Tenderloin with Whiskey-Cherry Sauce
Simmer antioxidant-rich cherries in a quick pan sauce spiked with whiskey and cranberry juice; it’s luscious on turkey tenderloin.
Click here for the recipe: Turkey Tenderloin with Whiskey-Cherry Sauce
Herbed Turkey Two Ways
Learn how to make this delicious herbed turkey. We tell you how to cook the white and dark meats separately to prevent the breast from drying out and cut down on turkey cooking time.
Click here for the recipe: Herbed Turkey Two Ways
Slow-Roasted Herbed Turkey Breast
There are two keys to keeping the turkey breast moist and flavorful. First, the turkey gets rubbed with an herb paste ahead of time, so the salt and seasonings can work into the meat.
Click here for the recipe: Slow-Roasted Herbed Turkey Breast
Mango-Glazed Turkey Breast
Try this sweet glazed turkey recipe that adds a unique twist to your typical Thanksgiving dinner.
Click here for the recipe: Mango-Glazed Turkey Breast
Turkey and Cornbread Stuffing with Sun-Dried Tomatoes
Try something new this year. Slivered almonds and sun-dried tomatoes add a delicious twist to this stuffing recipe that's the perfect pair for a moist roasted turkey.
Click here for the recipe: Turkey and Cornbread Stuffing with Sun-Dried Tomatoes
Pomegranate-Glazed Turkey with Roasted Fennel
Garnish with jewel-like fresh pomegranate seeds if available—they are in season from September through January. Turkey scallopini (thinner and smaller than cutlets) will also work in this recipe, but will need to be cooked in batches.
Click here for the recipe: Pomegranate-Glazed Turkey with Roasted Fennel
Roast Turkey with Chestnut Stuffing
During the autumn season in Italy, turkey is often deliciously paired with a stuffing of chestnuts and sausage.
Click here for the recipe: Roast Turkey with Chestnut Stuffing
When you sit down to Thanksgiving dinner this week, your only concerns for the bird will probably be whether it's tasty and whether it's big enough for you to eat your fill. A turkey's a turkey, right? Not to the American Poultry Association, which classifies eight different domestic breeds of the bird: Bronze, Narragansett, White Holland, Black, Slate, Bourbon Red, Beltsville Small White, and Royal Palm.
Three of these breeds -- the Narragansett, White Holland, Beltsville Small White -- are on the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy "critical" or "threatened" lists, and the rest, including that Standard Bronze, are on its "watch" list. Which means your Thanksgiving turkey is probably not a standard breed.
So what are you eating? Most likely, the bird on your table is the Broad Breasted White, a non-recognized breed that is can only breed with human assistance. Essentially, they exist only in captivity and only to be used as commercial meat.
According to some, like the folks at LocalHarvest.org, the White is less flavorful than some of the other standard birds, also known as "Heritage" breeds. But the other breeds are more costly to raise and grow slower (and thus produce less meat) than the White, and are not in mass production. So unless you live on or by a small family farm, it's the Broad Breasted White for you.
Click through the slideshow above for some of our favorite holiday turkey recipes!
Image Credit: Getty Images