Updated: Dec 15, 2022
We all know everyone’s favorite part of Thanksgiving: spending four or more hours stuck in a sweltering kitchen, repeatedly pulling out a massive turkey for basting until your arms are sore, fretting over whether or not the thighs are still undercooked while the breasts slowly dry to sawdust, missing out on the football game so you can stress over the part of the meal people least care about. It’s really what the holiday is all about!
Imagine for a moment a world where you don’t have to be glued to your kitchen, desperately Googling what to do with a protein you only attempt this one day a year, a world where your holiday is not dictated by a tradition created by some long-dead author, a world where you don’t end up trying for months to come up with ways to use leftover turkey before finally surrendering the fight and throwing it away. This is a world of the Thanksgiving chicken.
Obviously, a departure from the classics like this shouldn’t come without good reason. So here’s why you should consider having chicken as your Thanksgiving protein this year and becoming a Thanksgiving rebel.
Reason #1: The Price Point
Between inflation and bird flu outbreaks, turkey costs are currently up 57% from their five year average. You could be paying as much as $6.50 per pound for turkey breast this year, up from $2 per pound in 2020. A whole turkey will cost less, but you’re still looking at a significantly higher price than in years’ past.
In contrast, an organic, pasture-raised whole chicken from Land and Feast will run you $22 for a 6–7-pound bird, which is less than half as much as you’d pay for a turkey of similar or lesser quality.
Reason #2: The Portion Size
Some people have 40 family members packed into their home for the holidays. For them, a turkey or two may make sense. However, for many families, a bird that size is simply wasteful. When you have two or three people sharing the meal, you don’t need four pounds of meat per person plus all the sides. While we all love Thanksgiving leftovers, you can only have so much turkey before you’re just risking a tryptophan-induced coma. When you have a smaller group for the meal, it makes sense both in terms of price and leftovers, and it also means you don’t have to play a game of fridge Jenga to try and store half a turkey worth of meat.
Reason #3: Faster to Thaw
What sitcom doesn’t have a Thanksgiving plot where someone didn’t take the turkey out of the freezer to thaw with enough time for the big meal? With turkey, you’re looking at around four days for it to thaw fully in the fridge. For an event like Thanksgiving, fridge space is already at a premium, so a massive raw bird taking up a whole shelf is not ideal. With a whole chicken, it can be thawed in 24 hours, which also gives you more opportunity to remember to set it out in time.
Reason #4: Easier to Cook
How often do any of us cook a turkey outside of the holiday? Rather than trying to dig out that old family recipe that got stuffed in a drawer somewhere, why not make something you’re already familiar with? With the right seasonings, it will still have that special, festive flavor we associate with a holiday meal but with a much simpler process. It can be ready in a quarter of the time as a turkey as well. if you’re a real foodie, this could also give you time to really up your side game. This could be the year you finally make those rolls from scratch or add a killer mac and cheese to your table. However, the best thing about spending less time on the meal is saving precious hours to spend with your loved ones, which is really what the day is about.
Reason #5: It's All About the Sides
How many people have you ever heard say the turkey is their favorite Thanksgiving food? The most typical answers are dishes like mashed potatoes, stuffing, or mac and cheese. Beyond the pretty aesthetic of a whole roasted turkey, it certainly isn’t the focus. Besides, with enough gravy, they’re going to taste the same anyway.
This Thanksgiving, make life easier on yourself and get a Land and Feast organic, pasture-raised whole chicken. Not only will it save you time, energy and maybe a little bit of heartache, but it’s going to be a higher quality product than what you find on grocery store shelves.