Cravings Fast Food

These Restaurant Chains Are Taking Orders For Whole Thanksgiving Turkeys

Cooking the turkey is easily one of the most stressful parts of Thanksgiving, given the time and care it needs to create a perfectly juicy bird. However, there are plenty of options for pre-made ones if you’re willing to go down the route, or just need something quick for a Friendsgiving celebration. If that’s the case, there are several chains that prepare whole turkeys for you.

Most require advance orders, so you’ll have to plan when exactly you want the turkey. However, each one presents a convenient option if that’s what you’re searching for above all else this Thanksgiving. Here’s a look at the different major restaurant chains that serve up whole Thanksgiving turkeys.



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Among those chains who sell the whole turkey, Popeyes is one of the most famous. Their Cajun turkeys are slow-roasted and flash-fried for a crispy skin, and marinated in Cajun spices. They weigh about 10-14 pounds and cost roughly $50 each, and can be picked up the week of Thanksgiving or even the day of. Keep in mind that they are frozen/semi-frozen and will require reheating before serving, but at least you don’t have to worry about how to flavor your turkey.

Boston Market

Boston Market is offering up the whole turkey AND the whole feast for Thanksgiving. During the week of the turkey holiday, you can pick up whole chilled meals that feed 4-12 people. The 12-person version costs $119.99 and includes a whole turkey with all the trimmings, like mashed potatoes and gravy, spinach artichoke dip, cranberry sauce, stuffing, gravy, dinner rolls, and apple and pumpkin pies.


Bojangles offers up whole Seasoned Fried Turkeys a couple of weeks before Thanksgiving starts, with options to pick up the week of or before if you’re hosting a Friendsgiving party. Pricing on their turkeys starts at $39.99, and they serve up to eight people. They’re pre-cooked, fried, and frozen, but come with easy reheating instructions.

Marie Callendar’s

You can pre-order entire Thanksgiving meals or whole turkeys now from Marie Callendar’s to pick up sometime between November 20-22. A Whole Turkey Feast, which feeds 10-12, costs $129.99. You can add on an additional ham for the non-turkey fans to that meal for an extra $30.



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KFC’s turkey is a hidden legend of fast food in that it’s pretty hard to track down. What we know is that there are several locations nationwide that may offer it, and it’s seasoned like their regular chicken. You have to pre-order the turkey, so if you really want to track one down, the best way will be to call up your local KFC locations until you find one that has them available.

Several chains around the country offer up some of the Thanksgiving sides, desserts, or other turkey-centric creations. These include a lineup of deep-fried turkey sandwiches from Arby’s and pies, sides, and turkey breasts from Cracker Barrel and Bob Evans. Thus, no matter what your last-minute or week-of Thanksgiving need may be, there’s a chain or two in your area that can cover it pretty quickly.

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Sweet And Savory Mole Dulce Turkey Will Impress Your Thanksgiving Guests

Thanksgiving is the time to enjoy some traditional season favorites. There’s the turkey, cranberries, mashed potatoes, gravy… and of course, a heaping basket full of abuela’s tamales.

While Thanksgiving may not be a Mexican holiday, it has integrated itself into Chicano culture, and this turkey is the epitomization of that fusion.

Made with Doña Maria Mole Original, this turkey comes with a depth of aromas and flavors your standard Thanksgiving bird is missing. It’s perfect to bridge together the sides of tamales and mashed potatoes that are sure to come with the annual tradition.

Everyone will be fighting for the two legs with the flavors going on in this bird. And even when the big holiday is all said and done, the leftover meat is going to make for some incredible recalentados.

This twist on a Thanksgiving turkey will be featured in Northgate Market’s upcoming holiday cookbook. But if you’re wanting to do a practice run or two before then, you can view the recipe, whose ingredients can also all be found at Northgate Market, below.


For the turkey
1 (13-pound) turkey, thawed, neck and giblets removed
8 tbsp (1 stick) unsalted butter, divided
10 cloves garlic, peeled
2 ribs celery, chopped
3 medium carrots, chopped
1/2 white onion, quartered
1 navel orange, quartered
Salt & pepper

For the Mole sauce
1 (16.75 oz) jar Doña Maria Mole Original
32 ounces turkey stock
6 ounces Mexican-style chocolate
1/2 yellow onion, roughly chopped
5 large garlic cloves, peeled
1 cinnamon stick
1 (15-oz) can whole roasted Roma tomatoes, strained
3 tablespoons raw shelled peanuts
3 tablespoons raisins
1 tablespoon pumpkin seeds
4 tablespoons sesame seeds, divided
2 whole cloves
1/4 teaspoon anise seeds
1/4 teaspoon coriander seeds
1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/8 teaspoon dried thyme
1/8 teaspoon dried oregano

For garnish
Fresh thyme
Fresh rosemary
Fresh oregano
Small navel oranges


Step 1

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Place turkey in a large roasting pan, and season inside the cavity with salt and pepper. Stuff the cavity with 4 tablespoons butter, garlic, celery, carrots, onion, and orange. Rub the remaining butter on the skin of the turkey on the outside, then season the skin with salt and pepper. Roast for about an hour until skin is golden brown.

Step 2

While the turkey is cooking, add the mole paste into a large stock pot over medium-high heat. Add turkey stock, chocolate, onion, garlic, and cinnamon. Bring everything to a boil and stir frequently to melt the mole paste and chocolate. Cook for about 20 minutes, until the mole paste and chocolate has dissolved. Remove from the heat, then fish out the cinnamon stick.

Step 3

Pour your mole sauce into the blender, and add the remaining ingredients for the sauce. This includes tomatoes, peanuts, raisins, pumpkin seeds, 2 tablespoons of sesame seeds, cloves, anise, coriander, peppercorns, allspice, thyme, and oregano. Blend on low, as the liquid will be hot. Once all the ingredients are mixed, turn the speed to medium/high and continue to blend to a puree.

Step 4
Push the liquid mole sauce through a sieve into a large bowl. The sauce consistency should be velvety and yet thick enough to slowly run off a back of a spoon. Reserve 2-3 cups of mole sauce to serve with the turkey on the side, but use some to baste the turkey.

Step 5

Pour mole sauce over the turkey. Reduce oven temperature to 350° degrees and continue to cook, basting every 30 minutes for an additional two hours or until an internal temperature of 165 degrees is reached.

Step 6
Transfer turkey to a cutting board and allow to rest. Carve the turkey, and serve with spoonfuls of heated mole sauce and a sprinkle of sesame seeds.

Created in partnership with Northgate Gonzalez Markets.

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The Ultimate Guide to Juicy Thanksgiving Turkeys

We’ve all experienced the struggle of cooking turkey on Thanksgiving. The bird dries out so easily in the oven, that more often than not, you’re stuck eating tough, dry turkey that is hard to get down. However, there are a lot of different ways to help your turkey become more moist when it’s ready to serve. Follow a few of these simple tips and tricks below, and everyone will be salivating over how juicy and tender your turkey is this Thanksgiving.


Brine Your Turkey


Photo: Eugene Kim on Flickr.

Making a brine is incredibly easy and can be flavored to your liking. By immersing the turkey in a marinated, salty liquid for a couple of days in the fridge, you’re adding tons of flavor and drawing more water into the turkey, making it juicier from the start of the cooking process.

There’s two common ways to make brine: Either just add your ingredients straight into cold water and add the turkey in, or bring the water with ingredients up to a boil and pour into a container of ice to keep anything from cooking and changing the flavor before adding the turkey into the icy brine.

Some recommendations for the brine include peppercorns, bay leaves, and citrus, which helps break down some of the tissue in your turkey to make it more tender.

Pro Tip: Take the turkey out of the fridge (but still in the brine) an hour before you’re ready to roast to bring the turkey to room temperature and ensure even cooking.


Stuff It With Veggies (Or Fruit!) 

Photo: Brian Teuth on Flickr

Adding onions, more citrus, and herbs into the cavity adds moisture from the produce, allowing the bird to steam from the inside out. This not only helps keep the bird juicy and moist, but also adds flavor from the produce inside.

Pro Tip: After roasting, remove the produce from inside the turkey, and save it to infuse into your gravy.


Put Some Veggies Underneath As Well

Photo: Mike Fleming on Flickr

Adding a load of chopped vegetables like carrots, celery, onions, etc. underneath the turkey keeps the bottom from burning or cooking unevenly. This “trivet”, as it’s called, protects the turkey from the direct heat of your roasting tray and contributes a lot of flavor to your gravy as well!

Pro Tip: To add an extra level of steam, also pour a small amount of water into the roasting tray.


Covering With Foil Is Key

Tenting your turkey with a cover of aluminum foil prevents too much water/steam from escaping the turkey and evaporating. The foil locks in the moisture and helps keep the turkey incredibly tender.

Pro Tip: Make sure the foil doesn’t touch the turkey, and remove two-thirds of the way through cooking so that the skin on top can brown.


Start Your Bird UPSIDE DOWN

This sounds crazy, but SORTEDfood did it a couple of years ago, and it worked really well in keeping the most critical part of the turkey dry: the breast. Turkey breast often dries out much easier than the rest of the turkey. By roasting it upside down, the juices from the turkey go straight to the breast, keeping the most commonly eaten part of the bird extremely tender.

Pro Tip: Make sure to turn the turkey back over a little more than halfway through so that the skin on top can still brown.


Put Some Bacon On It

Gordon Ramsay did this in an attempt to also make the turkey breast more tender. Instead of using the turkey’s juices, he resorted to lining the top of the bird with strips of bacon. The fat renders down into the turkey, keep it juicy while adding a ton of great flavor!

Pro Tip: Remove the bacon before the turkey is done roasting and either add to your gravy or save for yourself to eat.


Baste Your Bird

Photo: Joy on Flickr.

This is the most annoying chore to have while roasting the turkey, but is one of the most critical. Adding moisture back into the turkey is necessary as it cooks in the oven. Without basting, it will dry out, so make sure to baste every 30 minutes or so while you’re trying to brown the turkey skin!

Pro Tip: Customize your basting liquid to match what’s in your turkey! Some cool examples are a mix of butter/maple syrup, a mix of lemonade/butter, or even apple juice/cider!


Know Your Temperatures

One of the biggest reasons that turkey is overcooked and/or dry during Thanksgiving is that temperature isn’t monitored. As you baste the turkey and it nears the end of your estimated cooking time (which varies by weight), measure the temperature of your turkey. The best spot to do this is between the leg and the breast, as that part takes the longest to come up to temperature. When the turkey reaches 165 degrees F, it’s ready to come out of the oven and rest!

Pro Tip: Check out the USDA’s guide on roasting turkeys for an estimation of how long to cook yours based on how big it is.

Let The Turkey Rest!


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Please, whatever you do, do NOT slice into your turkey the instant it comes out of the oven. That just lets all of the juice inside of the turkey run out and dries it out almost immediately. Let the turkey rest for at least 20 minutes prior to carving to let the juices rest and stay with the meat, instead of flowing out right away.

Pro Tip: Gordon Ramsay would tell you to let the bird rest for as long as it’s cooked – and that’s fine, as long as you cover it with foil and cloth towels to keep it warm and serve with a hot gravy to bring the turkey up to temperature on your guests’ plates.


Follow one, two, or all of these tips, and you’ll have a much more tender bird that will impress all of your guests and yourself! Have a great, dry turkey-free Thanksgiving!