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Dec 26, 2011 06:36 PM

SOS - how long can I keep a fresh turkey before cooking it?

I bought a whole turkey breast on Christmas Eve to cook on Christmas Day - and then woke up with the dreaded lurgy... the turkey is still in the fridge in its original shrink wrap, and I'm wondering how many days its safe to push it out while I wait to get better.

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    1. I know someone who thawed their turkey for two weeks... the family all showed up again the next year so I assume they all lived. She wanted to bring me some since I was cooped up with the flu... I passed on the kind offer. AFAIK she does that every year.

      1. Fresh Turkeys are shipped to market about two weeks before Thanksgiving, so a properly held bird should last at least that long. I've frequently held birds that long with no problem, no funky smell, nothing. The times given in the article above are complete panicky nonsense.

        However, you could brine tomorrow (overnight), season the next day and then let dry for a few days in the fridge while you are waiting to get better. Use the time to your advantage.

        1. Thanks for the advice. I looked at the turkey this morning and the sell-by was today, so it's in the oven... it won't be nearly as fancy as it might have been, because I don't have the energy to stand around making side dishes, but I hope it will taste good!