If you wake up on Thanksgiving and realize you forgot to thaw your turkey in the fridge for the required number of days, all is not lost. While it’s more labor intensive, it is possible to thaw a turkey at the last minute and still get dinner on the table.
Place the turkey in its original wrapper in a large bucket filled with cold water and let it thaw for 30 minutes per pound; a 12-pound bird would therefore take 6 hours. Here’s where it takes some work and vigilance: You have to change the water every half hour. (If the water warms up, bacteria can start grow in the bird.)
You can use this method on Thanksgiving (assuming you start early in the day) or on Wednesday. Better still, mark your calendar so you remember to let the bird thaw, fuss-free, in the fridge for as many days as needed.