Celebrate Thanksgiving with a festive Broncos tailgate (Credit, Mary Jeneverre Schultz)

When it comes to celebrating the holidays while celebrating your favorite team, it’s “Go Big or Go Home.” And whether the Broncos play at home or away, the diehard tailgate following will celebrate all the same. We have the recipe and decor ideas to make your Thanksgiving tailgate bash one to be thankful for.

Gobble Gobble

First and foremost, we have to talk turkey. The fans have voted and the survey says fried turkey is the way to go. With its crispy, flavorful skin and juicy, tender meat, who could resist a deep-fried turkey? Legendary Bronco tailgaters wouldn’t divulge their secrete recipes, but per their consistent and enthusiastic recommendation, we tracked down a solid recipe to share with all of you fabulous fans.


  • Outdoor propane turkey fryer or indoor electric turkey fryer
  • Fire extinguisher – just in case
  • Marinade-injecting syringe
  • Food thermometer


Size matters, so use a turkey that is 8-10 pounds but no larger than 12 pounds.


Frying a turkey requires lots of oil – you will need at least 3-5 gallons for frying.

Cook Time

You should cook 3-5 minutes per pound maintaining an oil temperature of 350 degrees Fahrenheit.


  • 2 cups butter
  • 1 onion, sliced into rings
  • 3 cloves of garlic, smashed
  • Half-cup Louisiana Hot Sauce
  • One-fourth cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 7 ounces Colorado-brewed beer – our choice, Mama’s Little Yella Pils by Oskar Blues


Melt the butter in a saucepan and then add remaining ingredients, mixing until blended. Using a marinade-injecting syringe, inject the mixture into the legs, back, wings, thighs and breasts of the turkey; injecting at least one inch deep. There is a ratio for optimal juiciness: 60 percent into the breast muscles, 30 percent into the leg and thigh muscles and 10 percent into the wing muscles. Do NOT stuff the turkey for frying!

Allow the marinade to set for at least 30 minutes. In the meantime, fill the fryer to the fill line or at least three to five inches from the top. Preheat the oil to 375-400 degrees Fahrenheit. Once your turkey is done marinating and the fryer is ready to go, attach the turkey to the fryer basket. Lower the turkey in slowly to avoid splatter. This oil is going to be scalding hot and can cause severe burns if you are not careful. Place the lid back on and fry the turkey accordingly, three to five minutes per pound. Once the time is up, turn off the fryer and slowly remove the turkey.

Allow the turkey to rest for at least 15 minutes. Then carve and enjoy!


Pumpkins, corn and squash – oh my! Incorporate seasonal Thanksgiving foods into your tailgate decorations. Use pumpkins as candle holders, make wreaths out of blue and orange dried corn cobs or half and hollow yellow squash to fill with your favorite dips. Waxed leaves are this season’s top décor pick. Choose the most colorful leaves you can find, then simply press the leaves between two sheets of wax paper, covered by paper towels, and iron for 15 seconds. Spread the leaves across the table like a runner and plate your delicious grub on top. Be sure to incorporate blue and orange as often as you can. Think plates, cups, utensils, napkins and be creative. Use markers to fancy up your plastic wear with fight song lyrics, Bronco legends and, of course, things to be thankful for.

Happy Holidays! And let us all give thanks for the Broncos!

Check out Tailgate Fan to keep the party going at tailgatefan.cbslocal.com.

Michelle Perez is a freelance writer covering all things Denver. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.


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