Is it safe to cook and eat a turkey that has been sitting in a freezer (a chest freezer that goes to about 0F) for 3 years?
Safe? Probably as long as the freezer hasn’t been defrosted in that time and it accidentally thawed without you knowing it. Assuming that it stayed frozen at or below 0, you can eat it.
Will it taste good? That’s a much more difficult question to answer. I would wager that it has some freezer burn, but you never know. Cook it and find out.
If it’s been frozen the whole time then there shouldn’t be anything unsafe about it. The quality may not be that great though… depends how it was wrapped. If it has the tight thick plastic with no holes then freezer burn shouldn’t be a problem but since it’s just a typical freezer and only gets to 0F, the ice crystals within the meat may have grown over the years in such a way so as to make the texture less than ideal once thawed. Ideally really long term storage is done in ultra-low temp freezers. But, people also differ in how perceptive they are to minor texture & flavour changes, so you may not notice what ever degradation has occurred.
You might lose some taste and texture, but it will be safe, assuming the freezer stayed frozen.
They’re .99/pound right now. Why bother? Chuck it and buy a fresher one.
They were down to .39 a pound here last week!
Safe?, probably…Good?..definitely NO.
Anecdotally, My room mate and I both worked at a private club that gave away a turkey to each associate on thanksgiving and Christmas. We had WAY too much turkey in our freezer. One managed to stay there a year and a half. When roasted it had a funk odor and tasted old.
Freezers have a way of importing odors and tastes after a while.
For the moment, skip the romaine lettuce garnish.