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Fresh Thanksgiving Turkey

Will be in LA for Thanksgiving this year, first time on the West Coast, and its just me and Hubbie. So...where do I buy my Turkey? I really want a fresh one, at home we had to order these from the butcher in advance. Also thinking about a heritage, free range or something like that. We are bigger white meat people, but the dark meat is great for leftovers. What are your reccomendations- purchase place and type of bird?


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  1. A friend of mine gets his every year from Grass Roots in South Pasadena and raves about it.

    1119 Fair Oaks Ave
    South Pasadena, CA 91030
    (626) 799-0156

    1. Whole Foods carrys a large assortment, including ridiculously expensive heritage birds. They recommend ordering in advance, but I have been able to get the bird I want, free range, organic, 12 - 14 lb. range, with no problem. Last year Trader Joes had fresh, kosher birds for a ridicuously cheap price, but I don't know if they will do it again this year.

      1. There are two poultry places at the Farmers Market on 3rd and Fairfax and they both carry turkeys. One of them carries some cult turkey called Willie Bird or something, but we have had good ones that were not that brand. You should order in advance. Do not go to Maggiano's as a couple for Thanksgiving as they will ignore you for bigger groups.

        1 Reply
        1. re: keaton

          The poulterers at the Farmers Market are Puritan Poultry and Farmers Market Poultry. Both are good but I'd give the edge to Puritan. Not sure which carries the Willie Bird of which you refer.

          Farmers Market
          6333 W 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90036

          Puritan Poultry
          6333 W 3rd St # 226, Los Angeles, CA

        2. Last year I looked for "heritage" birds and in a crunch, went to Whole Foods and Gelson's. I ended up with buying from Gelson's and paid a lot ($50 maybe) for an 8-10 pound bird.

          I injected it with my own seasonings and deep fried it; maybe it was due to the preparation, but I honestly didn't think the "heritage" bird tasted better than a "normal" bird.

          1. Heritage birds are available via special order at Fish King (yes, Fish King), and it's cheaper than Whole Paycheque.

            1. I get mine from Gelson's tell the butcher you want a fresh, free range heritage turkey and there you go!

              keep in mind, the meat from those birds is MOSTLY darker and the breast is smaller.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Diana

                If you're going to cook a free-range/heritage bird but you're worried about not having enough white meat, consider buying an extra breast and roasting it on the side.

              2. You can still select a real Heritage turkey in a wide range of sizes. I had my first Heritage Turkey last year (pricey, but it's a special day) and it was the best EVER. Before Heritage, I would order from a Kosher butcher. Your bird will arrive on Tues., Nov 20 - sent via Federal Express cold pack. Order now at - www.heritagefoodsusa.com

                1. Handy Market in Burbank has good fresh birds, order in advance, but I dunno what part of town you're staying in.
                  Consumer Reports says "free range" is a big joke....unless you have a great report on the actual farm, free range can just mean the door to the coop must be left open for 5 minutes a day in case a bird wants to wonder out for a bit. USDA nonsense.