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Help! I forgot to order a turkey! (MSP)

I just realized that Thanksgiving is next week, and the entire family will be arriving at my house hungry for turkey.

Where should I go to order a fresh, not-too-enormous turkey? I've had bad luck in the past - Byerly's delivered a huge bird that was almost twice as large as I ordered, and Whole Foods' so-called "never frozen" turkey was so "deep chilled" (their words) that it needed 4+ hours of panic defrosting under running water - major T-day stress that I didn't need.

I need help finding a good source for a tasty turkey. I'd especially like one that's free range, organic, and non-injected.


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  1. Your local co-op should still have some available. I've ordered, happily, from Mississippi Market in the past.

    1. I don't know if they still have any available, but Cooks of Crocus Hill was offering heritage turkeys - local, free-range, no hormones, etc. 651-228-1333.

      1. Clancy's may still be taking orders. And yes, the Mississippi Market still had a sign up for orders last night.

        1. The Wedge is taking orders through Friday, 11/16 for turkeys of various types and sizes. I think I read in the newsletter that they'll have some available for walk-in as well.

          We've ordered from there in the past and have always had good luck. (I'd better check with my better half to make sure we've ordered as well for this year...)

          Here's the relevant info:

          1. Call Callister's farm in the market. They probably have some smaller birds that need roasting! I was late last year and they got me a ten pounder.

            1. You can sign up for one in the book they have out in the meat section at Fresh and Natural foods. You sign up according to what size you want in 2 lb. increments, and tell them what day you want to come in to pick it up. You need to be careful to leave enough time for your turkey to defrost though, because most fresh (non-frozen) turkeys are stored somewhere between 0-26 degrees farenheight. According to the regulations, turkey has to be labeled "frozen" only if it has been stored below 0 degrees. They have this year, I believe, a sign up both for regular and organic turkeys. (They are all free range and free of antibiotics/hormones). If you don't want to go in just to sign up, I am sure they would also take your order over the phone, and then you would just need to go in to get it. They have locations in Shoreview, Burnsville, Plymouth and Hudson.

              1. I just got a notice from Surdyk's saying they have turkeys from Otis Family Farms, and also heritage breeds.

                1. Thanks! You guys are a wealth of information! Automommy, you're a marvel - I didn't know that about turkey temperature. I'll plan accordingly this year (and I'll stop blaming Whole Foods for the frozen bird).

                  I'm hoping for a Callister Farm turkey from Farm in the Market (at Midtown Global Market). I'm on the waiting list, and I don't find out until Saturday whether I made the cut. But their chickens are so amazing that it's worth the risk for a chance at one of their turkeys.

                  If this doesn't work out, I'll check these other places for a "walk-in" turkey.


                  1. the mississippi market on randolph also currently has organic schultz farm turkeys and karajan turkeys, (frozen) if the callisters sell out. you need 24 hours thaw time in fridge for every 5 pounds turkey, or 30 min per 1 pound of turkey under cold water, water being changed every 30 mins.

                    1. Minnesota is the leading turkey producing state with some 46 million birds and you can't find one? ;)

                      Kidding aside I am not sure what you achieve with a non-frozen, heritage or free range turkey other than maybe less white meat that everyone seems to want. A heritage turkey is dry and stringy and probably to most not all that tasty. But if that is what you want...

                      A good turkey is more in the preparation and roasting. Me, I just went to SuperTarget and grabbed a 22 lb. frozen Archer Farms Butterball this afternoon and stuck it in the freezer.

                      5 Replies
                      1. re: Davydd

                        No way - no heritage turkey for me. For one thing, I can't afford one. I just want an organic/free-range bird, because they taste better. I don't want a saline-injected bird for the same reason (plus, I'm supposed to avoid the sodium). And, yes, I love the dark meat.

                        And 22 lbs is waaaaaay too big for me and my small oven. I'm hoping to find a 12 lb bird. Those Butterballs are twice as big as I need. (Which makes for dry, overcooked white meat in order to get the dark meat cooked.)

                        And, alas, Butterball turkeys taste like cardboard to me. Salty, turkey-flavored cardboard, but cardboard none the less. If you like 'em, though, more power to you!

                        I'm still crossing my fingers for a Callister Farms turkey - I just roasted one of their chickens last night, and it was the tastiest chicken I've ever had. If their turkeys are only half as good, they'll be fabulous.


                        1. re: AnneInMpls

                          They aren't organic, but the Kadejan free-range turkeys are awesome- I've
                          roasted them several times and loved them. And I did zero brining, basting, or
                          doctoring of any kind. I have to watch my salt also and agree with you on the
                          salty cardboard-ness of corporate turkeys. And there's plenty of white meat-
                          they are the same breed the commercial people raise, but raised in a much
                          healthier way. And the leftover meat keeps amazingly well in the fridge- at least
                          a week with no loss of deliciousness. Good luck!

                          1. re: faith

                            I scored a small turkey from Callister Farms (11.5 lbs), and it was delicious. Lots of white meat, not much dark - probably the same commercial breed, too. But Callister Farms won't have any more turkeys until Christmas, so it's good to know about Kadejan. I need to cook another turkey in a few weeks, both for the leftovers and for more turkey-cooking practice. (I failed miserably at using a meat thermometer on this turkey, so we didn't have any dark meat at our dinner - it had to be returned to the oven to finish cooking...)


                            1. re: AnneInMpls

                              My solve? I made ham for Thanksgiving. From local Anderson Farm. YUM!

                        2. re: Davydd

                          My turkey turned out great. Photo attached.

                          But back on subject for next year or maybe Christmas. I was in the Lakewinds Coop in Minnetonka the day before Thanksgiving and they had unfrozen free range turkeys available then.

                        3. I know it's late this year, but after my dog ate my Turkey on Thanksgiving Morning I was able to find one at Seward Coop on Thanksgiving day. Fresh not Frozen, free-range organic. Almost as good as the one I had ordered from Clancey's. I had tried all of the big markets, which were of course closed and was on my way to United Noodle for a duck and came across Seward. I also found out that Whole foods is open 365 days a year.