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Anyone have problems w/ their TJ's kosher/fresh turkeys

Imagine my surprise when I unwrapped my TJ's kosher (fresh) turkey this morning to find it covered in good sized pin feathers. My DH and I spent the better part of an hour, me with a pair of tweezers, and him with a pliers, pulling those suckers out. I was NOT pleased. Anyone else have this happen w/ their bird? This is the first time I've purchased a fresh kosher bird from TJ's. I saved the price sticker and a baggie full of pin feathers and I am sure as heck bringing it back to them.

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  1. Yes, last year. I pulled out the pin feathers. It was a bother, but a tasty turkey. I didn't think of taking it back.

    1. You probably don't need to bring it back to them, because I can tell you what they will (most likely) say. A Kosher turkey usually has the feathers on it. This is due to the processing (or lack thereof) of the turkey. Everything is done by hand, so the feathers are pulled as much as possible, but often, all of them cannot be removed, especially due to the processes that some Kosher factories use to remove all the blood (which is an essential part of Kosher cooking).

      So, I hate to say it, but they probably won't give you a refund, as that is just the way a Kosher bird comes.

      3 Replies
      1. re: milkyway4679

        You will find some feathers in non Kosher fresh birds roo, it just comes with the territory. We had to pull some too with ours yesterday but the taste was well worth it.

        1. re: milkyway4679

          Kosher birds don't get a warm water bath for defeathering, so it doesn't work nearly as well.

          1. re: milkyway4679

            Generally speaking Trader Joe's will give you a refund on anything you are dissatisfied with.

          2. Thanks for the responses. This was our first time w/ a Kosher bird and I had no idea they came that way! I will not complain to TJ's about it. We were very happy w/ our turkey except for the pinfeather issue, and I would buy it again.

            5 Replies
            1. re: mdepsmom

              The flavor that goes along with a kosher turkey/chicken is well worth the trouble of plucking them out. It's just the way it is and chicken soup is just not the same without a kosher chicken.

              1. re: latindancer

                You've brought up a really interesting point. When my mom made chicken soup, I remember her plucking the pinfeathers out of the bird first, and I know she always bought her chickens from a Kosher butcher. Now that I make chicken soup, I buy Tyson or whatever brand it is that my grocery store carries. My soup, although I use the same ingredients my mom always used, never has the flavor that hers had. It never occurred to me that using a kosher bird would make the difference! So thank you for that - now I am looking forward to testing this theory for Passover.

                1. re: mdepsmom

                  Cook's Illustrated ran a review some years ago with Empire among the favorites -- primarily because the kashering created a partially-brined, and therefore juicier, bird.

                  1. re: ferret

                    Kosher is also saltier, so that might be a large component of the extra flavor your mom's soup had.

                  2. re: mdepsmom

                    You are quite welcome :). I've never made chicken soup without a kosher chicken and I buy my chicken(s) from Doheny kosher meat on Pico.
                    They have a torch that burns the pinfeathers off when you purchase the fresh chickens and it's nice because there's no bother with having to pluck them.
                    I'm glad I was able to bring this to your attention and, of course, you will notice the difference. Have fun!!