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Nov 21, 2009 01:39 PM

Russo's Turkeys

I made my first visit to this legendary place today. It was a maddhouse! I was amazed at the produce and perhaps a 100 fresh ingredients that would take some thought on how to prepare.

I begged to be put on a waiting list for any cancelled turkeys. Customer service was amazing and I await their call with fingers crossed.

Now, feeling positive that it will be a Russo's , but with a Wilson's backup which I'll cancel promptlyv the question is

to brine or not to brine these fresh turkeys? I am making a turkey neck stock for gravy from Wilson's fresh necks, so no worries on saltiness. Just don't know if the fresh real turkey needs or hopes for brining? I like Alton Browns recipe give or take an ingredient that may not be in the pantry.

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  1. Oh, and I got some fantastic tropical flowers for 5.95 a bunch with lots of greens! Choose carefully and they will still be wonderfully fresh for the holiday.

    1. I can't speak to Russo's turkeys in particular, but I've brined fresh turkeys before and they've come out fantastic. Just imparts so much more flavor and moisture, especially if you use more seasoning in the brine.

      3 Replies
      1. re: kobuta

        I was under the impression that Russo's and Wilson's were sourcing from the same place? Maybe I was wrong...In any case, we brined our turkey from Russo's last year (not sure if it was from the same farm) and it was fantastic. If you are already considering, why not just do it?

        1. re: Spenbald

          That is interesting that they MAY be sourced from the same farm.
          Can anyone confirm. I had such better customer service at Russo's while being ignored twice by the guy making time with other customers at Wilson's.
          Brine it will be!

          1. re: gyppielou

            Actually, just looking at Wilson's website, even though they don't specify where the turkeys are coming from, they are raised exclusively for Wilson's...

            Will be anxious to hear how the brining goes!

      2. I brine a fresh turkey every year, with consistently excellent results. Go for it.

        Russo's was less of a madhouse than I expected this afternoon around 4: we did all of our Thanksgiving shopping and were in and out in just a hair under 20 minutes.

        8 Replies
        1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

          Russo's was a madhouse yesterday with people fighting about their place in the line, no room for carts, etc.

          1. re: veggielover

            Clearly, as we had suspected, it paid to get there late in the afternoon! Not empty, by any means, but nothing like you describe.

            1. re: Allstonian

              We were just there today around 5. It was not bad at wait in lines. There was a 10 minute wait or so at the deli, but that's about it. A pleasant surprise.

          2. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

            So even thought the OP is all set for the gravy, in general, can you still make gravy from the drippings of a brined turkey or will it be too salty?

            1. re: heypielady

              I find it's a little salty, but you can thin it out with water and it's fine. I make gravy from the drippings of my brined turkey every year.

              1. re: heypielady

                Yes, the drippings will be salty if you brine your turkey. My solution is to make a vat of salt-free turkey broth the day before, using necks and wings. The broth goes into the pan with the drippings to make gravy. It also moistens the stuffing (baked separately). Whatever is left goes into the freezer, for future gravy to go with the frozen turkey leftovers.

                1. re: heypielady

                  You can definitely make gravy from the drippings of a brined turkey. Just be careful with how you season the gravy as you're making it.

                  1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

                    confirming the above, of course you can make gravy with the drippings from a brined bird. Like Pinch of Salt, I make a good stock the day before and freeze the leftovers. Makes dynamite gravy with the drippings. We do our brined birds outside, unless its a storm, on the Weber, by indirect method. Put a pan underneath for the drippings. The best birds ever, we think. Saves the oven for everything else.

              2. I got mine from Owen's Poultry Farm in Needham last year, and brining worked fine. I also "dried" it overnight in the fridge, per Cook's Illustrated recipe from a couple years ago, and the skin was totally bronzed and crisp (I also snuck some herbed, garlicy fatback between the skin and breast). There's a discussion on the "dry brining" technique on the recipes board, but I've never tried it.

                1. Even though I was told 3 times that they were sold out, I landed my Russo's turkey today. Something about it just seemed more right then the Wilson, which I promptly cancelled so someone else could enjoy it.

                  Ready to Alton Brown Brine it! I know this is the turkey for me, and my distinguished guests!!!

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: gyppielou

                    My Turkey's from Wagon Wheel in Lexington. Small stand on Waltham St at Concord Ave. They say their turkeys are from a farm in Western MA. Fresh, never frozen. I plan to brine him overnight then bone and stuff it.