Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
Nov 25, 2009 01:36 PM

Turkey Emergency-need feedback!

Hello All,

To sum it up briefly, my turkey smells, well off. It is a Mary's Free Range Bird that was slaughtered halal (I bought it from a local halal butcher) and I picked it up this morning around 1030am. It felt cold when I got it, there were no frozen spots on the bottom at all and felt very cold. When I opened up the packaging there was a definite odor that was not at all pleasant, very funky.

As I haven't cooked a whole turkey in nearly a year and it's my first experience with a halal turkey, should it have any kind of smell? I am the type that would throw it out/return it if in doubt but with Thanksgiving less than 12 hours away I don't want to do anything rash. So far, I've only put my herb/salt rub on it and stuck it in the fridge.

Any advice/knowledge is appreciated!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Quick! Run it back to the butcher's and ask them to give it a whiff!!

    [And I'm the one who usually says, "Don't worry; it'll be OK"].

    1. yes, call the butcher & tell them you are on the way. If they don't have an extra turkey, they should give you something else - an "off" smelling bird is nothing to mess with! Better a non-traditional dinner than being sick from a bad bird.

      Good luck!

      1. I'm with Dr. Fujisaka on this one. I live in a magic house but a bad "whiff" and I'd head right back to the butcher.

        1. Thanks for the quick feedback,

          Just got off of the phone with my culinary advice expert (mom) and took another wiff. The best way to quantify the smell is rotten eggs. So now its time to talk to the butcher and pray something works out!


          2 Replies
          1. re: gmk1322

            Are you sure it's the bird? Newly hard boiled eggs will smell up my fridge in a minute.

            1. re: gmk1322

              Oh no!! Crossing my fingers for you, gmk! If it's any reassurance, most small butchers will probably have a turkey or two that someone ordered but didn't pick up! Hope you can find one of those at the last minute. Eek!

            2. Hello All,

              Wanted to give an update to everyone about what happened. I still had the packaging and there was no date at all on it, the packaging was never in the fridge so I know there was no odor contamination from materials already present. I called the owner and he told me to bring it back and he would give me another turkey. I said no and that I can't take the chance of it being bad once I got home and if he could just refund the money. He agreed, so I ran the bird, packaging, and giblets over and he gave me my check back.

              I managed to get over to Whole Foods and despite their dwindling supplies managed to score a Diestel All Natural as a replacement. I got it home and unwrapped, it still had some frost from the trip from Sonoma and IT DIDN'T SMELL (this confirmed for me how off the other turkey was). I will have to tweak my recipe slightly but all in all it seemed to work out in the end. Any screw-up is on me now!