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fresh turkeys for thanksgiving?

has anyone had one from henry's? they say they're free range fresh birds... ? or if not there, where do you get your fresh turkey? just wondering - i'd love some input.

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  1. One likely source is Puritan Poultry at the permanent Farmer's Market at 3rd and Fairfax: http://www.farmersmarketla.com/direct...

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

    1. I've been using Henry's for the last several years and have no complaints with their product. Call in and make a reservation for the size bird that you want.

      1. I get Diestel turkeys from How's Market. But you need to make reservations for them.

        1. Costco sells fresh turkeys. 89 cents a pound, the same price for three years now. They plan on selling over 1M nationwide this year.

          3 Replies
          1. re: Cathy

            Anyone know if Costco's are free range and hormone free? Henry's are $1.49 a lb.

            1. re: JAB

              They aren't labeled that hormones are added. Fresh is Foster Farms brand.

              Lat year went to a gather where six turkeys were prepared. One was fried (unsure of brand), one Diestel, one Free range Henry's, one had been ordered from Bristol Farms and mine was from Costco (Fresh) and I also prepared a 'free with purchase' frozen no name brand my neighbor handed me.

              My two were picked to the bones. Which were then used to make soup the next day. It's all in how you prepare them.

              1. re: JAB

                Henry's only has 14-16 lb birds left to reserve.

            2. are the diestels really great? i've heard good things and i'm curious...

              2 Replies
              1. re: debershell

                I've had them for a few years--very good turkey flavor. One of my in-laws refuses to eat turkey except for when I cook a Diestel turkey on Thanksgiving.

                1. re: raytamsgv

                  How's Market and Trader Joe's both have fresh turkeys.

                  How's-$2.49/lb or $1.79/lb with $35 purchase.

                  Trader Joe's- $1.79/lb already brined.

              2. I go to Whole Foods or Bristol Farms. You may be too late to order a heritage bird though.

                1 Reply
                1. re: ocshooter

                  Do NOT order a bird from Whole Foods! Last Thanksgiving, I ordered a turkey from the Tustin store and picked it up. On Wednesday (Thanksgiving Eve) I got a call from them telling me I had to return the turkey and they would replace it because of some unspecified problem. So I returned it and picked up the replacement. They would not say what was wrong with the turkey, of course, but did say there were only a few that were affected. The replacement turkey was not the same brand that I had ordered. It was tough, stringy, a totally horrible bird, and folks, I DO know how to roast a delicious turkey. It was so bad we didn't even keep any leftovers, we just put it in the trash. That experience plus some terrible Mary's air-chilled, organic chicken breasts (again tough and stringy) that I got there the previous month, plus some other negative experiences, did it for me. I won't go anywhere NEAR a Whole Foods anymore.

                  On the other hand, I have NEVER been disappointed with Bristol Farms poultry.

                2. i looked at the tj's turkeys, i've heard they're good - but had a couple of concerns... first was since you can't order from them you just have to hope they have what you want(and i need a 22lb bird which according to them is harder to come by), and second was that all the turkeys have the same use by date regardess of when they receive them meaning that they've all been slaughtered for some time. am i wrong in being concerned(and a little creeped out)about how fresh they really are?

                  i think i'm going to give the henry's turkey a shot - according to the guy in the meat dept there the turkeys are free range(outdoors, sunshine and everything) and they're raised in the san diego area so that's pretty local as well. i'm planning to dry brine - i'll report back after thanksgiving.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: debershell

                    debershell how do you "dry brine"?.....Ooooooooops just read it below! Thanks!

                  2. My original post recommending Mary's Organic (dry Zuni "brined" and spatchcocked) was removed for an unacceptable attack on factory farmed meat. But the rec still stands. Tasty with excellent skin.

                    1. I have always enjoyed Huntsinger birds and order a fresh one from Ralph's every year. A flavorful bird that cooks up well.

                      1. okay, first of all, i am sold on dry brining, and the henry's turkey was fantastic. i rubbed the bird inside and out with kosher salt, cracked pepper and fresh thyme on monday, then put it in one of those big roasting bags in the fridge. no mess, no leak, and everyone said it was the best turkey they had ever eaten - in fact, they devoured pretty much the whole thing. i'm thinking of making another turkey so i can make all the great leftovers i was planning on... and it cooked WAY faster than i thought it would - i was figuring on about 5 hours for a 22 pound turkey but it was done in about 4. crazy.

                        two thumbs up for the henry's turkey.

                        5 Replies
                        1. re: debershell

                          I also had a 22 pound turkey which I cooked at 325 degrees and it was done in just a little over 4 hours. Blew me away. Maybe someone will tell us why since I was lookint at 5 to 6 hours for the bird to be done. Threw the timing off on everything else.

                          1. re: debershell

                            Were your turkeys stuffed? My stuffed almost 23 lb'er took about 7.5 hours. We ended up getting ours at Sprouts as Henry's didn't have any large birds to reserve. It was very good and the same price as Henry's.

                            1. re: JAB

                              mine wasn't stuffed - i started the oven @ 450 for the first 1/2 hour, then down to 325 after that...

                              i just looked at the sprouts website - are they related to henry's? the websites are really similar.

                              1. re: debershell

                                "i just looked at the sprouts website - are they related to henry's?"

                                Short answer: yes, they were both started by members of the same family: Henry's in 1943 (sort of), Sprouts in 2002.

                                Long answer: http://msterree.wordpress.com/2010/07...

                                1. re: Peripatetic

                                  Interesting in that if you were blindfolded upon entry, you wouldn't know which market you were in. They are that similar inside.

                                  In regard to the link: Well, that clears the mystery right up. LOL!

                          2. I'm reviving this year old thread. Any updates since last year? Here is the thing, every year I fly to LA to spend thanksgiving with family, usually at my brother's house in the Valley. He is in the middle of a renovation so this year it will be at Mom's (South Bay), and I get to cook. I fly in Monday afternoon, so I do have time to buy the turkey, and do 'whatever' with it. I have no problem driving over to the Farmers Market (an excuse to go up the street to Canter's for a pastrami sandwich.) But if I can do just as well at Whole Foods or Henry's market, thats fine with me. Thanks!

                            11 Replies
                            1. re: KaimukiMan

                              Just ordered a 16 lb heritage turkey from http://lindyandgrundy.com/AboutLG.htm
                              Lindy & Grundy Meats
                              801 North Fairfax Avenue
                              Los Angeles, CA 90046

                              They are ridicously expensive at $16.99/lb, but I like the idea of supporting small businesses and farming families. They will also brine the turkey. I have previously gotten birds from Heritage USA and Willie Bird, but just checked online and they are both out of the size I want.

                              1. re: DonnaB

                                Wow. I am no stranger to expensive meat and I shop at L&G pretty often, but wow. WOW.

                                1. re: DonnaB

                                  Did you just say $17 BUCKS A POUND?!!

                                  Tell us it's a typo.

                                2. re: KaimukiMan

                                  if you fly into Burbank Mcall's meat and fish in los feliz has them. pre order.

                                  1. re: KaimukiMan

                                    The Bristol Farms on Rosecrans Blvd. in Manhattan Beach will be selling fresh turkeys. They have one type that is organic free range in sizes starting at 12 lbs and going up to 20 and other types that are larger that are "free range" but not organic. I would suggest ordering the size you want ahead of time.

                                    Bristol Farms
                                    1570 Rosecrans Ave, Manhattan Beach, CA

                                    1. re: KaimukiMan

                                      We've had really good luck with the Mary's Organic at Whole Foods several years in a row. Mary's doesn't water process and it really helps the skin crisp up in the oven. You can order on the website. The turkey is a better proportion than a butterball or whatever but is a more traditional shape and flavor than say a heritage bird. WF also offers a heritage bird from on the larger producers.

                                      I am a big fan of the spatchcock method (1.5 hours!) with a dry brine ala Zuni.

                                      1. re: KaimukiMan

                                        K-man, Henry's is now Sprouts so don't let that throw you. It was like Star becoming Times :)

                                        1. re: scottca075

                                          thanks scottca. In fact thanks all of you. I am realizing how long it has been since I cooked a turkey. I may actually have to follow directions, but thats another thread!

                                          1. re: KaimukiMan

                                            again - the henry's bird was really good. locally raised, free range - like with sunshine and outdoors and everything - and pretty darn reasonably priced. highly recommend.

                                          2. Any comments on Slavko's Harbor Poultry (aside from the fried chicken)?

                                            Slavko's Harbor Poultry
                                            1224 S Pacific Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90731

                                            1. Harmony Farms in La Crescenta always has great free range birds, but you need to reserve them.

                                              Harmony Farms
                                              2824 Foothill Blvd, La Crescenta, CA

                                              1. healthy family farms, santa monica farmer's mkt.

                                                1. I just ordered a Mary's Turkeys free-range from Whole Foods online. Then I went to Mary's website and decided to watch their video. Endured not quite three minutes of atmospheric multi-panel images, earnest questions and well-rehearsed answers, and too much slick "folky" git-tar music, clicked it off, called WF and changed my order to Diestel. Okay, is that offtopic? Not really, since now we've established that (1) WF has several kinds of turkeys that can be ordered online, and (2) that if you change your mind you can do that very easily, although you have to do that by calling the destination store. Yes, it's considerably more expensive than a Butterball from Ralphs, but the combination of great service, humanely-raised birds, and the ease of finding the much smaller one I wanted (6-10 lb) pretty much counters that.

                                                  4 Replies
                                                  1. re: Will Owen

                                                    Will, I get folksy music can be off putting but I want to at least note that Mary's uses cold processing vs. water bath processing at their slaughter facility. It is expensive but results in three very good things. Much less contamination with nasty bugs, no retained water in the bird, and skin that is easier to crisp because of less retained water. I haven't had DIestel in a long time so I can't comment on their quality. http://www.eco-farm.org/blogs/farmer/...

                                                    Me, I love some hippies strumming a guitar before slaughter.

                                                    1. re: JudiAU

                                                      I have no real objection to guitar music, country scenery, pictures of turkey flocks or even interviews with growers. What I do object to is having all of these things combined in a blatantly disingenuous way to get me to buy a turkey. The pictures were nice, the music was good, and I'm sure the grower and Mary are both sincere in their efforts and intentions, but the overall production was painfully lame. Mary herself, standing in a barn in a blue dress and pearls, was for me the final straw.

                                                      1. re: Will Owen

                                                        " Mary herself, standing in a barn in a blue dress and pearls, was for me the final straw."


                                                        1. re: laliz

                                                          I've brined a couple broad-breasted turkeys. It works.

                                                          But if you can get a narrow-breasted heritage turkey , and you inject it, nice. I'm ordering a wild-type turkey free-range raised for this Thanksgiving.

                                                  2. i was at the cm sprouts on harbor by target, a former henry's, and they were giving out samples of their turkey dinner. you might wanna check with your desired store if you're interested this weekend. i can't vouch all of them are doing this, but if they do, it'll be quite helpful.

                                                    as for personal opinion, it was nothing special. i went around the time they had the entire display set up, which was before 2 pm. the turkey was overcooked and dry, there wasn't any particular flavor too it. the serving of stuffing i received was cooked along the edge of the pan so was dry too. i usually like the edge of anything because it tends to be crispy, but not this time. personally thought it was too bread-y. i love stuffing btw, but i don't think i'd buy it. the mashed potato was on the flavorless side. gravy ingeneral is not my fav, but for gravy it was nice that it wasn't super salty. the cranberry was my fav. whole berry kind. i like that the orange wasn't strong because i don't like orange (why does everything cranberry have to orange in it?!?!). yeah, if i was a pirate, i'd die of scurvy. it lacks some zing or something to make it taste special. oddly, my mom thought it was too sweet (same to be said about the pumpkin pie). i have no qualms with all of sprouts pie except i dislike their crusts. for market pie, not bad but also nothing to rave about. pro is that they're not overly sweet. their crust however, needs work imho. oh and green beans, i don't come from a household that eats green beans, so i'll just say mine were overcooked, limp, and lacking in color.

                                                    regardless, there were quite a handful of folks ordering so there you have it.

                                                    1. Any update since 2010. Especially regarding heritage turkey vs broadbreasted verity.

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: FallingLeaves

                                                        The Costco in Culver City/Marina Del Rey is selling three types of turkeys. Foster Farms turkeys for $0.99/lb, Coastal Range Organics (owned by Foster Farms I believe) for $2.79/lb and Diestel turkeys in a brine for $3.39/lb.

                                                      2. Same question for thanksgiving 2014. Looking for a fresh free range or organic bird. Staying in Silver Lake but don't mind a bit of a drive. Cooking for 12 to 14 people most of whom will be flying in from the east coast as I will be. I know I can order from whole food but looking for maybe a local choice?
                                                        Thank you

                                                        3 Replies
                                                        1. re: kennyr

                                                          Call Fish King in Glendale. They take orders and should have what you want.

                                                          1. re: kennyr

                                                            Gelson's carries fresh birds including Diestel's. Jim's Fallbrook Market has several types of fresh turkeys. Since it is only the middle of October, and you have some time...if you can afford the price there is the Rolls Royce of turkeys, Willie Bird, http://williebird.com/shop/fresh-turkey/.