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Turkeys 2013

Been getting my local fresh turkeys from Wagon Wheel in Lexington the last few years, and I've been happy with them. They get them from a farm in western MA. $2.99/lb is not cheap, but not crazy expensive either.
Anyone else got a better option? Are the heirlooms worth the price?
My plan this year is to brine, then spatchcock it and smoke it. The Chow recipe for smoking looks good, anyone here tried it?

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  1. Get mine at Mayflower and always have been happy. The heirloom birds at WF were too pricey so, in 2011, we did a "face off" between a WF heirloom and a Mayflower fresh bird to see if it was really worth the money and the Mayflower was preferred. I brine and smoke but haven't used the Chow recipe.

    1 Reply
    1. re: teezeetoo

      I just talked with the folks at Mayflower. They get their birds from North Carolina. They used to come fresh killed and packed in ice. This year they've switched to an earlier kill, cryovac packed and chilled to 35 degrees. Probably fine, and I think about $3/lb. Just FYI, I don't know how it affects the quality of the bird, I've even read that Cooks Illustrated said that frozen was better than fresh...

    2. M F Dulock has some - this, from their FB page:

      "We have a limited number of fresh Massachusetts turkeys available for Thanksgiving. These are pasture-raised broad breasted whites. We are offering 13-15 pound @ $90.00 per bird, 16-20 pound @ $120.00 per bird, and 20-25 pound @ $150.00 per bird. Please call the shop (617) 666-1970 to place your order. Orders must be received by Wednesday 11/20/2013. We require a $25.00 non-refundable deposit to secure your order. Turkeys will be available for pick up on Tuesday 11/26 & Wednesday 11/27."

      6 Replies
      1. re: Small Plates

        Hmmm, lets see, $150 for a designer fresh 20 pound bird, or $10 for that frozen cheapo at the market?

        For those with deep pockets but wanting a better deal than above, Miss Scarlet Farm in Yarmouthport is still taking reservations for free range heritage birds at $5 per pound. They also have free range duck and goose. 508.420.9748

        1. re: CapeCodGuy

          Do they deliver to or distribute in the Greater Boston area?

          1. re: Gabatta

            I'm sure some here appreciate a tip on where to get a free range heritage bird direct from a local farm and purveyor. And those folks will drive the hour or so to get one at a much fairer price than Dulock's, for instance.

            1. re: CapeCodGuy

              I was asking an honest question and I'll take that as a no.

              Since you mention it, why would I waste a 3 hour round trip and a tank of gas (which isn't free the last time I checked) to save $30 on an 18 pound bird? Yes, Dulock's price works out to $6.66/lb for that size bird, and your much fairer price is $5/lb? Dulock's prices are more than reasonable consider the location and quality of product.

              1. re: Gabatta

                Maybe 3 hours for some, but 1-2 hours for others, as this region's board often hosts queries from the Plymouth area and south shore. You must drive some gas guzzler to use a full tank of gas to get to the Cape and back. I use about 5 gallons RT to Boston. and I live in the mid Cape. A $20# bird from Dulock's is $7.50 per pound so direct from the farm is a 50% savings. Even factoring in the gas, those who don't live north of the city come out ahead. Also, the birds at Scarlett's are heritage birds. There's no indication that Dulocks are as such. Most pay $10/# for heritage which is a fairer comparison. Plus they can enjoy that they are buying direct from the farm, AND they get a nice trip to Cape Cod. Win,win,win. Not for you? okay, sure. (I'm sure you use zero gas driving in traffic to Dulocks)

                TBH...I enjoy my fresh free range from Bongi's Turkey Farm in Duxbury every year. Tastes delicious to me and around $3 lb. (plus gas)

                1. re: CapeCodGuy

                  We're not sure why this of all subjects got so testy so fast, but we've removed a couple of posts here.

                  If people have tips on where to get great turkey please do share them. Whether or not a given price or drive is acceptable is likely to be a pretty personal question, so let's let that argument go, please.

      2. I've done Owen's Poultry in Needham for a couple years and then last year did a Misty Knoll Farms from Fromaggio which was $77 for 12 pounds. Personally, I found it only marginally better and will definitely be going for a cheaper option this year. I remember seeing some at WF last year for about half that price or maybe I'll just call Mayflower.

        I always do a salt cure (or dry-brine if you will, but that term seems to oxy-moronic for me), for 24 hours in the fridge and then roast in the oven. I've found this method to produce the most "turkey" tasting turkey.

        My father-in-law always smokes and I will say it produces delicious turkeys, but in more of a smokey flavor than a turkey flavor.

        1. I've been buying mine at Sulmona's in the NE.

          I don't remember the price/lb but I remember them being very reasonably priced.

          No fancy pedigree. I think they get them from somewhere in the Carolinas, fresh not frozen.

          I've always been very pleased.

          Order 1-2 weeks before Thxgiving and pick up M-W.

          1. I tried a heritage bird last year from an online purveyor - $45-50 for an 11-pound bird (I got a "deal"). Maybe it was this vendor - no one gave me more raves for my turkey being extra delicious last year. I thought it tasted just as good as past years, but nothing special.