Where to find a flavorful turkey??

flowergirl70ksDecember 7, 2012

I have tried to find a turkey that tastes like they used to. You know, the ones that smell delicious when cooking and taste the same. Not the ones that taste like cardboard. Where to find? I have tried all kinds, even free range. I wish I wasn't so old, I'd raise one in my backyard.

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publickman

Find a meat market that sells turkeys that have not been frozen. Sometimes you will have to order them in advance, but you can call the market for that and let them know when you will want it. Try a Halal market - they often butcher the turkeys themselves. I also used to find fresh poultry in Chinatown.

Lars

    Bookmark   December 7, 2012 at 5:21PM
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jojoco

Do you live in an area where fresh, as in eating-bugs-and-grass-last-week, turkeys are available? I bought one of said described birds for Thanksgiving and it was amazing. Could cut it with a fork, and not in a mushy way, just tender and so moist.

I'm sold.

Jo

    Bookmark   December 7, 2012 at 6:28PM
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Cynic

Don't buy anything that's fuel injected, like a Butterball. Cook it properly (not overcooked).

Although you do have to keep in mind that tastes change and memories can be misleading. Some things I used to hate, I not enjoy and vice-versa.

I usually have been pleased with Jenny-O. And for me, IDC if they've been flash frozen. I usually buy a turkey breast though and I still enjoy it.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2012 at 8:35AM
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flowergirl70ks

I appreciate the replies-I live in the middle of cattle country, no fresh birds around here. yes I'd like to find one that has been pecking on the ground eating grass. No Halal market stuff for me for obvious reasons. I do not understand fuel injected, is this a pun or what.I don't think my tastes have changed, I still know what delicious turkey tastes like.Maybe Martha Stewart knows.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2012 at 9:19AM
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Olychick

There is such a huge small farm/grower movement here in the PNW I just imagined that would be true everywhere. Are there farmer's markets in your community? If so, you might find someone who is raising heritage turkeys - or real free range (the gov't standard for free range is not necessarily what you might think - there may be so many birds that the "range" is simply an overcrowded, overgrazed dirt pen).

If you can buy farm fresh eggs locally, you might check with those folks/farms to see if they might also grow a few turkeys. Check Craigslist, too, and see if you can find those small, local farmers.

If none of that works in your area, I'd try to find an organic turkey. That way you know they have no growth hormones which can make the meat mealy and tasteless. And organic isn't injected (or I haven't seen them injected) with extra fluids, broth, preservatives, etc. (Fuel injected).

I am lucky to know two people who grow their own turkeys, so have access to them. My Thanksgiving turkey was butchered on the Sat before Thanksgiving and cooked fresh on Weds. Nothing better! But it also was $5 lb :(

    Bookmark   December 8, 2012 at 12:09PM
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Nunyabiz1

Guaranteed best turkey is to buy a Fresh Bell & Evans turkey, then BRINE it for 15-30 hours depending on size.
Then smoke it on a Kamado type grill with Apple and Cherry wood.
Need to let the skin dry very well, put a bit of butter under the skin so that it will crisp up and get nice and honey brown color.
I cut a whole onion in 1/4ths, cut a nice big sprig of rosemary and stuff that in the cavity.

Best turkey you will ever eat.

Plus the Bell & Evans turkeys have breast FAR larger than your average bird.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 1:19PM
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Cynic

I call them fuel injected when they use the terms "pre-basted" or something like that, like Butterball. They inject them with saltwater and they become mushy. They're terrible, they're expensive and they cost more per pound and on top of it, you're paying turkey price for the saltwater injected.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 4:56PM
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flowergirl70ks

Alas, Bell & Evans turkeys are not sold west of the Mississippi.I always wondered what brining did. Now cynic says they are injected with a saline solution. Why all the salt? Is this what kills the flavor? I have a friend who lives on a farm. She says she will grow a few for next year. I can hardly wait.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2012 at 9:54AM
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Nunyabiz1

What Brining does is replace the water already in the meat with the brine, salt/sugar various spices.
Does this through Osmosis and what the salt does to the cells in the meat is "denature" the proteins.
What that does is form a matrix within the cell that holds onto the water while cooking which makes for a MUCH more moist and flavorful piece of meat.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2012 at 11:54AM
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