Let’s Talk Turkey!


 

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Two weeks from today, families and friends will gather at tables across the country to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday. This is a time for gratitude–toasting our bountiful blessings while piling our plates high with a cornucopia of festive foods: creamy mashed potatoes, savory stuffing, tart cranberry sauce, and spiced pumpkin pie. At the center of the traditional feast is a big-breasted bird whose signature “gobble” prompts fans of all ages to state their preference for “white meat or dark?”

I’m talking, of course, about the turkey.

Whether slow roasted in the oven with butter and herbs, or immersed in a pot of hot oil and fried to a golden, crispy-skinned finished, this bird is the undeniable centerpiece of most traditional celebrations. That’s why it’s important not to skimp when it comes to the quality of the meat that graces your table. Heirloom Exhibition 2012 008

If you want to make your feast truly special this year, consider ordering a locally grown, pasture-fed bird direct from one of the following farms. Their free-range turkeys may carry a premium price tag, but they are guaranteed to provide your guests with the tastiest, humanely raised meat possible. NOTE: These sustainably raised birds are available in limited supply and are selling out quickly. Don’t delay in reserving your turkey!

Tara Firma Farms, located at 3796 I Street in the rolling hills west of Petaluma, has a limited supply of pasture-raised Broad-Breasted & Heritage breed turkeys available for purchase. These free-range birds spend their lives feeding on naturally occurring forage from the field, supplemented with fresh fruits, veggies, and organic grain mix. They are always hormone and antibiotic free. This sustainable farm’s commitment to humane husbandry practices extends all the way to processing the birds on site with minimal stress to the animals.

Call (707) 765-1202 for more information, or visit their website at www.tarafirmafarms.com to purchase your bird.

Willie Bird Turkeys, based in Sonoma County, is a family run farm that has raised free-range turkeys since 1948. The Benedetti Family, owners of Willie Bird Turkeys, developed their now famous recipe for wet-curing finished birds in a low-salt marinade of special oils and spices, then aging the meat to perfection before smoking it over natural alderwood.

Each bird is fully cooked, cooled, and vacuum-sealed to retain maximum  flavor and freshness. The resulting taste has a “depth and character of flavor” that has become synonymous with the Willie Bird trademark. These birds need only gentle re-heating before serving which makes them a convenient option for your Thanksgiving buffet or table.

In addition to their whole smoked birds, patrons may also buy fresh natural free-range or free-range organic turkeys at Willie Bird.

To order your Willie Bird Turkey or ask about shipping rates, call (877) 494-5592, or (707) 545-2832. For more information, refer to their website at www.williebird.com. Pre-ordered turkeys are available for pick-up at the farm’s retail store, located at 5350 Highway 12, Santa Rosa, California (near Sebastopol). Turkeys can also be shipped via 2nd day FedEx.

If you want to garner raves at this year’s Thanksgiving feast, you can’t go wrong with a turkey from one of these local North Bay farms.

Mary’s Free Range Turkeys is third generation family owned and operated since 1954.  Mary’s sons, David & Ben Pitman, are the farmers who lead the company today with a focus on the the importance of humane animal husbandry and welfare.

Mary’s Turkeys offers three choices for your feast: Mary’s Non-GMO Turkey, Mary’s Organic Turkey and Mary’s Heritage Turkey. All their California raised birds are free-range, fed a vegetarian diet with no antibiotics, hormones, or preservatives EVER.

Visit http://www.marysturkeys.com for a complete list of stores that carry their birds, along with handy roasting instructions and cooking videos!

Categories: Farms & Ranches, SLOW FoodTags: , , , , , ,

6 comments

  1. Make sure the turkey is fully thawed as microwave thawing followed by microwave cooking crates uneven cooking. Safe storage, handling, cooking methods, and approximate cooking times for chicken. Cooking time can be reduced by as much as 30 minutes to an hour compared to traditional roasting timetable. Oven Cooking Bag Method Preparing a turkey in an oven cooking bag can be a safe and a delicious alternative to the traditional roasting method. Paper Bag Method This method involves placing the turkey in a large brown paper bag, the type used in grocery stores, and cooking the bird at a very low temperature. Pour off the wonderfully flavourful cooking liquid that accumulates in the bottom of the pan and use it for a side dish of dressing. Many variables can affect the roasting time of the whole bird: A partially frozen bird requires longer cooking.*

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