Thanksgiving Turkey

Tips On Sourcing and Cooking Your Fresh Turkey


After a spooky Halloween season, it is time to switch our attention to the next, and arguably busiest, time of the year: the holiday season. We know you’re probably still organizing your candy and getting those perfectly carved pumpkins off your porch, but in a mere three weeks, it’ll be time to give thanks and enjoy a big meal with your family.

If you have hosting duties or are in charge of the big Thanksgiving dinner, then we have the perfect guide for you. We’ll help you make this Thanksgiving even more special by helping you create a dinner from only locally sourced ingredients. We’ll help you find the perfect turkey, the places to get ingredients and the sides, and provide helpful tips from local chefs to create the perfect Thanksgiving meal.

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Where to start

The most important part of the meal is unarguably the turkey. That’s what makes Thanksgiving stand out from the other holidays. Here are a couple of places that offer delicious locally grown turkey:

Roperti’s Turkey Farm

Roperti’s Turkey Farm in Livonia has been one of the best choices for Metro Detroiters in need of a fresh turkey for over 69 years. The turkeys are fresh dressed, corn fed, and raised in a stress-free environment, making for a delicious turkey on Thanksgiving. Visit their website for more information on ordering the perfect bird for your family.

John Henry’s

John Henry’s offers the highest quality of local Michigan meats around, including the perfect turkey for your Thanksgiving dinner. If you can’t make it to their Millington location, John Henry’s also offers deliveries to many metro Detroit cities.

Roeske Farms

Roeske Farms located in Hartland has been selling the freshest produce and delicious meats, including great turkeys for the holiday season. The farm tends to sell out of turkeys before the Thanksgiving holiday, so be sure to preorder your bird sooner rather than later.

Farm Field Table

Located in Ferndale, Farm Field Table features the best meat from the area’s best farms. They have a very large selection of meat, from ribeyes to pork and of course steak. Good news, they just started taking orders for turkeys, so be sure to place your order before they sell out.

 

Where to get fresh ingredients

It might be difficult to find ingredients that are out of season (Michigan apples for example), but there are plenty of places you can still venture out to find the perfect ingredients. With markets like The Farmers Hand and Kutchey Family Market, you’ll be able to find fresh produce and ingredients that will be perfect for the Thanksgiving table.

The Farmers Hand

The Farmers Hand in downtown Detroit will help give you a hand with all of your Thanksgiving side needs. With locally-focused, artisanal groceries and ingredients, there’s almost nothing you cannot find here. The fresh ingredients found here will truly make a difference and it’s made better by it’s local connection. They also offer pre-ordering of turkeys from local farms.

Kutchey Family Market

Since the 1800s, yes you read that right, the Kutchey Family Farm has been providing Macomb county with the freshest produce around. Located in Warren, the market has fresh fruits and vegetables that will be perfect for the Thanksgiving table.

 

Tips from a chef

So after you’ve selected the perfect turkey and have gotten mouth watering ingredients for your sides, what strategies can you use to get the most out of your turkey? That’s what we asked Derik Watson of Bistro 82 and The Morrie.

How do you prepare your turkey?

“I usually tend to break my turkey down and cook it according to its different parts as opposed to roasting whole. It kind of breaks the rules a bit from tradition, but I think you have more control over the outcome.”

What do you do with the different parts of the turkey?

“I make stock from the bones which in turn become gravy and stock for veggies and stuffing. The thighs and legs I tend to roast, and the breasts, if feeling fancy, I would cook sous vide. If I were to be going the traditional route, I would make sure to the truss the bird after generously seasoning and stuffing the cavity with aromatics, i.e. onion, lemon, thyme, rosemary, etc.”

What advice can you give about stuffing?

“I am not a fan generally of stuffing a turkey with bread stuffing. By the time the stuffing is cooked and safe to eat the meat of the bird itself, especially the breast, is usually over cooked. I bake my stuffing separate and use the turkey stock to impart the flavor.”

 

You can enjoy a Michigan inspired meal with turkeys, ingredients, and tips from these great metro Detroit establishments. Reach out to us on our social media channels to tell us how it went!

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