Best options for local purveyors of turkey for Thanksgiving (or your protein of choice) [Greater Boston, MA]

@digga, confirming that I wouldn’t worry about wiping down your turkey from Lilac Hedge. I have to say the bird we received was as clean as I could dare to hope. Ours is all seasoned up now and waiting in the fridge.


I put on a tank top (to avoid contamination of my sleeves) and a rubber glove and rubbed the cavity with salt. I also re-salted the outside, which didn’t seem salty enough. Hopefully I didn’t oversalt it. And because I let it sit with breast side up last night, it’s now sitting butt-side to let that side dry out (I did not cover it).

I felt/looked Iike an outcast from a Seinfeld episode.


Thanks for your kind words @tomatotomato @GretchenS. I am so thankful for my food friends.


Salt will liquefy and absorb into the skin and meat. Your bird should be fine (they need a lot of flavor) but I wouldn’t go nuts adding too much extra salt if you feel like you used an adequate amount to start.

Shout out Gochujang, a staple in our fridge. Sorry for creeping.


As a card-carrying Korean, if I didn’t have gochujang in my fridge, I would be excommunicated. :laughing:


@digga and @tomatotomato , sorry about the family situation and the car mishap, respectively. Hope you were both able to salvage Thanksgiving. How did your turkeys turn out?

I must have plunged my thermometer into the wrong part of the turkey, because it read 210(!) suspiciously early. Instead of trusting my nose, I panicked and pulled it out of the oven. Turned out to be too early. Still, I cut off the cooked bits (breast was the moistest I’ve ever produced), served them, and microwaved the carcass with its red areas, where the thigh meets the body, for 7 minutes. Nobody’s dead yet.


We do a recipe which involved brining, then filling the cavity with aromatics and sliced apples, then microwaving hot water and pouring it into the cavity, then into a hot oven (500) for 30 mins, then finish at 350. Jump-starting the inside with the pour of hot water means a short time in the oven, but it’s a bit messy/tricky to be holding the raw bird and dumping boiling water into it. It turned out very well, although our friends who did the brine admitted their recipe used quite a lot of salt (I did not press for exact quantities) and the drippings made my gravy a bit overseasoned. Next year I’ll be more cautious in adding drippings and taste first. I think it may have been an Alton Brown recipe, but I can press for details if anyone wants for future reference. Actually, I have my own 9# turkey in the freezer for roasting when we’re ready for turkey again as we get very few actual turkey leftovers from our day-of.


Ha, thankfully that describes how our holiday went too.

Our turkey from Lilac Hedge farm turned out great! The simpler version of salting and drying the turkey in the fridge worked out well overall. I found that I needed to baste with a bit more oil or butter during roasting. The most important thing I learned is that the fully defrosted turkey cooked faster in our convection oven than the USDA roasting guidelines specify—actually about an hour sooner, and I did check with my trusty Thermapen.

The turkey was tasty, moist, and the stock I made afterward is so gelatin-rich that I find myself diluting it with water. Good stuff.

P.S. The sunroof of my car may have actually shattered spontaneously. Yikes. I am doing research to learn more while I await the glass to be shipped for the repair. Supply chain may cause a delay.


Bummer about the sun roof @tomatotomato :weary:

Overall a good Thanksgiving here too. The turkey was delicious, even if delayed. My first time in a while where I pulled the bird out earlier than I should have. I guess I wasn’t pushing the thermometer in far enough, because all 3 times I poked it in, it was showing the 150-155 range I look for. I was apparently about 05inch off though from the true center where I should have been reading. Guess, chalk that up to the slightly larger turkey this year than I’ve had the last 2-3 years. I had a turkey a bit over 14lbs, where they’ve been 12.5lbs more recently. I was really thinking too that I could have used that new bluetooth Yummly thermometer, that of course came on Friday. When it was ready, it was delicious though.

My breakthrough for this year – leek stumps! :joy: I usually lift my spatchcocked turkey up off the roasting tray using onion halves (helps flavor any drippings too). While it works great, the turkey can slide off a bit as you butter and work the turkey. This year, I decided to add leeks. Cut those into a good 1-inch rounds and realized ‘hey these are flat, and would make great turkeys lifts!’ Worked very well, and I’m kicking myself for not having thought of this in prior years. I’ll just keep the cut up onions around the tray for flavoring next year.


I imagine you normally drive a Rolls, but if by any chance you were driving your fifth car and it was a Toyota, and the sunroof was third-party, yes it can spontaneously shatter. The one on our RAV4 did three years ago, and they replaced it for “free”. (The cost in time is never reimbursed.)


Every time I try to write my Thanksgiving update here, something happens with my dad. Hope to be back soon. Please hold


So sorry for what you’re going through. Best wishes to your dad (and you).


Thinking of you and your family @digga!


Oh no, I hope he is doing well. Sending good vibes to you, your family and your dad, @digga


Oh No! I keep my gochujang in my pantry.

I did just double check and see that it says to refrigerate after opening but I never have. Do you think it makes a big difference? I think too many items suggest refrigeration that don’t really need it.

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another vote for hoping all is OK. good luck.


Seems like it would be totally fine in a cool, dark place as well. I scrape off any discolored top if I haven’t used it for a bit even in the fridge. I assume this might happen a bit more quickly out of the fridge.


I’ve never had it discolor but the edges do sometimes get a bit dried out. I think it’s easier to scoop at room temperature.

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Making noodles. Phongdien Town, Cantho City, Southern Vietnam.
Credit: CiaoHo