Last minute non-factory turkey suggestions, Central Los Angeles
November 20, 2017 9:59 AM   Subscribe

I have taken on the task, last minute, of making a Thanksgiving turkey for just two. I live in Echo Park, Los Angeles - on this late date, where should I get a turkey that isn't just a big old ball of hormones and antibiotics?


* I am happy for it to be a smaller turkey.

* I'd prefer not to go to Whole Foods, but I will if I have to.

* I'd prefer a turkey over some other type of smaller fowl, but if you really have a hot tip on finding a pheasant or some quails or something, let me know.

* I live in Echo Park and am happy to drive a few miles in any direction to pick up this bird.
posted by kensington314 to Shopping (16 answers total)
I don't have a store recommendation, but for just two people, I recommend that you look at turkey breasts. They're still large (about 6-9 lbs), and will give you full turkey flavor.
posted by hydra77 at 10:07 AM on November 20, 2017 [2 favorites]


When I cook turkey for 2, I buy aldi turkey breasts in a frozen thing. Cook them like you would a turkey, but it's super cheap, and usually people like the turkey breast the best anyway. And, you get like 10lbs of meat, instead of like 5lbs of meat off a 30lb bird.
posted by bbqturtle at 10:07 AM on November 20, 2017

I made a large turkey breast for two on the weekend, and it was plenty for two with leftovers (I made it in a slow-cooker, and it came out nice and juicy. Put it under the broiler for a few minutes at the end to crisp up the skin). I was able to pick up Turkey breast up at Whole Foods, but I'm not in LA and its not Thanksgiving here.
posted by frau_grubach at 10:17 AM on November 20, 2017

Have you tried the Trader Joes in Silver Lake?
posted by muddgirl at 10:18 AM on November 20, 2017

If you're willing to stretch your definition of 'a few miles,' there's Hottingers in Chino — they've still got some Huntsinger ranch turkeys. Might be worth a call to see if they have any smaller ones.
posted by culfinglin at 10:29 AM on November 20, 2017

I like Mary's turkeys; perhaps Organic is the kind you are looking for. Their store locator suggests Gelson's north of you. Mary's are better than generic but not so special the store probably doesn't have a few without reservations.
posted by Nelson at 11:32 AM on November 20, 2017 [1 favorite]

posted by socialjusticeworrier at 11:39 AM on November 20, 2017

I am in WeHo and can help you with this...

Next year, track down LaBahn poultry ranchers at a farmers market (I don't think they're at Silver Lake, I know they rock Atwater Village on Sundays...)


After that, your choices are: Whole Foods (but not the WF Lite in Los Feliz,) or Huntington Meats at The Farmers Market at the Grove.

WF's proper sized market usually have decent quality meats & poultry, I've gotten great Turkey there.

I have zero trust to outright disgust for poultry meats from Gelson's. Bristol Farms I'm 50/50 on. Wf Lite doesn't carry the same products as regular WF's and is a hard no for animal protein in my book. Stay far far the fuck away from SPROUTS meats. No. Never. Nope.

Call Mc Call's, then Urban Radish. Proceed from there. Good luck!!
posted by jbenben at 11:42 AM on November 20, 2017 [2 favorites]

socialjusticeworrier -

Thanks for the tip - I meant to mention that I wouldn't go there either, due to their anti-gay bigotry and considerable funding of the Prop 8 anti-gay / anti-marriage amendment here in CA.

(I sound very strident here; sorry. It's just I've never been able to stomach going back in there.)
posted by kensington314 at 11:45 AM on November 20, 2017 [1 favorite]

I'm going to say a soft "no" on Trader Joe's meats and poultry, too. I bet TJ's would be fine and probably on par with regular Whole Foods, but I have never tried them. I know TJ's sells a bird that is pre-brined, and that may be your answer if you strike out at Urban Radish and Mc Call's.
posted by jbenben at 11:46 AM on November 20, 2017

jbenben -

Thanks for the assist - what's the issue with Gelson's poultry meat?
posted by kensington314 at 11:48 AM on November 20, 2017

It's trash quality, IMO. I'm not a fan of factory farm animal products. It's nice they have such a great image/stores, but the meat in the case is Ralph's level quality with a Gelson's label. You don't need it in your life ;))
posted by jbenben at 11:50 AM on November 20, 2017

Thank's for the head's up on Lassens! I didn't know!
posted by jbenben at 11:51 AM on November 20, 2017

I'm 6's on Mary's poultry because I've found weird green tumors in their bulk packaged chicken breasts more than once. Mary's is also available at WF's and Bristol Farms.
posted by jbenben at 11:54 AM on November 20, 2017 [1 favorite]

FYI I was at Ralphs (Universal City) yesterday and they still had organic turkeys.
posted by BlahLaLa at 12:35 PM on November 20, 2017

So I went with jbenben's recommendation and headed over to Urban Radish. Butcher there was great to talk to and so far, so good, though of course when I burn the turkey that will be bummer.
posted by kensington314 at 1:57 PM on November 20, 2017 [4 favorites]

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