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Get a 'good' turkey this year. You know - one that's been outside. They're just better that way.

Here’s our guide to local shops accepting orders for good Thanksgiving turkey. What do we mean by ‘good’? We mean turkeys that live like turkeys are supposed to live – in a field, pecking and gobbling.

After all, isn’t Thanksgiving about celebrating and giving thanks for what’s good in our lives? Turkeys raised on industrial farms, packed into barns, pumped full of junk, and processed in giant factories don’t fit the bill.

With a few exceptions, you’ll find two types of turkeys here – broad-breasted whites and heritage breeds:

Broad-breasted whites: Broad-breasted whites are the prototypical Thanksgiving turkeys – the kind domesticated and bred over generations to have the most breast meat. Many fine purveyors choose to feature these turkeys because they’re the most familiar to the home cook – they look like we’ve come to assume a Thanksgiving turkey is supposed to look, and they’ve got a lot of that popular white breast meat.

Heritage breeds: Heritage breed turkeys are domesticated birds that haven’t been as intensively bred as their broad-breasted cousins – they’re much closer to wild breeds in terms of structure and musculature than the turkeys we’ve become more accustomed to. Heritage breeds have become rare since fowl farming became largely industrialized in the second half of the 20th century and the dominant producers locked in on the marketability of the broad-breasted birds.

Some prefer the familiarity, presentation and copious breast meat of the broad-breasteds, while others prefer the flavor, novelty and sustainable angles of the heritage breeds. There’s no right or wrong answer here – you decide what’s right for you.

For a deeper dive into the differences between the broad-breasted whites and heritage birds, and how best to cook them (think: brine) check out our conversation last year with butcher Brent Young of The Meat Hook.

So here’s a list of good shops carrying good turkeys, right here in the BK. If we’ve missed anyone, please let us know in the comments and we’ll add them to the list.

Boerum Hill

Paisano’s Meats
162 Smith Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201, (718) 855-2641

  • The Birds: They’ve got it all– Broad-breasted whites, heritage breeds, and wild birds(!)
  • The Source: Organic turkeys from Murray’s in Lancaster, PA; others vary depending on the type of turkey (they can tell you more if you tell them what you’re looking for).
  • What’s good about ‘em? Lots of options including wild, free-range, organic, antibiotic-free, and local.
  • How much? Ranges from around $3/lb to $13/lb, depending on the kind of bird.
  • How to order? Call with your credit card number–they’ll take a $20 deposit. Pick up starting the weekend before Thanksgiving.
  • Order deadline: None yet, but get your orders in soon to make sure you get what you’re looking for.

Brooklyn Heights

DiPaola Turkey Farms
Borough Hall Greenmarket, at Cadman Plaza, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays

  • The Birds: Broad-breasted whites
  • The Source: The farm
  • What’s good about ‘em? Free-range, antibiotic-free, local turkeys
  • How much? $3.39 per pound
  • How to order? Order at the Greenmarket or call the farm at 609.587.9311. Pick up at the Greenmarket on Saturday prior to Thanksgiving
  • Order deadline: Taking orders until they sell out

– Carroll Gardens

Court Street Grocers
485 Court Street, Brooklyn, NY 11231, (718) 722-7229

  • The Birds: Broad-breasted white and heritage breed turkeys (+ homemade sides, pies).
  • The Source: Turkeys are from Griggstown Quail Farm in Princeton, NJ.  Sides are made in-house, pies are from Breezy Hill Orchards.
  • What’s good about ‘em? Free-range, antibiotic and hormone-free turkeys. Sides and pies made with quality (often local) ingredients.
  • How much? $6/lb for standard turkey, $12/lb for heritage. Pies are $25-$30, sides $6-$14.
  • How to order: Stop by the shop and pick up a form, or download it here and email it back.
  • Order deadline: Nov. 14. Pick up birds on November 22nd and 23rd.

DiPaola Turkey Farms
Carroll Gardens Greenmarket, at Carroll and Smith Street, Sundays

  • The Birds: Broad-breasted whites
  • The Source: The farm
  • What’s good about ‘em? Free-range, antibiotic-free, local turkeys
  • How much? $3.39 per pound
  • How to order? Order at the Greenmarkets or call the farm at 609.587.9311. Pick up at the Greenmarket on theSunday prior to Thanksgiving
  • Order deadline: Taking orders until they sell out

Seersucker
329 Smith Street, Brooklyn, NY 11231, (718) 422-0444

  • The Birds: Broad-breasted whites, roasted and ready (in addition to gravy, cranberry compote, mashed potatoes, Brussels sprouts, Consider Bardwell mac & cheese, braised collards, cornbread dressing, and sweet potato pie.
  • The Source: A cooperative of Pennsylvania Amish farms.
  • What’s good about ‘em? Organic, free-range, antibiotic-free and local.
  • How much? $30/person for 8 oz. turkey plus three sides. $10/pint for additional a la carte sides.
  • How to order? Email at seersuckerturkey@gmail.com, pick up Nov. 23.
  • Order deadline: Nov. 16

Stinky Bklyn
215 Smith Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201, (718) 596-2873

  • The Birds: Broad-breasted whites and heritage-breed Turkeys in three weight categories: 12-15 lbs, 16-19 lbs, 20-24 lbs.
  • The Source? Stonewood & Misty Knoll Farms in Vermont.
  • What’s good about ‘em? Free-range, antibiotic and hormone-free.
  • How much? $5.50/lb or $6.50/lb for heritage.
  • How to order: Call for more info.
  • Order deadline: Officially Nov. 1, but they’ve still got a few larger birds available for order (as of November 8). Pick up on Tuesday or Wednesday of Thanksgiving week, or on Thanksgiving morning (Nov. 22nd, 23rd or 24th.)

– Clinton Hill

Brooklyn Victory Garden
920 Fulton Street, Brooklyn, NY 11238, (718) 398-9100

  • The Birds: Broad-breasted turkeys in four weight categories: 10-13 lbs, 13-16 lbs, 16-19 lbs, 20 lbs and up (specify how big you’re looking for and they’ll do their best)
  • The Source: Oink & Gobble Farm, Interlaken, NY
  • What’s good about ‘em? Free-range, antibiotic and hormone-free.
  • How much? $5.25/lb with a $50 deposit
  • How to order: Stop by the shop.
  • Order deadline: Nov. 5.  Pickup is Saturday Nov. 19 only

DUMBO

Forager’s Market
56 Adams Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201, (718) 801-8400

  • The Birds: A variety of all-natural, heritage breeds, and organic broad-breasted white turkeys.
  • The Source: All natural and heritage breeds from Good Shepherd Farm in Kansas, via Heritage Foods. Organic turkeys are from a Pennsylvania Amish farmers’ cooperative.
  • What’s good about ‘em? Free-range, antibiotic and hormone-free. The organic birds are raised on organic feed.
  • How much? All-naturals are $4.50/lb, organic birds are $4.99/lb, heritage breeds are $6.99/lb.
  • How to order: Call or stop by the shop.
  • Order deadline: Order by November 11th to ensure availability. If you miss the deadline you can call – they may have some left. Pickup on the Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday of Thanksgiving week, or on Thanksgiving morning (November 21st, 22nd, 23rd or 24th).

Fort Greene

DiPaola Turkey Farms
Fort Greene Park Greenmarket, Saturdays

  • The Birds: Broad-breasted whites
  • The Source: The farm
  • What’s good about ‘em? Free-range, antibiotic-free, local turkeys
  • How much? $3.39 per pound
  • How to order? Order at the Greenmarket or call the farm at 609.587.9311. Pick up at the Greenmarket on Saturday prior to Thanksgiving
  • Order deadline: Taking orders until they sell out

The Greene Grape
753 Fulton Street in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, (718) 233-2700

  • The Birds: Broad-breasted whites and heritage breeds
  • The Source: Amish and Mennonite farms in Lancaster County, PA
  • What’s good about ‘em? A selection of ‘natural,’ organic, and Free-range, antibiotic-free, local turkeys
  • How much? ‘All natural’ $4.49/lb, organic $5.29/lb, heritage breeds $10.99/lb
  • How to order? Order on their website.
  • Order deadline: Taking orders until they sell out

Park Slope

Applewood
510 11th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11215, (718) 788-1810

  • The Birds: Broad-breasted whites (uncooked) in four sizes: 10-14 lbs, 14-18 lbs, 18-22 lbs, 22-25 lbs (as well as their cooked accompaniments menu: sweet potato puree or herbed new potatoes, roasted fall root vegetables, butternut squash soup, fresh cranberry chutney, pecan stuffing, and turkey gravy, with apple cake or pumpkin pie for dessert).
  • The Source: Oink & Gobble Farm, Interlaken, NY.
  • What’s good about ‘em: Free-range, antibiotic-free and local.
  • How much? Turkey is $4.55/lb. Sides go from $70 for two people to $285 for 10. Desserts are $25.
  • How to order? Call the restaurant. Pick up on Nov. 22 or Nov. 23.
  • Order deadline: Nov. 15

Bklyn Larder
228 Flatbush Avenue, Brooklyn, NY, (718) 783-1250

  • The Birds: Broad-breasted white half-turkeys (brined, stuffed, rolled and roasted – ready to eat.) (+ sides, breads, desserts, cheese and cured meat trays, and gift boxes.)
  • The Source: Oink & Gobble Farm, Interlaken, NY.
  • What’s good about ‘em? Free-range, antibiotic and hormone-free turkeys. Other ingredients are high quality–some local, some imported.
  • How much? Turkeys are $99, come ready-to-eat, and feed about eight people, desserts are $20-$30, sides vary.
  • How to order: Pick up a form at the store or call.
  • Order deadline: Nov. 18th. Pickup is Thanksgiving Day 9am-1pm.

DiPaola Turkey Farms
Grand Army Plaza Greenmarket, Saturdays

  • The Birds: Broad-breasted whites
  • The Source: The farm
  • What’s good about ‘em? Free-range, antibiotic-free, local turkeys
  • How much? $3.39 per pound
  • How to order? Order at the Greenmarket or call the farm at 609.587.9311. Pick up at the Greenmarket on Saturday prior to Thanksgiving
  • Order deadline: Taking orders until they sell out

Fleisher’s Grass-Fed and Organic Meats
192 5th Avenue, Brooklyn, New York 11217, (718) 398-6666

  • The Birds: A variety of birds: broad-breasted white and heritage-breed turkeys; net-caught wild turkey and pheasant (in very limited quantities); and capon.
  • The Source: All farmed birds are from Hudson Valley farms, with the exception of the heritage-breeds which are from Bill Niman’s BN Ranch in Iowa. The wild turkeys are locally-caught.
  • What’s good about ‘em? All farmed birds are free-range, antibiotic and hormone-free. Most are local. And they have wild birds.
  • How much? Most options are $8.99/lb, but call for details.
  • How to order: Stop by the shop
  • Order deadline: The sooner the better. They’ve reserved a few hundred birds, but once they’re out, they’re out. Pickup is Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of Thanksgiving week (November 21, 22, 23).

Williamsburg

The Meat Hook
100 Frost Street, Brooklyn, NY 11211, (718) 349-5033

  • The Birds: Broad-breasted white turkeys.
  • The Source: Raised just for The Meat Hook on an Amish farm in upstate NY
  • What’s good about ‘em? Free-range, antibiotic and hormone-free.
  • How much? $6.99/lb
  • How to order: Order online here or call the shop at (718) 349-5033
  • Order deadline: They should have plenty, but order early to make sure. Pickups begin Saturday the 19th and continue until Thanksgiving day.

Marlow & Daughters
95 Broadway, Brooklyn, NY 11211, (718) 388-5700

  • The Birds: Broad-breasted white and broad-breasted bronze turkeys in 10-12lb, 13-16 lb, 16-20 lb, and 20+ lb sizes.
  • The Source: Stone & Thistle Farm in East Meredith, NY; Oink & Gobble Farm in Interlaken, NY; Garden of Spices Farm in Greenwich, NY.
  • What’s good about ‘em? Free-range, antibiotic and hormone-free.
  • How much? $7.85/lb
  • How to order: Stop by the shop or call the shop.
  • Order deadline: The sooner the better. The earlier you order, the more likely you are to get a bird in the exact size you want. Picks begin on the Monday before Thanksgiving (November 21st).

– Online/Bushwick/LES

Heritage Foods
Box 198 — 402 Graham Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11211, 718-389-0985

  • The Birds: Variety of heritage breeds.
  • The Source: A network of farms called Good Shepherd Turkey Ranch in Kansas – (whose breeds date back to the 1800′s), and Leaping Waters Farm in Virginia.
  • What’s good about ‘em: No antibiotics/hormones/ vegeterian fed – free-range/pastured.
  • How much? Online orders: $72 for 8-10lb birds,  $82 for 10-12 lbs, $95 for 12-14 lbs, $102 for 14-16 lbs, plus shipping. Heritage Foods has a butcher shop at the Essex Street Market on the Lower East Side. To avoid shipping charges, you can order through them and pick up at the shop for $7 per lb.
  • How to order: For delivery, order online. To order through the shop, call (212) 539-1111.
  • Order deadline: The sooner the better – larger sizes are selling out. Online orders will be delivered on November 22nd via FedEx.

If we’ve missed any other shops carrying good Thanksgiving birds, let us know in the comments and we’ll add them to the list.

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2 Responses to The Good Bird Guide: Where to Find Free-Range Thanksgiving Turkeys in Brooklyn

  1. Pingback: Heritage Breeds Are Making a Comeback, but Still Represent Less Than 1% of All Turkeys Sold | Nona Brooklyn | What's Good Today?

  2. Ross Brown says:

    You have to include Paisanos Butcher on Smith Street in Boerum Hill. Mike will get you organic, heritage, everything.

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