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Serving Up 2800 Turkeys

Serving Up 2800 Turkeys

Thanksgiving is still three weeks away, but at Good Eggs, we’ve been planning for it since January. This year, we’re welcoming almost 3000 turkeys into our warehouse—it’s a fascinating journey from the farm to your fridge, so read on for all the details.

How we plan for your plate

Because we work with small producers across the Bay Area, we need to plan large orders far in advance. Birds for November have to be hatched in April or May. Our team huddles and does a “turkey forecast” to determine the number of birds we’d like to order, and from which farmers.

Where we source our birds

A pup on a turkey ranch with some of his feathered friends_Good_Eggs.jpg

“When we’re looking for a turkey producer, we start with breed,” says Rachel Sanchez, our meat category leader. This year we’re sourcing broad-breasted bronze birds (say that five times fast) from Diestel Turkey, Mary’s via Pitman Family Farms, and Keller Crafted Meats. We’ll also have a select number of heritage birds from Oz Family Farm.

“Broad-breasted whites are the most common turkeys, but bronze is richer in terms of flavor and moisture,” Sanchez explains. “Heritage birds are even more flavorful—they’re older breeds that haven’t been crossed with modern birds, and their meat is much darker. Almost similar to pheasant.”

Our strict sourcing standards help those rich flavors shine: we only work with farms that treat their birds humanely. First, we look for places where turkeys are fed an all-vegetarian diet. Then Sanchez reviews their living conditions.

Overcrowding is a huge issue with your typical turkey production. “You might have 20,000 birds in a single barn,” Sanchez explains, “whereas our producers will only house 5,000 in a similar space. Some of our producers are even completely pastured, meaning the turkeys spend their whole lives outside, scratching and rooting. That natural behavior results in muscle and fat that leads to moist, delicious birds.”

Pastured birds have their own unique challenges—especially the heritage birds, who can fly! But for our producers, that’s a small price to pay for keeping these beautiful, rare older breeds alive.

“It brings us so much satisfaction to know that each turkey we hatch upholds a taste and a breed that our ancestors would have had access to, “ says Kelly Osman, of Oz Family Farm.

 Kelly showing off a heritage turkey at Oz Family Farm

Kelly showing off a heritage turkey at Oz Family Farm


 Mary’s Free Range   Organic Broad-Breasted Turkey - 12-14lb     $47.89 - Serves 10-14

Mary’s Free Range
Organic Broad-Breasted Turkey - 12-14lb
$47.89 - Serves 10-14

 Diestel Turkey   Organic Heirloom Turkey - 18-20lb   $98.99 - Serves 18-22

Diestel Turkey
Organic Heirloom Turkey - 18-20lb
$98.99 - Serves 18-22

 Oz Family Farm   Pastured Raised Heritage Turkey - 10-12lb   $99.99 - Serves 6-8

Oz Family Farm
Pastured Raised Heritage Turkey - 10-12lb
$99.99 - Serves 6-8


How a turkey goes from farm to fridge

Both fresh and frozen birds will arrive to your door pretty chilly, says Sanchez.

“We keep all our turkeys in a special trailer at a very specific temperature to ensure freshness,” she says. “Our fresh turkeys will arrive with a hard chill to keep them that way—so if your fresh turkey shows up with a frozen crust, that’s how it should be!”

At your typical grocery store, frozen turkeys may have been processed as long ago as April. But our fresh and frozen birds will just be 6-12 days off of the farm. Just remember to leave time for defrosting when you place your order.

Thaw Your Turkey.jpg

 Keller Crafted Meats   Pasture Raised Turkey - 12-14lb     $47.89 - Serves 10-14

Keller Crafted Meats
Pasture Raised Turkey - 12-14lb
$47.89 - Serves 10-14

 Keller Crafted Meats   Pasture Raised Turkey - 14-16lb     $55.89 - Serves 14-18

Keller Crafted Meats
Pasture Raised Turkey - 14-16lb
$55.89 - Serves 14-18

 Keller Crafted Meats   Pasture Raised Turkey - 18-20lb     $71.89 - Serves 18-22

Keller Crafted Meats
Pasture Raised Turkey - 18-20lb
$71.89 - Serves 18-22


Turkey tips and alternatives

88% percent of Americans serve up a classic turkey on Thanksgiving Day, according to the National Turkey Federation. But we know it’s nice to have options. 

“We’ll be selling RoliRoti’s Turketta. It’s a hand-rolled and tied boned turkey breast stuffed with spices. Super easy to roast and carve, and makes an elegant centerpiece. It’s a great option if you’re hosting a smaller dinner for 6 to 8 people,” says Sanchez.

Other poultry alternatives include duck, and of course, organic chicken. (Attempting to build your own three-bird turducken? We’ve got the raw materials covered—and recommend adding a sausage stuffing to really take things over the edge).


 RoliRoti   Turketta Roast    - 6.5lb  $64.29

RoliRoti
Turketta Roast - 6.5lb
$64.29

 Root Down Farm   Pasture Raised Duck - 5lb   $60.89

Root Down Farm
Pasture Raised Duck - 5lb
$60.89

 Sonoma County Meat Co.   Sweet Italian Pork Sausage - 0.75lb     $7.99

Sonoma County Meat Co.
Sweet Italian Pork Sausage - 0.75lb
$7.99


For those looking to go beyond the bird, ham is a popular choice. Our whole animal program with Keller Crafted Meats means we strive to use the entirety of their choice, black angus hogs—we’ve been saving the ham legs for Thanksgiving and Keller will be smoking them with special spices and woods, just for us.

And, of course, some of us skip the meat altogether. Field Roast’s Celebration Roast is grain-based and stuffed with all kinds of flavorful goodies like squash, mushrooms, and apples.


 Field Roast   Vegan Celebration Roast   $6.99

Field Roast
Vegan Celebration Roast
$6.99

 Tofurkey   Vegan Veggie Roast     $10.99

Tofurkey
Vegan Veggie Roast
$10.99

 Good Eggs Kitchen   Roasted Veg Medley     $12.99

Good Eggs Kitchen
Roasted Veg Medley
$12.99


Even if you’re going traditional, you can shake things up: go for the bold flavor of Diestel’s smoked turkey—fully cooked over hickory and applewood, it has a unique, almost bacon-like taste and smell. Just reheat it to serve (and any leftovers will make a delicious soup!).

Another time-saving turkey options include our full Thanksgiving dinner, complete with a ready-roasted organic bird from Diestel. Our Head Chef, Chris Chapman, said it was the best turkey he’d ever tasted.

Even though we’re prepping plenty of premade turkeys, sides, and other time-savers, we know Thanksgiving is a holiday many people love spending in the kitchen. If you’re cooking a turkey yourself, here’s what Chapman recommends, based on the type you buy:

“If you’re deep frying, choose a broad breasted bird. It’ll hold up well to the hot oil. Whether you’re frying or roasting, I’d definitely recommend brining to make sure it’s nice and juicy: do a wet brine for roasting and a dry brine for frying.

For heritage birds, you really want to season lightly and do a classic oven roast to highlight the flavors. Because it’s already so moist, there’s no need to brine.”


 Good Eggs Kitchen  Holiday Turkey Dinner  $159.99 - Serves 8

Good Eggs Kitchen
Holiday Turkey Dinner
$159.99 - Serves 8

 Good Eggs Kitchen   Classic Stuffing     $24.99 - Serves 8

Good Eggs Kitchen
Classic Stuffing
$24.99 - Serves 8

 Diestel Turkey   Fully Cooked Smoked Turkey - 10-12lb     $51.99 - Serves 6-8

Diestel Turkey
Fully Cooked Smoked Turkey - 10-12lb
$51.99 - Serves 6-8


Who’s hungry? If you can’t wait to get started, visit Good Eggs to preorder your turkey and other Thanksgiving items. You’d be surprised how quickly 2800 turkeys can fly the coop…!

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