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Got Turkey?

By Caroline Clough in Food on Nov 13, 2006 5:22PM

dancing-holiday-turkey.jpgThanksgiving is coming, and for all of us who eat meat, that means turkey. Last year Chicagoist had our parents come visit, and we found ourselves a little unprepared. This was our first time in charge, and we hadn't really thought through the whole "cooking dinner for ourselves" part of the equation. Because of this lack of planning, you could have seen us at any number of grocery stores, looking for mid-sized, organic, fresh turkeys just hours before the cooking had to commence. This was stressful ... for us and our significant other. We don't want this to happen again, nor do we want you to suffer a similar fate. So we've taken the liberty of checking out the lay of the reserving-a-turkey-early land.

Chicagoist called the meat departments of five rather prominent grocery chains: Jewel-Osco, Dominicks, Sunflower Markets, Whole Foods and Treasure Island.

We found the best organic turkey deal at Sunflower Markets. Their fresh, organic turkeys range in weight from 12-20 pounds and are being sold for one dollar and forty-nine cents per pound. They strongly encourage making a reservation as soon as possible (like today).

The best non-organic deal we found was at Dominicks where you can pre-order a regular, frozen turkey starting at sixty-nine cents per pound. They were a little less emphatic about when the cut-off date for reserving your bird might be ... but the sooner the better.

We thought we'd just let you know what all the other places told us ... just in case.

1. Jewel-Osco (we called the 5343 N. Broadway location) does not have any organic turkeys but does have fresh free-range birds. The man we spoke to was uncertain about what their price per pound would be but said that they would be between forty and seventy-one dollars. In terms of non-organic or free-range fowl, the prices dipped considerably. Jewel is offering frozen birds starting at seventy-nine cents per pound and peaking at one dollar and forty-nine cents per pound. Fresh turkeys start at one dollar and thirty-six cents per pound. The man we spoke to suggested that if you wanted to make a reservation you should definitely call this week.

2. Unlike Jewel-Osco, Dominicks (we called the 6009 N. Broadway location) does have organic turkeys ... but they're frozen and cost two dollars and forty-nine cents a pound. Their fresh, non-organic turkeys start at one dollar and twenty-nine cents per pound.

3. Whole Foods (we called the 3300 N. Ashland location), of course, has organic turkeys available for reservation until Sunday, November 19th. These birds are fresh and organic and start at three dollars and forty-nine cents per pound. Whole Foods is also offering free-range, non-organic turkeys for one dollar and ninety-nine cents per pound.

4. Treasure Island (we called the 680 N. Lakeshore Drive location) is offering two different kinds of organic turkeys this year. Both varieties are fresh. The cheaper of the two is two dollars and forty-nine cents per pound. Their non-organic turkeys start at one dollar and thirty-nine cents.

Armed with this knowledge you should be able to get the turkey you deserve at a price you can live with. Good luck!

Have you found a better deal? We would love to hear about it.

Dancing turkey image via pcnet.