Pre-Order a Local Bird for Thanksgiving

By Sarah Freeman  |  November 6, 2014

We're less than a month away from Turkey Day, quite possibly the holiday with the highest culinary expectations. Fights have broken out over lesser things than the texture of mashed potatoes and flavors of pies. You’ve got one shot to rock, so don’t drop the ball on the most important part: the bird. We found three local vendors supplying naturally raised turkeys for your table. P.S. Chicago artisans have pie covered too.

The Butcher & Larder

Butcher Rob Levitt’s turkey of choice comes from Indiana’s Gunthrop Farms. The birds range in size and can be ordered in the 12-15 lbs., 15-20 lbs., 20-25 lbs. and 25 lbs. and up size range. Turkeys cost $5 per pound. Pre-orders a closed, but keep an eye on Facebook and Twitter for available birds.


The Italian superstore is offering two options: Bell & Evans birds that were raised in open-pole barns at Jaindl Farms in Pennsylvania Dutch Country and heritage turkeys from Good Shepherd Poultry Ranch in Kansas. Place orders by calling 312-521-8700.


Let someone else do the cooking. Brian Jupiter is preparing whole smoked turkeys (15 lbs. for $75 or 20 lbs. for $95). A la carte sides include five-cheese mac, sweet potatoes and string beans. Order online.

Green Grocer

Another local, organic grocer also sources its turkeys from Gunthorp Farms. These flavorful and juicy birds are prized because they were raised outdoors on a diet of grasses, bugs and grubs, supplemented by non-GMO grains. That results in an altogether healthier and tastier bird. Twelve 15-lb. turkeys are available for $63. Orders are accepted online.

Publican Quality Meats

This butcher and deli turns to one of their favorite suppliers for trusted turkeys. Slagel Family Farms raises naturally grown turkeys on farms around its home base in Fairbury, IL. These turkeys are sold at $4.50 per pound or spring for a heritage turkey bred specially for PQM on a Kehrli’s Farm in Winthrop, IA, for $8.99 per pound. This year, five specialty breads are available for pre-order as well as other Thanksgiving necessities including stuffing sausage and turkey rub. Orders can be placed via 312-445-8977.