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Turkey trouble

There’s a bird shortage this year, but don’t panic


A local chef friend of mine said it best: “shit’s about to get real this Thanksgiving.”

A bad case of the avian bird flu has left cities across the country low on turkey this year. After killing off millions of turkeys to contain the epidemic, the shortage is hitting Tulsa hard this month. 

As Thanksgiving approaches, turkey availability is at an all-year low, and prices in the bird biz are at an all-time high. While you can probably still get your paws on a bird at the grocery store, if it’s slim pickings when you go to shop, consider ordering your holiday meal from these local purveyors. Most come ready-made, and what you drop in dough you’ll more than make back in time. 

Turducken from Hebert’s Specialty Meats
2101 E. 71st St. S. | 918.298.8400

This much-hyped holiday dinner is a Cajun favorite, but many Tulsans have never tasted the magic of turducken. If the idea of a turkey stuffed with a duck stuffed with a chicken sounds a little gross to you, let Hebert’s classic Creole preparation change your mind. Their bird touts a spicy kick, and unlike classic turkeys—which require a host of annoying monitoring and pedantic prep—their turduckens come ready to pop into the oven for easy cooking. Round out your order with the crawfish etouffee, boudin, and a few orders of crab-stuffed shrimp for a true Cajun feast. 

Fair warning: these layered delicacies don’t come cheap, so be prepared to pay a pretty penny for the mega-meat. Want to try before you buy? Hebert’s plates Turducken for the blue plate special every Thursday at Cajun Ed’s. 

Epicurean Thanksgiving from Boston Deli Grill + Market
6231 E. 61st St. | 918.492.4745

If you haven’t tried the Boston Deli Grill + Market’s signature Hasty Bake-smoked meats, now’s the time. Grab a hickory-smoked turkey for your main course, or shake things up with a plate of rosemary balsamic-injected boneless breasts, or a brown sugar-cured turkey, all served with wild mushroom giblet.

Of course, who’s to say you need turkey at all for Thanksgiving? Use the shortage as an excuse to subvert tradition and grab the chili ginger pork tenderloin, the coffee spice-rubbed beef tenderloin with chimichurri, or cedar plank salmon cakes with mango salsa. And for the procrastinators out there, Boston Deli will offer a host of grab ‘n go a la carte items in-store at their Carry Out Market leading up to Thanksgiving Thursday.

Thanksgiving orders must be placed by 8:00pm on Friday, Nov. 20th and will be available for pick-up from 11am-3pm on the 25th. For a complete list of items and prices, head to thebostondeli.com 

Traditional Thanksgiving from Lambrusco’z to Go
1344 E. 41st St. | 918.496.1246

If anyone can get a spread right, it’s Lambrusco’z, where herbaceous touches and fruity turns brighten up the traditional Thanksgiving meal. This year, they’re taking orders for herb-roasted turkey (choose your size of bird), Boar’s Head brown sugar and spice ham, cornbread stuffing, whipped sweet potatoes, Roxie’s Cranberry Relish with cranberries, apples, raspberries, mandarin oranges, pecans, and celery, and plenty of other food coma-inducing favorites.

If you’re feeding a crowd, you can also add some of Lambruscoz’s a la carte items to your order, like the heavenly Heart Attack Mac and classic Ambrosia, to round out your meal. Need something to snack on in the morning? Add an order of quiche and cinnamon rolls to the mix for a Black Friday Breakfast. Grab the corn dip for a pre-dinner snack.

For the full Thanksgiving menu, check out their Facebook page. Orders for Thanksgiving must be placed by Saturday, Nov. 21st. 

Pumpkin Pie from Antoinette Baking Co.
207 N. Main | 918.764.8404

Like turkey, pumpkin and pecans have been in short supply this growing season, due to record rainfall levels in Oklahoma this summer. Consequently, canned pumpkin filling and pie pecans might be hard to come by at the grocery store. If you’re looking to nibble on a cream-topped slice of these dishy desserts this Thanksgiving, best to order early. 

Freshly settled in at their new location, Antoinette Baking Co. has already made a few friends on the Brady block, and for good reason. Their monster pie slices (Mile-High lives up to its name on sugar and happiness) and hand-made macarons are sweet enough to brighten up even the blackest of Fridays. You’d be remiss not to consider getting your after-dinner treats from these ladies this year. 

Seasonal pies are available for reservation at Antoinette Bakery and online, and start at $30 each. 

Traditional dishes from Petty’s Fine Foods
1910 Utica Square | 918.747.8616

If a “traditional” holiday feast is your desire, Petty’s Fine Foods offers its longtime tradition of preparing complete dinners for Tulsa families.  Since the store’s opening in 1945 by L.G. Rowan and Robert D. Petty, the special store has carved its place as a premier purveyor of quality meats, specialty foods, and customer service.

Today, Petty’s is owned and managed by Scott Petty, the grandson of the store’s founders, who took over command of the business upon the retirement of his father—Robert J. Petty—in 1985. The business, located at 1964 Utica Square, is truly a unique food emporium loved by generations of Tulsans.

Petty’s presents four Turkey Dinners ranging from a 12-14 pound bird that serves eight to 10 people to an 18-20 pound turkey serving 12 to 14 around the table. Each is served with cornbread dressing, turkey gravy, cranberry relish, dinner rolls, pumpkin pie and/or pecan pie. Prices range from $119 to $189. Additionally, the store offers a Ham Dinner featuring an 8-9 pound spiral half ham with appropriate side dishes for $139; Beef Brisket Dinner, a three-pound sliced brisket with sides for $99; and a 7-8 pound Pork Loin Dinner with sides for $109. Petty’s also offers fresh baked turkey or turkey breast, baked boneless ham or spiral ham, and baked pork loin and 26 individual side dishes available a la carte for those not desiring full dinners.

As one would expect, Petty’s bakes and offers customers only fresh turkeys that have never been frozen. Dinners are prepared in the store’s catering kitchen, then stored under refrigeration until picked-up the day preceding the holiday meal. The deadline for Thanksgiving orders is Saturday, Nov. 21. Call 918-747-8905 or email elaine@pettysfinefoods.com.

Holiday meals to go from the Justin Thompson Restaurant Group 
427 S. Boston Ave. | 918.779.6333

Those looking for a French spin can save the headache of cooking and order from the Justin Thompson Restaurant Group.

It’s too late for Thanksgiving orders, but select grab ‘n go items will be available at the newly-opened Tavolo: Caffè & Market downtown, slated to open Wednesday, November 18th.  Swing by for sauces, breads, cheeses and other items to go, or pre-order from the holiday menu for freshly baked pies (pumpkin, bourbon pecan, etc.), breads, sweets, and breakfast dishes for the morning after. Order forms can be found at any JTR Restaurant, and orders require 48 hours notice for pickup. 

JTR is also running a special on Christmas ordering, so plan ahead and get orders in by December 12th. 

The Christmas spread includes Frisée & Arugula Salad, your choice of roasted turkey breast or a whole roasted bird, alongside a maple bourbon ham and a garnishing kit. Vegetarian guests can munch on clove spiced cranberry sauce, Yukon mashed potatoes with brown gravy, jalapeno cornbread stuffing, glazed carrots and haricots verts, and house-baked brioche rolls with honey butter. Finish it up with eggnog pie with boozy whipped cream and buttermilk syrup for a dessert and nightcap all in one. 

Call Alex or Christine at the JTR group to order sweets or Christmas dinners. They’ll even deliver it to you for an extra 20% service charge!

For more from Megan, read her article on The Vault's Cocktail Class.

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