In the week leading up to Thanksgiving Day, the farm fresh food grocer will sell more than 70,000 Thanksgiving turkeys to our customers, which is more than 700 times the number of turkeys sold during an average week. Our chefs and bakers will also make enough gravy to fill up an entire swimming pool – which is about 20,000 quarts of gravy - enough pies to go the length of 97 football fields (45,000!), mash 10,000 pounds of potatoes, and bake a quarter-million dinner rolls. Our chefs are also kept busy fulfilling more than 4,000 catering orders!
Meet Our Turkey Farmer
David Jaindl - Jaindl Farms
Family owned and operated Jaindl Turkey Farms has been in the turkey business for more than 70 years in Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley. They provide our Stew Leonard’s shoppers with our all-natural free-range Naked Turkey, which is fed a 100% vegetarian diet and are NEVER given antibiotics or added hormones. We like cooking this bird because it has 50% more white meat and 55% less fat than regular turkeys! You can’t buy a better turkey!
Why Our Turkey's Are The Best You Can Buy
Stew Leonard visits our family run turkey farm in Pennsylvania. Where they are raised all natural, free range, free of antibiotics and vegetarian fed.
Top 5 Thanksgiving Customer Questions
Every year, our customers ask Stew’s chefs the same five questions about the best way to choose, prepare, and cook their holiday turkey. This year, Stew Leonard Jr. shares his top turkey tips that he’s picked up over the course of his lifetime in the grocery business:
Q. What size turkey should I buy and how far in advance can I buy it?
A. Stew Leonard’s offers a range of sizes to meet everyone’s needs! Our turkeys weigh in anywhere between 12 lbs. to…get ready for this…28 lbs.! Now that’s a big bird! But I think that having leftovers is just as important as the big meal itself, so I always make sure that we have a bird that allows for 2 lbs. per person. If you’re not a fan of leftovers though, I think that 1.5 lbs. per person is just fine. Our fresh turkeys can be purchased 10 days in advance, giving you more time to prepare for the big day!
Q. What’s the difference between the different turkeys you sell?
A. Our fresh turkeys are from the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia and have no artificial ingredients added to them. My family always gets our all natural free range Naked Turkey to put on the table- these turkeys are fed a 100% vegetarian diet and are NEVER given antibiotics or added hormones. We like cooking this bird because it has 20% more breast meat and 55% less fat than regular turkeys! You can’t buy a better turkey! We also have kosher as well as Organic turkeys.
Q. How should I store my turkey prior to cooking?
A. Once you have your turkey home, it should be stored in the coldest part of your refrigerator, which is the bottom back corner. Keep it wrapped in the plastic until just ready to begin preparing. Our chefs also recommend putting the raw turkey on a plate or in a pan just to make sure no juices accidentally drip inside the refrigerator.
Q. How do I prep my oven and turkey before cooking?
A. I always follow a few simple guidelines to make sure our turkey is cooked to perfection. Prior to the big day I make sure the oven is clean as this helps concentrate the heat. Second, I make sure the oven is fully preheated- I generally turn the oven on when I take the bird out of the refrigerator to begin preparing it. That way, a bit of the chill is gone from the turkey giving it the opportunity to cook at a more even pace. Lastly, I always make sure that when I insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh, the temperature reads 180 degrees F. Oven temperatures vary, so I always start checking my bird 45 minutes before I think it might be done just in case we can start eating earlier!
Q. Does your family stuff the turkey before roasting? I’ve heard it’s not safe but everyone seems to be doing it!
A. We like to use our chef’s Turkey Marinade inside of our bird- it gives the meat a wonderful flavor and the aroma is incredible! If your family really prefers to stuff your turkey, just be sure to place fully cooked stuffing in the turkey right before roasting, never the night before (this could grow bacteria), and make sure the stuffing is 165 degrees F before removing from the oven. Keep in mind that when you stuff the bird the cook time increases slightly, up to 5 extra minutes per pound of turkey.
Easiest Turkey Carving How-To With Stew
Roast Turkey With Gravy
A no-fail, classic Thanksgiving recipe straight from Mrs. Leonard’s own kitchen.The orange zest brings an unexpected ZING to the bird!
2 tbs. Rosemary, chopped
2 tbs. Orange Zest
2 Garlic Cloves, minced
1-1/2 tsp. Salt, divided
1 tsp. Freshly Ground Black Pepper, divided
1 tbs. Stew Leonard’s Extra Virgin Olive Oil, divided
1 Turkey, (about 16 pounds), rinsed & patted dry
2 Onions, quartered
2 sprigs Rosemary
1-1/2 cups Chicken Broth
1/4 cup All Purpose Flour
1 tbs. Balsamic Vinaigrette
Rosemary, for garnish
Orange Zest, for garnish
• Preheat the oven to 325°.
• In a small bowl, combine the rosemary, orange zest, garlic, 1 teaspoon of the salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of the pepper. Stir in about 1/2 of the oil.
• Loosen the skin on the breast and legs of the turkey. Rub the orange zest mixture under the skin. Rub the remaining oil over the turkey skin. Place the quartered onion and rosemary sprigs in the cavity of the turkey.
• Place the turkey on a rack in a large roasting pan and bake for 3 to 4 hours, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh, not touching the bone, registers 180F. Loosely cover the breast with foil if the turkey browns too much during cooking.
Prep Time: 20 Min.
Cook Time: 3 to 4 Hours
Yield: 14 to 16 servings