Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Off to the turkey farm we went

Turkeys everywhere, at Polyface Farms in Virginia.Image via Wikipedia
Turkeys and solar panels at a farm in Virginia.

When I called the Goffle Road Poultry Farm in Wyckoff on Monday morning, I was told it wasn't taking phone orders the week of Thanksgiving, and that I'd have to come in.

The big draw here is chicken, turkey, ducks and other poultry that are raised naturally and sold fresh shortly after they are killed -- not frozen or shrink-wrapped. The turkeys picked up Tuesday were killed the night before, though at less busy times of the year, customers can walk in and ask for a fresh-killed bird.

The farm is hemmed in by homes and businesses, and the short drive along Goffle Road from the highway passes through Hawthorne and a bit of Ridgewood before you enter Wyckoff. 

I arrived Tuesday morning, a couple of hours after the 8 a.m. opening, and found a parking space right away, joining a steady stream of customers heading for the small store, past others emerging with white plastic bags sagging under the weight of turkey.

I walked in and placed my order for turkey parts with a man who had deformed fingers. He typed on a computer keyboard: six thighs, three drumsticks, three wings and four pounds of turkey neck, cut into 2-inch segments. Parts are $1.89 a pound.

As for not being able to call ahead, the man said what else could customers expect when the farm had to fill 1,500 orders.

I grabbed bottles of Uncle Dougie's "world's most dangerous" barbecue sauce and "Chicago-style chicken wing marinade" ($5.25 each) off the shelf and waited for my name to be called.

I looked over the frozen case, with venison, bison, rabbit and other exotic meats, and farm-made turkey products, and the egg case, with chicken and big-yolk duck eggs, which I've enjoyed sunny side up in the past.

In about 20 to 25 minutes, I was back in the car. Backing out of my space, I looked up at the the long building that houses the store and noticed for the first time the roof is covered with solar panels. Way to go.

I imagine that if you've put off visiting the farm until today, the wait will be very long and the small store will be very crowded.

Goffle Road Poultry Farm, 549 Goffle Road, Wyckoff.

Search for ingredients

My wife and I had to visit three supermarkets on Tuesday to find all the ingredients we need for the carrot-fennel soup we'll be serving on Thanksgiving.

My wife found bags of Earthbound Farm organic carrots at H Mart in Englewood ($1.99 for two pounds), and bought three. We need five pounds of carrots for the soup.

But she couldn't find fennel or dill for the garnish, and the oranges we need for zest didn't look good. The story was the same at Shop Rite in Englewood.

So, later in the day, I went to Whole Foods Market in Paramus and found a small fennel bulb, a bunch of dill and two navel oranges.

Now, looking over the receipts, I realize I misunderstood my wife when she called from the Korean supermarket. She found dill, but not fennel. What will I do with all that dill?

Carrot-fennel soup

The recipe for this healthy soup comes from the Stony Hill Inn in Hackensack, and I found it in a magazine published by Hackensack University Medical Center.

By Joe Preziosi
Stony Hill Inn, Hackensack


5 lbs. peeled carrots (sliced)
1 small bulb of fennel (sliced)
5 cloves of garlic (sliced)
2 Spanish onions (sliced)
zest of 2 oranges
4 tbsp. olive oil
2½ gallons water
2 cups milk (optional)
salt and pepper to taste
2 sprigs dill (chopped)


• Put the olive oil, onions,
and garlic in a large stockpot over
medium-high heat. Sweat until onions
are translucent.
• Add fennel and a couple of pinches of
salt. Continue to cook until fennel is
slightly wilted.
• Add carrots and water. Bring to a boil.
• Reduce to a simmer and cook until
the carrots are tender but not mushy
(about 30 to 45 minutes, depending on
the slice of the carrots).
• When carrots are soft, add milk
(optional) and orange zest. Puree in a
blender at medium speed until smooth.
• Add salt and pepper to taste.
• Spoon soup into bowls and add dill
before serving.

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