Avon food distributor Miller Foods has been making and selling turkey products in Avon for more than 55 years, according to co-owner and Avon resident Cal Miller-Stevens.
The family business sells several thousands of turkeys annually.
Miller Foods raised turkeys on its property to sell up until about 26 years ago. Now they purchase all-natural turkeys from Pennsylvania and Minnesta. The turkeys are "not pumped with anything" like antibiotics or additives. Staff members process the turkeys on-site.
Many people come from the Farmington Valley and around Connecticut to buy turkeys, particularly while the Thanks for Giving Thanksgiving Tent is up. One customer who used to live in Farmington now drives down from New Hampshire every year to get his turkey here. Miller Foods also takes online orders and has shipped its turkeys as far as West Palm Beach, Fl. and France.
The small business' turkeys are also sold up and down the East Coast to as far as Georgia through The Hartford Provision Company and through another distributor in Syracuse.
Known for its year-round activeness in the local community, Miller Foods raised more than $2,000 and collected nearly 100 turkeys for Jack Bannan's Turkey Trot last week.
Miller Foods sells cheeses, salads, seafood, beef, chicken, duck and Thanksgiving specials like the popular Turkease, the Turduckenease, full turkeys, cranberry sauce desserts, frozen entrees and pies.
Its turkeys range from about 10- to 34-pound whole birds, as well as Turkease 7 pounds and up.
How to Cook the Turkease
The Turkease is a semi-boneless, stuffable turkey that includes the drumsticks.
Miller-Stevens suggests the following ingredients for the stuffing:
- 2 cups of cooked Couscous
- 1 cup of diced apples
- 1/2 cup of apricots
- 1 cup of wild rice
- 1/2 cup of turkey stock (from the boiled giblets and neck)
- 1/2 cup of apple sauce
- 1/2 cup of cranberries
- 1/4 cup of butter
Here's Miller Foods' recipe for cooking the Turkease:
- Rinse the Turkease once you've taken it out of the bag.
- Cook the giblets and neck in a pot of water and let it simmer for an hour.
- Peel two pounds of carrots and cut them into thirds.
- Slice one bunch of celery into thirds
- Dice a white onion.
- Put the vegetables in a roasting pan or a disposable pan if you want less dishes to clean.
- Place the Turkease over the vegetables.
- Sprinkle salt and pepper on the Turkease.
- Once the oven is pre-heated to 425 degrees, cook your turkey for 15 minutes.
- Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees and leave the Turkease in for 12 minutes per pound. If you've added stuffing to the turkey, make sure you include that additional weight when calculating how long to roast the turkey.
- The vegetables will cook with the turkey. You can add potato water and flour to the turkey juices to make gravy.
- You can also add diced giblets and neck meat to the vegetable stock and potato water and add salt, pepper and flour for a thicker gravy.
The Miller Foods Thanksgiving tent is open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Wednesday. The sooner people can place orders for the turkeys the better, but you can drop in and get one if you're willing to wait.
Miller Foods is located at 308 Arch Rd. in Avon and you can call 860-673-6454 for more information. You can order turkeys and find more information online at http://millerfoodsonline.com.
These local places are also selling turkeys:
- The Meat House: 395 W Main St., Avon (call ahead to order as soon as you can), 860-676-4444
- Big Y: Avon (255 West Main St., 860-678-1322) and West Hartford (772 North Main St., 860-236-1505)
- Nov. 20 is the last day you can pre-order a Thanksgiving turkey in-store at The Fresh Market in Avon. You can also call the store at 860-677-0756 to place an order. The grocery store is located in Nod Brook Mall at 321 West Main St.
- Hall's Market: 331 Park Rd., West Hartford, 860-232-1075
- Stop & Shop: West Simsbury (530 Bushy Hill, 860-651-4787), Farmington (1823 Farmington Ave., Unionville, 860-673-5575) and West Hartford (1235 Farmington Ave., West Hartford, 860-521-5010 and the Super Stop & Shop at 150 New Park Ave., 860-232-8777)
- ShopRite: Canton (The Shoppes at Farmington Valley, 110 Albany Tpke., 860-693-3666) and West Hartford (Near intersection of Prospect Avenue and Kane Street, 860-233-1713).
- Aldi, West Hartford, 511 New Park Ave.
- BJ's: 51 Banbury Ln., West Hartford, 860-232-9200
- Crown Market: 2471 Albany Ave., West Hartford, 860-236-1965
- Trader Joe's: 1489 New Britain Ave., West Hartford, 860-561-4771
- Whole Foods: both West Hartford locations (Blue Back Square at 50 Raymond Rd., 860-523-8500; 340 North Main St., 860-523-7174)
- Fitzgerald's Foods: 710 Hopmeadow St., Simsbury, 860-658-2271
- Highland Park Market:204 Main St., Farmington, 860-674-9536