Where to get a Turkey

Marché quai d'Antoine, downtown,
open every day of the week except Monday.
Talk to Annie at Sarl Girerd-Bussac depuis 1923.  They only sell poultry.  She asks that you order one week in advance, but I wouldn't wait that long.  If you would like her direct contact info email me, and I will send it to you.

4-7 kilo turkeys (8,8-15,4 lb.)
11-12€/kilo that's 44€ - 84€ per turkey, according to last years prices.  Expect that they may be different this year, it depends on her supplier.

I asked if it would be possible get one bigger than that if it was ordered way in advance, and she said that, tops, they might come at 8 kilos (17,6 lb.).  These are not the Free Range turkeys that she sells at Christmas time, which aren't to maturity until then.

Things to consider when getting a turkey

1.  Will it fit in your oven?
2.  Do you have a pan big enough to fit the turkey, yet small enough for your oven?

This sounds like a no-brainer, but this is a common problem for first timers here.  Your mind can easily mislead you.  So make sure you check your measurements before you go.  Take into account the size of your pan.  It has to be able to fit in your oven, and then it has to be the right size for your turkey.  You need space in the pan around the turkey in order for the juices to brown so you can make good gravy.  I will never forget the year my sister's in law's set the oven on fire three times because the pan was so small the juices kept overflowing.  The gravy was so watered down it resembled saltless thickened water.  So measurements are very important.  Just remember, if you do end up with too small of a pan, remove the juices to a bowl throughout the cooking so as not to set the oven on fire ;)  You can reduce the juices for gravy later.

Cranberry Sauce 

You can buy Ocean Spray cranberry sauce at many grocery stores now, usually found in the foreign food aisle, in the British section.  I've seen it at Auchan, Monoprix, Marché Presqu'ile, and Little Britain  of course.

Fresh Cranberries have been seen at Cerise et Potiron and Grand Frais from time to time.  If you can get some you may try this recipe, that my sister to gave me a few years back.  I was very proud of her for this, since when she first moved out of our parents' house, she still encountered difficulty with jello.  She's come a long way.  This recipe is excellent.

12 oz package fresh cranberries
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 cup water
1/2 tsp grated orange rind

In a saucepan, boil the sugar in the water and orange juice until the sugar dissolves.  Add the whole cranberries and cook for 10 minutes.  Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes without stirring.  Remove from heat.  Stir in the orange rind.  The cranberry sauce will thicken as it cools.  Store in the refrigerator.


The ready made bags of croutons and poultry seasoning don't exist here.  So you have to make them from scratch.  It's a lot easier than you think.  In fact it opens up a whole new world of possibilities.  Once you have these two items, you can follow your regular recipe.


There isn't anything easier to make.  Cut your bread into cubes and put them in the oven at 175° C until they dry out and are lightly browned, about 15 minutes.  Use 150° C if you're using a toaster oven.  If you were making croutons for salad you would toss with olive oil and seasonings, but because the stuffing is going to get its flavoring from the broth and the herbs we add, you don't need to do this here.  Since we live in the best country ever for bread, you can combine breads to give the stuffing great flavor.  I like using a portion of nut breads and whole wheat breads for my herb dressing, like walnut, or hazelnut breads.

Poultry Seasoning

The basic recipe for homemade poultry seasoning is:

2 tsp        Sage
1 1/2 tsp  Thyme
1 tsp        Marjoram
3/4 tsp     ground Rosemary
1/2 tsp     Nutmeg
1/2 tsp     Black Pepper

However, you can also use any combination of fresh herbs that pleases you.  The primary herb in poultry seasoning is sage.  After that you can add whatever herbs you choose.  Fresh herbs are less potent than dried, so you will have to add more of them, but the difference in flavor is so worth it.

Candied Yams 

You can get sweet potatoes from any grocery store with a fully stocked vegetable section.  They are called "Patates Douces".  There is one thing you should know if you are planning to use a marshmallow topping though:
Get your little marshmallows from Little Britain.  The ones sold commercially in the stores here have a flavor to them that you don't expect, the same flavor as the pink ones.  If you get stuck without them, you can make them, or get them at some candy stores.  Here is a marshmallow recipe from David Lebovitz.  If you're like me and all the sudden find yourself wondering what the difference is between a yam and a sweet potato, read this.

  Pumpkin Pie

Here is my mother's recipe for pumpkin pie.  She got it from from her old 1960's Betty Crocker cookbook.  I'll explain substitutions to make it work here at the end.

Beat together with a rotary beater:
1 3/4 cups mashed cooked pumpkin (may be canned)
1 1/3 cups sweetened condensed milk (15oz.)
1 egg
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp clove
1 cup hot water

Pour into pastry-lined pan. Bake
Temperature: 375° F  (190° C)
Time: 50-55 min.

For the pumpkin, you can get canned pumpkin at Little Britain, but if someone beats you to them all, don't worry.  You can make your own mashed pumpkin.  It's just like making mashed potatoes.  Get a wedge of "courge" (pumpkin) from the grocery store or the market.  Cut up the flesh of the pumpkin into cubes, and cook in boiling water till soft.  Drain off all the water, and either whip the pumpkin with beaters or puree it with a stick blender.  That's all there is to it.  For the sweetened condensed milk, look for "lait concentré sucré.

Pie Crust 

3 C flour
1 C crisco ( I always use butter though, it tastes better)
5 Tbsp water
1 egg
1 tsp vinegar
1 tsp salt

Combine the flour and the salt in one bowl.  (Omit the salt if you are using salted butter, "demi-sel".  I usually do use salted butter because it's spread more evenly throughout the crust.  Be careful of some of the demi-sel butters here, some are actually very salty, like the leader price brand.)  In a separate bowl, mix together the egg, vinegar, and water, then set aside.  Incorporate the butter into the flour with a pastry cutter, or your fingers, until crumbly.  You should still have little chunks of butter in the mixture. These are what make the crust flaky, which is why I don't use a food processor unless I'm feeling lazy.  Add the liquid to the crumbly mix.  Press together into two balls, and roll out into two crusts.

Peanut Butter Pie Recipe

Green Bean Casserole  

You can sometimes find cans of cream of mushroom soup, at Monoprix for instance, or a version of it at Little Britain.  It's hit and miss.  You can find fried onions at most grocery stores, "oignons frits".  Fair warning, I don't know if they are comparable in taste to the French's brand in the US, because I don't care for fried onions.  If you find yourself without a can of mushroom soup, you can just as easily make the casserole from scratch.  Replace the soup by sautéing mushrooms in butter, add a 50cl container of crème fraîche epaisse.  Salt and season to taste.  Add this to fresh green beans that have been blanched for a minute or two, and then follow the rest of the recipe you are using.

Where to get Ingredients

J. Detout - 4 rue Plat, 69002, Lyon
Dried Cranberries

Little Britain - 12 Boulevard des Brotteaux, 69006 Lyon, France
Little marshmallows
Canned pumpkin
Corn syrup

Bahadourian - 20 Rue Villeroy, 69003, Lyon
Sage, if your local grocery store doesn't have it


Léa Miche said...

Great article with great tips and recipes! Thank so much, I can't wait to try out the Pumpkin Pie recipe!
And you can also find very good pumpkin purée at Picard (frozen goods store). I've been using it for cheesecakes and cupcakes and it's very tasty and natural, absolutely nothing added in :)

Dori said...

Hi Léa, If the Picard pumpkin purée is semi liquid, like most purées are, then you might have to add an extra egg to get it firm enough. :)