turkey The Green’s butchers suggest customers get their Thanksgiving orders in by this Thursday. (Photo by Jim Willis. Click to enlarge)


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With Thanksgiving just over a week away, ’tis the season to talk turkey with a couple of The Green’s butchers.

PieHole checked in with Red Bank’s Citarella’s Market and Monmouth Meats and came away with a well-rounded education on breasts.

We learned, for one thing, that not everyone needs a whole turkey for Thanksgiving.

For people who “don’t want dark meat and aren’t having a lot of people over, a turkey breast is just fine,” says Stew Goldstein, of Monmouth Meats, on Monmouth Street in Red Bank.

It’s also faster and easier to cook a turkey breast than a whole turkey. “Even the smallest turkey is going to take at least two and a half hours to cook, but most breasts will finish in under two hours,” says Ralph Citarella, of Citarella’s Market, on Prospect Avenue.

Breasts come in all sizes: Goldstein tells PieHole the ones he carries range from four to 20 pounds. PieHole was surprised to hear they came that large, and Goldstein explained that a breast that size is one he’d take off of a 30-pound bird for a customer who might be placing an order for extra thighs and legs.

Both butchers offer to prep the breasts to make them easier to cook and serve on Thanksgiving.

“We’ll take a turkey breast and take the bone out and season it and stuff it with homemade stuffing and make it wonderful,” says Citarella. “We tie it up and you cook it like a roast. Then, when you slice it, it will look like a pinwheel,” he says.

“There’s really no downside [to breasts],” says Goldstein. He says they’re a bit pricier per pound, but says they’re “not a bad deal if you don’t like the dark meat.”

Turkey breasts cost between $4.99 and $6.99 around the Green, with larger breasts costing more per-pound.

Both butchers told PieHole that customers should try to have their Thanksgiving orders in by this Thursday.