Pasture raised turkeys are healthier and more delicious. Our turkeys are raised completely outdoors on pasture, moved daily and supplemented with locally grown, non-GMO grain. Enjoy one of our holiday turkeys with family and friends this Thanksgiving and Christmas!
Small 8-12 Pound Pastured Turkey
Recipe and tips to cook the perfect pastured turkey for your holiday meal.
Receiving and Defrosting
Your turkey will arrive frozen or very cold to the touch. Allow 3-4 days to thaw your turkey slowly in the refrigerator. After the turkey thaws, remove the giblets from the body cavity and set them aside. These are great for making gravy. There may be paper between the turkey breasts to soak up any juice; remove this, too.
Brine: (Optional-If you choose to skip the brine, skip down to “Getting ready to Cook”
1 gallon water
1 cup salt
1/2 cup honey
5 bay leaves
1 tablespoon black pepper corns
2 sprigs fresh sage or 1 tablespoon dried sage
2 sprigs fresh thyme or 1 tablespoon dried thyme
In a pot on your stovetop, combine the salt, honey, and herbs with 4 cups water. Bring to a simmer and stir until the salt dissolves. Remove from heat and add remaining water. Set aside and allow to cool completely. Pour the cooled brine into a large container and add the turkey. **5 gallon food-grade plastic buckets work great as do lining a stock pot with an oven bag and place brine and turkey in. Leave the turkey and brine in a cool place for 12-18 hours. If you don’t have room in your fridge, you can put your turkey in the garage, shop or outdoors-just make sure it’s NOT accessible to critters! After the brine procedure is complete, remove the turkey and rinse under cool water. DOT SKIP THIS STEP or your turkey will be extra salty! Completely dry the turkey with paper towels.
Getting Ready To Cook
The Steward Farms Pasture Raised Turkey
poultry bone broth or water
1 large onion
4 stalks celery
1 bay leaf
Butter Mixture Ingredients
10 oz butter (about 2.5 sticks) at room temp
4 tsp fresh rosemary
4 tsp fresh sage
1 tbsp fresh oregano
4 lemons (2 for juicing and zesting and 2 whole lemons)
3 fresh garlic cloves
¼ tsp allspice
Salt to taste
Black pepper to taste
Herb Butter Marinade
Combine butter mixture ingredients in a mixing bowl or a food processor. Loosen the turkey’s skin with your hands, and rub the butter mixture over the whole turkey, under and over the skin. Tip: Use a piping bag to get the mixture under the skin more easily. Optional: Cover and refrigerate the bird overnight to allow the flavors time to penetrate the meat. We’ve found you can skip the brine for pastured birds because they hold moisture and flavor better than conventional birds.
Chop celery, carrot, and onion and place them in the bottom of a roasting pan along with bone broth or water and a bay leaf. Use just enough liquid to cover the vegetables. This mixture will add flavor to the bird and keep it moist. Set aside a few pieces of onion for roasting inside the cavity of the turkey.
Ready to cook
Remove turkey from refrigerator 30-60 minutes before cooking, and preheat oven to 325F. Place turkey on a roasting rack, breast up, and set in the roasting pan over the mirepoix. Loosely place 2-4 lemon halves and a few pieces of onion inside the cavity. Tie the legs together with twine, tuck the wings close to the body and drizzle turkey skin with olive oil. Place the pan into the oven and cook, basting the bird with pan juices every 10-15 minutes. Remove the bird once the internal temperature of the thickest part of the thigh registers 160F (approximately 8-10 minutes per pound). Please note that our pastured turkeys cook more quickly than conventional birds. Lastly, it is important to allow the turkey to rest 15-20 minutes before carving so you don’t lose all the delicious juices.