Most people probably know that a turkey is just a turkey. These lovely birds, as should be noted, also come in different breeds. Most turkeys today are commercially raised, hence, they tend to be the bigger types in the cold storage. A heritage turkey, on one hand, may seem like an odd member of the group, especially as only about 25,000 of these birds are raised every year. Because of this, many heritage turkeys can be endangered, which is why it is important to sustain their breeding.
Heritage Turkey Recipe
Some of you may ask, what is the difference between the common turkey and the heritage turkey? The heritage turkey is usually smaller in size but as compared to the commercially grown, they have longer life spans. Heritage turkey actually has historical associations because they were the ones that were consumed more until the mid-20th century. Heritage turkeys also taste a bit different from the regular ones; because they are raised more freely, their behavior and even tastes closely resembles that of the wild turkey; its taste is a little gamier.
Now, if you’re one of those few lucky ones to get your hands on a heritage turkey for this coming Thanksgiving, here is a recipe that you can use. You have to take note that because it is smaller in size, the heritage turkey requires more care in handling and looking after as it roasts in a shorter period.
How to Prepare a Heritage Turkey
Ingredients for a Heritage Turkey Recipe
- 2 cups chardonnay
- 2 cups water
- Turkey giblets
- Bay leaf
- 5-pound fresh heritage turkey at room temperature
- Kosher or sea salt & fresh ground pepper
- Maple Butter
- Parchment paper
- Oil Roasting Pan with a wire rack
- Turkey thermometer
Directions for Making a Heritage Turkey Recipe
Preheat the oven to 425 F. Simmer the chardonnay, water, giblets, and bay leaf in a saucepan for 15 minutes.
With a colander, separate the broth from the solids and set the broth aside.
Dry the turkey and rub it inside and out with salt and pepper. Insert butter between the turkey and the skin as well as on the inside of the cavity.
Put the bird in the roasting pan with a wire rack. Add the broth to the bottom of the pan. Oil the parchment paper on both sides (I use Olive oil); tent the roasting pan with the oiled parchment paper. Use aluminum foil to attach the parchment paper to the pan.
Roast the bird until the thigh temperature reaches 140F-150F (don’t let the thermometer hit the bone).
Set the turkey aside for 10 minutes before carving. Remove parchment paper at the last 30 minutes of cooking for a crunch.