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All Recipes > How to Cook Your Peaceful Pastures Turkey

How to Cook Your Peaceful Pastures Turkey

The most important thing to know is that these all natural, fresh birds have not been injected with water, sodium broth or flavor enhancers; this means your bird will cook much, much faster than a conventional turkey (ex: a Butterball); be very careful not to overcook!

If you don’t already own one, please take the time to buy an instant read cooking thermometer ($10 for a dial read at Wal-Mart) ---these are different than meat thermometers. A meat thermometer stays in the meat (in the oven) during cooking and is very inaccurate. An instant read is used to quickly check the meat, then withdrawn before the meat returns to the oven.

Disregard everything you have read about cooking ‘X’ number of minutes per pound; a ballpark figure for a pastured bird is 12-15 minutes per pound, but actual time will vary from oven to oven.

Cook to an internal temperature of 160-165, measured in the thickest part of the breast.

Brining is not mandatory, but is a splendid idea and will bring out the best flavor possible in your bird.

Here is how I like to thaw/brine: Into a clean picnic size cooler, place your bird (wrapping and giblets removed) into a brine solution made of ¾ salt to each gallon of water. You need enough brine water to cover the turkey, but don’t worry if all of the salt does not dissolve. Close the lid of the cooler and in 24 hours (more or less) you will have a bird that is both fully thawed and fully brined!

If you prefer to thaw your bird in the refrigerator, be sure to allow several days for it to do so, and then soak in (the same) brine solution, in the refrigerator overnight before cooking.

To cook the bird: preheat oven to 450 degrees. Into the cavity place: 1 carrot broken into pieces; 2 stalks celery broken into pieces; 1 medium onion, quartered; 1 tablespoon minced/chopped garlic; 2 tablespoons dried sage or 6 tablespoons fresh sage; 1 stick butter (optional.) Rub the outside of the bird with olive oil (also optional). Place the turkey in the roasting pan breast side DOWN, put in the oven, shut the door and drop the oven temperature to 275.

Now, fix yourself a nice cup of cocoa and go watch a parade or football game on TV for a couple of hours. Then check your bird and make sure it isn’t browning too fast, if it is, cover loosely with a tent of aluminum foil. In another 45-60 minutes go check the temperature for the first time.

When your turkey has reached 160-165, remove from the oven and let rest (still in the roasting pan) 20-30 minutes before carving.

Enjoy! And THANK YOU for supporting our farm!

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