What follows is our authoritative guide to making your bird and side dishes shine! Included are the following recipes and tips (scroll to the bottom for a printable version):
- Our Tips for Roasting Heritage Turkeys
- Recipe for Deconstructed Heritage Turkey with Roast Breast & Braised Legs
- Recipe for Whole Roast Heritage Turkey
- Recipe for Traditional Roast Broad-Breasted Turkey
- Reheating Instructions for Items on our Holiday Menus
Our Tips for Roasting Heritage Turkeys
• Heritage birds typically have a humped breast bone, and the bird will be somewhat leaner.
• We recommend that Heritage turkeys not be brined; this ensures the best possible texture, and maintains the natural intense flavor of these special birds.
• Let the turkey come to room temperature before roasting.
• Let the turkey rest for at least 20 minutes prior to slicing. This ensures evenly juicy meat.
• Because of Heritage turkeys’ unique breast-to-leg ratio, the breast will reach doneness long before the legs and thighs. There are two ways to address this: Either roast the bird whole until the breasts are done, and then finish cooking the legs separately, or remove and braise just the legs and roast the rest of the turkey whole
Recipe for Deconstructed Heritage Turkey with Roast Breast & Braised Legs
As featured in our November 2010 Food & Wine article, “A Farm Fresh Thanksgiving”
We highly recommend this recipe! It’s also great for a traditional broad-breasted turkey.
One 12-20 pound turkey
1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves, halved
2 celery ribs, cut into 2-inch lengths
1 carrot, peeled and cut into 2-inch lengths
1 onion, sliced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 cup dry white wine
6 cups Turkey Stock or low-sodium broth
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
10 sage leaves
12 thyme sprigs
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
Freshly ground pepper
Cut the legs and wings off of the turkey; separate the drumsticks and thighs. Using poultry shears, cut off the backbone. (Reserve the wings, neck and backbone for making stock.) Set the breast, thighs and drumsticks on a rimmed baking sheet and sprinkle all over with the 1 1/2 tablespoons of salt. Cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours or up to 24 hours.
Rinse the turkey parts and pat dry. In a large enameled cast-iron casserole, heat the olive oil. Add the thighs and drumsticks and cook over moderate heat until well browned all over, about 15 minutes. Transfer the turkey to a platter.
Add the garlic, celery, carrot and onion to the casserole. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables just begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for 1 minute. Add the wine and cook until reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Return the thighs and drumsticks to the casserole and add 4 cups of the Turkey Stock. Cover and braise over low heat until the turkey is tender, about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Transfer the turkey to the platter; strain the braising liquid and return it to the casserole.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350°. Spread half of the butter under the turkey breast skin; tuck in the sage and thyme. Spread the remaining butter over the skin.
Heat a large ovenproof skillet. Add the turkey breast, skin side down, and cook over moderately high heat until browned, 12 minutes. Turn the breast skin side up and transfer the skillet to the oven. Roast the turkey breast for about 1 hour, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the meat registers 150°. Transfer the breast to a cutting board and let rest for 15 minutes. Add the remaining 2 cups of turkey stock to the skillet and bring to a boil, stirring to scrape up any browned bits on the bottom.
Boil the braising liquid in the casserole until reduced to 3 cups, about 10 minutes. Add the stock from the skillet. In a small bowl, whisk the flour with 1/4 cup of water; whisk this mixture into the liquid in the casserole and boil, whisking frequently, until the gravy is lightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer the gravy to a gravy boat.
Remove the bones from the thighs and slice the meat 1/2 inch thick. Transfer the thigh meat to a roasting pan along with the drumsticks. Cover with foil and reheat. Carve the turkey breast and arrange on a platter. Arrange the dark meat alongside; serve with the gravy.
NOTE: If you aren’t comfortable cutting up a turkey, you can prepare this recipe using a 7-pound turkey breast on the bone, plus 5 pounds of turkey drumsticks and/or thighs.
Recipe for Whole Roast Heritage Turkey
Courtesy of Chef Dan Barber of Stone Barns and Blue Hill, NY
BN Ranch Heritage Turkey
salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 475 degrees.
Let turkey come to room temperature. Carefully separate skin from the breast meat and rub softened butter on to breast. Season liberally with salt and pepper.
Set the turkey, breast side up, on the rack of a large roasting pan. Tie the legs together with kitchen string. Roast for 20 minutes.
Lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees and cover turkey loosely with tin foil. Roast until the thermometer inserted into the inner thigh registers 150 degrees (2 to 3 hours, depending on turkey size).
Transfer turkey to cutting board. Let stand for at least 45 minutes to cool down. Remove legs and thighs, careful to not take too much skin with you.
Place thighs, skin side, on a roasting pan and continue cooking 40-45 minutes or until juices run clear. Separately slice breast and thigh and plate while still warm.
Recipe for Traditional Broad-Breasted Turkey
After removing neck and giblets from the body cavity, rinse the bird with cold water. Pat cavities and body dry with a paper towel. Rub body and neck cavities with salt if desired, and stuff loosely. Truss neck cavity with metal skewer and truss legs. To remove the truss just lift the ring and pull it up and over the end of the drumstick. To secure the truss, hold the drumsticks together, lift the ring and pull it over the drumsticks.
Spread exterior of turkey with a blend of your favorite herbs and spices or with a paste made of the following ingredients:
4 Tbsp oil (melted butter or olive oil)
4 tsp. salt, or to taste
2 tsp. paprika
Heat oven to 325º F. Place bird in open pan, breast side up. Pour two 8 ounce cups of water in bottom of pan. Place in oven. If roasting turkey unstuffed then decrease roasting time by approximately 30 minutes. There is no need to turn the bird while roasting as it will brown to a rich, golden color. However, a piece of foil should be placed loosely over the breast for the last hour of roasting.
Take the temperature by inserting a meat thermometer in the thigh joint, where the leg connects to the breast; the turkey is done when it reads 155-160°. When done, the thickest part of the drumstick will feel soft. Remove from oven. Let stand 15 minutes before carving.
Weight Approximate Time to Start
(lbs) Roasting Time Checking Temperature
6-10 lbs. approx. 2 hrs. 1 ½ hrs.
10-12 lbs 3 – 3 ¼ hrs. 2 ½ hrs.
12-14 lbs. 3 ¼ – 3 ½ hrs. 2 ½ hrs.
14-16 lbs. 3 ½ – 3 ¾ hrs. 2 ¾ hrs.
16-18 lbs. 3 ¾ – 4 hrs. 3 hrs.
18-20 lbs. 4 – 4 ½ hrs. 3 ¼ hrs.
20-22 lbs. 4 ½ – 5 hrs. 3 ¾ hrs.
22-24 lbs. 5 – 5 ½ hrs. 4 hrs.
24-26 lbs. 5 ½ – 5 ¾ hrs. 4 ¾ hrs.
Reheating Instructions for Items on our Holiday Menus
House Roasted Diestel Ranch Turkey Breast
Place turkey in a shallow baking dish and pour ¼ to ½ cup broth over the turkey. Cover with foil and reheat in a 325 degree oven for 40 minutes or until hot
Whole Roasted Diestel Ranch Turkey
Place turkey in a baking pan and cover with foil. Roast at 325 degrees for 1-1/2 to 2 hours until heated thru or to taste.
Microwave: 3 to 5 minutes, or until hot
Stovetop: Pour soup into a saucepan and simmer on low heat, stirring to avoid burning, until hot.
Mashed Potatoes / Sweet Potato Mash
Microwave: medium for 4 to 6 minutes or until hot
Oven: Place in a shallow, oven proof dish and heat in a 325 degree oven until hot, about 40 minutes
Oven: Place in a shallow, oven proof dish. Dot with sliced of butter (optional) to add extra richness and crispness. Bake for 40 minutes to 1 hour, until hot and slightly crispy on top
Brussels Sprouts and Other Veggies
Microwave: 3 to 5 minutes, or until hot
Stovetop: Sauté with butter or olive oil in a large sauté pan until heated thru
Microwave: 3 to 5 minutes, or until hot
Stovetop: Place in a sauce pan and simmer on low heat, stirring to avoid burning, until hot