We suggest 1 pound of uncooked turkey per adult - 1 1/2 pounds per person if you want leftovers or are feeding teenagers. Consider buying two or more smaller birds instead of one large bird. This can cut down the cooking time as well as provide more drumsticks!
We recommend putting the turkey in the fridge to slowly thaw, either on a tray or "cupping" the bottom of the bird in foil to prevent accidental drips. Check occasionally to be sure it is really thawing. The usual rule of thumb is 24 hours in the refrigerator per 5 lbs of bird. A thawed bird in the original wrapping is OK in the refrigerator for several days but optimally it should be cooked within four days after thawing.
First, a good meat thermometer is really helpful in getting your heritage turkey cooked to perfection. The essence of a free-range heritage turkey is its flavor. No industrial bird can tickle so many taste buds or provide the satisfying savor found in each bite of these throwbacks. The fact that the meat is firm and has recognizable aroma and texture will come as a surprise to many who have eaten only the bland turkey designed for mass consumption. It should be noted, however, that the diner has to invest some time and energy chewing heritage-turkey meat to break down its texture. These turkeys are not tough. They are firm. You chew longer but, as a result, are more fully satisfied with a smaller amount.
There's no trick to preparing one of these heritage gems, but the first-time cook should know that they contain little fat and do not respond well to high-heat cooking. Cooking the bird at a low temperature, with moist heat at least part of the time, is a more common approach in farmhouse kitchens. Another tip: While it robs the meal of the drama of presenting the whole turkey before carving, many veteran cooks choose to cut their heritage birds into pieces before roasting. This allows dark and white meat to be cooked separate lengths of time to the same degree of doneness. We suggest cooking your first heritage turkey with minimal seasoning, adding even salt and pepper only at the table. That way you will learn what our birds really bring to the table. Add seasoning the next time, if you wish."
Christmas: Featuring Smoked Bourbon Red Turkeys for holiday eating. Also a few Bourbon Red Turkeys available to hoard for winter comfort food.
Caveny Farm will deliver to select Chicago locations for haliday pickup, to see, click Pickup Point tab above.
Rouen Duck will be posted for sale when available. Sorry! No American Buff Geese this year.