Caveny Farm Bourbon Red Turkey Recipes

There are many heritage turkey recipes in cookbooks and online to choose from. Paul Virant included one in his recent Preservation Kitchen cookbook that we recommend. On this page, we share tasty recipes for the home kitchen collected from customers. Find one you love and start a holiday tradition. Or send us your favorite Bourbon Red recipe!

Roasted Bourbon Red Turkey Parts including Stock

These two are our everyday recipes. Connie makes the stock. John roasts the meat. These work for different size turkeys by adjusting the ingredients.

Thaw 1-2 days before roasting and cut the turkey into 7 pieces (breast, 2 legs, 2 wings, 2 thighs). Remove the wing tips. Reserve the backbone, wing tips, neck, giblets except liver plus any trimmed bits for the stock.

Bourbon Red Turkey Stock

Turkey stock is great for soups, noodles, pasta, rice dishes etc. Freeze portions to use later. Not just for cooking either; warm homemade broth is appreciated by cold sufferers.

Bone out the stock meat to use in stuffing, casseroles or turkey salad.

  • 1-2 medium onions, sliced
  • 1-2 large ribs celery, sliced
  • 1-2 large bay leaves
  • 1–2 sprigs fresh sage (or 1-2 teaspoons dried sage)
  • 2 teaspoons salt or to taste
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste

  1. Heat oven to 400°F. Place the turkey neck, backbone, wing tips, and bits in a Dutch oven or stockpot. Roast until browned, about 20- 30 minutes.
  2. Remove from oven; add reserved giblets except liver to pot. Add onions, celery, bay leaves, salt and pepper and then water to cover.
  3. Heat to a boil over high heat; reduce heat to a simmer. Cook about 2½ hours. Meat will begin to fall from bones.
  4. Remove from heat, lift out pieces to a pan to cool and bone out. Strain stock. Liquid can be returned to Dutch oven and reduced if desired. Let stock cool at least 30 minutes, then refrigerate to congeal fat; remove fat.

RoastedBourbon Red Turkey

Dry brine the turkey pieces 1-2 days before roasting and place in refrigerator. A stick of butter is also needed for the roasting. John prefers seasonings from the Spice House, a Chicago favorite, for the dry brine.

  • Celery Salt (classic style) to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt per lb. of turkey
  • Bavarian Seasoning (crushed brown mustard, French rosemary, garlic, Dalmatian sage, French thyme and bay leaves) to taste but don’t be shy
  • Tellicherry Black Pepper, ground, to taste

  1. Mix dry brine ingredients in a bowl. Sprinkle over legs, thighs and wing pieces and rub in, coating evenly. Using fingers or handle of wooden spoon, carefully separate skin from breast, leaving attached at keel. Rub brine mix evenly under skin, smooth the skin down and tuck under.
  2. Wrap each piece tightly with plastic wrap, refrigerate for 1-2 days before roasting. This step is important to retain the natural juices.
  3. Heat oven to 325°F. Remove and discard plastic wrap before arranging legs, thighs and wings in a roasting pan large enough to also add the breast later. Two pans can be used if necessary. Add one stick of butter. Roast about 1 ½ hours, basting every 20-30 minutes.
  4. Remove and discard plastic wrap from breast. Add the breast to the roasting pan with the other pieces and return pan to oven. Roast, uncovered, until breast meat registers 135-140°F. Roast dark meat and wings to 175-180°F. Continue basting regularly. Don’t overcook the breast. Dark meat is more forgiving. Remove turkey pieces to a warm pan or cutting board. Tent foil over the meat and let rest 15 minutes; carve.
  5. Use the pan drippings for gravy or add to the stock.

Weekend Turkey Soup Stock

Don’t toss that turkey carcass out! Bourbon Red turkey makes incredible rich stock. Freeze the carcass in a 2 gal bag until you can make this recipe from the Spice House on a weekend at home. Don’t skimp with the spices. The aroma on a cold day is like a big hug!

Honey Riesling Bourbon Red Turkey

This recipe is from Amanda Olsen of the Apartment Farm blog. Amanda says once you enjoy a heritage bird, you’ll never go back to bland factory-farmed birds again.

  • 1 Bourbon Red turkey (6-8 pounds), giblets reserved
  • 2 cups liquid - 1¼ cup Riesling with ¾ cup honey, adjusted to taste
  • 2 teaspoons salt, optional
  • Freshly ground pepper, optional

  1. Preheat oven to 325°. For a moist, succulent bird the rule is low and slow. It is done when the internal temperature reaches 180°. Plan for 3-4 hours for a 6-8 pound bird.
  2. To prep the bird, cut off the wing tips or tuck under the bird to prevent over browning. You can also cover the ends of the drumsticks with foil.
  3. Place turkey breast up on a v-rack in a roasting pan. This allows for heat circulation, cooking evenly with crisp skin on all sides.
  4. Use a baster to apply ¼ of the liquid to the surface of the bird. Baste the turkey periodically with the honey Riesling mixture. Turn the pan in the oven if you notice hot-spots where one part seems to be cooking faster.
  5. Halfway through cooking, flip the bird to breast-side down (you can do this by inserting a sturdy long wooden spoon into the cavity with one hand and tongs in your other hand to guide the bird while you flip it).
  6. During the last 20 minutes, up the heat to 400° for a nice caramelized skin. This is not the time to leave the kitchen! You have to watch so it doesn’t get too crispy and burn.
  7. When done (180°), remove from oven and let rest 15-20 minutes before carving. Resting helps the meat retain moisture and be easier to handle.

Apple Juice Brine Roasted Bourbon Red Turkey

This recipe from Ed Krol of Champaign is apple juice brine with no additional sugar. Since Ed is as good in the kitchen as he is on a computer, which is very good, we recommend it for anyone who likes brining.

Bourbon Red turkey, (10-12 lbs.), room temperature, cut into pieces, with backbone and giblets reserved


Mix together in a large nonreactive container

  • 2 qts. apple juice
  • 1 cup kosher salt (See below about salt equivalents)
  • 2 tablespoons each of peppercorns, rosemary, thyme, and sage
  • Add water to cover (usually about 1 qt.)

Cut up the turkey and put it in the brine, adding water until covered. Set in a cold place and brine for about 18 hours.

Remove turkey pieces from brine, rinse, pat dry and arrange on a roast pan. If time allows, let dry uncovered in cold place for 8-12 hours (crispier skin) Put in a preheated 500°F oven and turn down to 325°F immediately.

Cook until the internal temperature is 165°F, rest 15 minutes before carving.

Salt Equivalents per Ed

  • ¼ c. table salt = ½ c. Morton's kosher
  • ½ c. Morton's kosher = 1 c. Diamond Crystal brand kosher

There's no direct equivalency on sea salt because it varies by producer/region of production. Some are definitely milder than others and because of the cost are not popular brine salts.

Katahdin Lamb For Sale!

Heritage Poultry


Preorder Caveny Farm Bourbon Red turkeys for pickup before Thanksgiving or Christmas. All turkeys are pre-sold. No additional birds are available at pickup. Processing is done at an inspected plant in an Amish community. All turkeys are processed shortly before pickup and delivered flash-frozen for peak flavor.

Good News or Bad News

The facility processing our turkeys (and much of the turkeys raised by small Illinois farmers) will not clean gizzards. This is good news for those not using the extra bits stuck in the bird as they no longer pay for them. It is bad news for giblet gravy lovers but outside our control.

Purchase a Bird Now

Caveny Farm delivers to select local & Chicago farmer’s markets for pickup for the holidays. Or choose on-farm pickup and get a $12 credit per bird! Order your Heritage turkey for Thanksgiving or Christmas now before some sizes sell out!

Smoked Turkey

Smoked Caveny Farm Bourbon Red Turkey is now better than ever. The “cure” is now a vegetable juice one yielding a fully cooked, delicious and more natural bird. Just thaw and it is ready to serve. Impressive and easy on a holiday buffet!

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