Free range Turkey for dinner.

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by Suzierd, Nov 27, 2013.

  1. Suzierd

    Suzierd Overrun With Chickens

    3,894
    211
    261
    Aug 8, 2011
    Oregon
    Well I went to the trouble of getting a organic free range turkey no preservatives, antibiotics or other junk and my husband says " you got Free Range? It will be stringy!" I just brushed it off and thought no way it will be better. Now I'm starting to wonder what if he's right? I have all the family homing here for Thanksgiving, I can't take a chance on a stringy Turkey! I paid a arm and a leg for organic free range but I can stick it in the freezer and run out and get a different one for tomorrow. What do you all think?
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2013
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

    21,723
    2,687
    466
    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    I'd say use it. It will be special. However, don't use the same recipe as for commercial broad breasted whites.

    I'm not an expert on free range heritage turkey but I would start brining it right now since it hasn't been injected. Leave it in the brine in the fridge till time to go in the oven.

    http://www.chefscollaborative.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/All-About-Heritage-Turkeys.pdf

    You'll find information here:
    http://www.heritageturkeyfoundation.org/

    and at Slow Food and ALBC


    http://www.heritageturkeyfoundation.org/articles/Turkey Article 06.htm

    good luck and let me know how it goes.
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2013
  3. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

    21,723
    2,687
    466
    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    You could just brine it with water to cover and a lot of sea salt or I found a brine recipe.

    water to cover
    1 cup Kosher or sea salt 1/2 cup plus
    1 Tbsp honey (sugar or agave nectar work too)
    18 bay leaves
    30 unpeeled garlic cloves, smashed
    3 Tbsp whole black peppercorns
    5 large fresh rosemary sprigs
    1 1/2 bunch fresh thyme
    1 1/2 bunch fresh parsley
    2 Tbsp finely grated lemon peel
    3/4 cup fresh lemon juice

    http://www.localharvest.org/features/heritage-turkey-recipes.jsp
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2013
  4. Rosa moschata

    Rosa moschata Chillin' With My Peeps

    480
    90
    116
    Mar 20, 2013
    I got a traditional (not broad-breasted) Bronze, raised on pasture and supplemental grain. I'm making the brine for it today, and tomorrow it will be rinsed out, soaked in cold clean water for a few minutes, patted dry, seasoned outside with a rub and inside with some whole fresh herbs, then cooked on my rotisserie.

    There are lots of recipes out there for brines, but keep in mind that if you use one, you'll want to modify how you make your gravy if you add the turkey juices to it because of the added salt the turkey will have. Rinsing and soaking the brined turkey in cold clean water will remove excess salt from the skin and outer part of the turkey, which will help. But also leave out any salt for gravy-making until it's finished, and then add to taste. This also means getting some chicken stock with as little sodium as possible, and not salting the water in which you boil the giblets -- if you use either or both to make the gravy base before adding the drippings from the turkey.

    The brine I'm using will be based off this recipe, but I'll also be tossing in any fresh herbs I have left over after putting together the other dishes (collaborative Thanksgiving dinner this year for me and a few friends). What's most important is that the water : salt : sugar ratio falls within a certain range. If you google "turkey brine" you will find much more information. Don't just find a recipe -- learn what goes on and how the brine ingredients work.

    :)

    Turkey Brine

    2 gallons cold water
    3 cups apple cider
    2 cups brown sugar
    3/4 cup kosher salt
    3 tablespoons tricolor peppercorns
    5 whole bay leaves
    4 cloves garlic, minced
    Peel of 3 large oranges, cut into large strips
    4 fresh rosemary sprigs, leaves stripped off

    Combine water, cider, brown sugar, salt, pepeprcorns, bay leaves, garlic, orange strips
    and rosemary leaves in large pot. Stir until salt and sugar dissolve. Bring to boil, and then
    turn off the heat and cover. Allow to cool completely, and then place into the fridge to chill.
    Place uncooked, fresh turkey in chilled brine solution, and then refrigerate for 16 to 24
    hours. When ready to cook turkey, remove it from the brine. Submerge in pot or sink of
    fresh, cold water. Allow to sit in the water for 15 to 20 minutes to remove excess salt from
    outside. Discard brine. Remove turkey from water, and rinse again, pat dry, and cook.
     
  5. Suzierd

    Suzierd Overrun With Chickens

    3,894
    211
    261
    Aug 8, 2011
    Oregon
    Thank you both for the info and the brine recipes. I have never used a brine I just put some seasoning on and stick it in a oven bag and it comes out yummy and juicy. So I panicked and ran out and got a different Turkey. I'm putting the free range one in the freezer and will fix it for our family at another time. I needed a bigger one anyway. I will save this info and try the brine when I make it. Thanks so much :)
     
  6. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

    21,723
    2,687
    466
    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    Chicken!!! [​IMG]
     
  7. theoldchick

    theoldchick The Chicken Whisperer

    28,875
    5,635
    576
    May 11, 2010
    Well, the star of the show needs good supporting actors.

    I hope the turkey tastes great!
     
  8. Suzierd

    Suzierd Overrun With Chickens

    3,894
    211
    261
    Aug 8, 2011
    Oregon
    Lol, Happy Thanksgiving! :D
     
  9. 3goodeggs

    3goodeggs pays attention sporadically

    12,250
    1,689
    418
    May 22, 2009
    North Central Florida
    A couple of years ago we got one the day after Thanksgiving..SALE!!! and we carved it up like a gigantic chicken and grilled it. It was wonderful. It tasted like real food.
    Let us know how it turns out!
    I bet it is perfect!!
     
  10. Suzierd

    Suzierd Overrun With Chickens

    3,894
    211
    261
    Aug 8, 2011
    Oregon

    Now that's what I thought when I bought it, it would taste better not injected with all the junk. And the price! Ouch. But it made me feel good to buy one that was treated well and had a better life. Then all the doubts, I figure I better experiment with it on a day that's not Thanksgiving or I'll never hear the end of it. Like that one time you have lumpy gravy many years ago haha.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by