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Heritage turkey meat said to be best

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by Grammapat, Oct 15, 2014.

  1. Grammapat

    Grammapat Out Of The Brooder

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    Cook's Illustrated (Nov/Dec 2014): this popular cook book gets into the science of recipes. In a 4 page article they ordered about 15 heritage turkeys, from 6 different breeders. They tried different recipes, explaining that the long legs and smaller breast cook differently than traditional turkeys. They explained what a Heritage was, and that the slow growth (28 weeks compared to the commercial 12-14 weeks) contributed to the results; tasters said their was world away from the traditional birds-buttery, incredibly satisfying rich flavor, silky. Pricy - from $85 for a 10lb bird, to $167 for a "7 to 14" lb, the favorite, from "Mary's free range Heritage Turkey in California. The 1st and 3rd place winners were from Standard Bronze turkeys (from Frank Reese breeding stock).
    MY QUESTION: are heritage CHICKENS superior in flavor to other meat birds?
     
    1 person likes this.
  2. shaninsky

    shaninsky Out Of The Brooder

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    I don't know about "heritage" chickens specifically but I do know that dual purpose, free range chickens are a world away from store bought. I was recently faced with a commercial chicken breast and it looked like rubber and tasted like nothing. Once you've eaten free range happy chickens, there is no going back.
     
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  3. retlaw

    retlaw Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Heritage chicken is stronger in flavour.
    Some might think its to strong because society has been raised with the factory white.
     
  4. Grammapat

    Grammapat Out Of The Brooder

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    So I'm thinking chicken, actually free-ranged, tasts better; and heritage chicken - with their slower growth and higher fat, are even more like Cook's description of heritage turkey. More flavor, richer, more complex. I wonder if restaurants know?

    And what does it mean to get "an ovation"?
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2014
  5. shaninsky

    shaninsky Out Of The Brooder

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    I'm in Canada and I know that the restaurants know and the public knows but regulations make it hard to get heritage or free range meat. There aren't many white meat abattoirs and there is a limit of how many birds you can raise without buying "quota" from the applicable cartel. I have people asking me for meat all the time but I can't legally sell or give them any. I'm lucky enough to live on a farm and be able to raise my own or I wouldn't have any either.

    I think an Ovation is similar to a "like" on Facebook.
     
  6. shaninsky

    shaninsky Out Of The Brooder

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    I don't usually buy Cooks Illustrated but I did go out and get this issue. It will come in handy in December.
     
  7. Grammapat

    Grammapat Out Of The Brooder

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    Wow, and I thought the US was over-regulated! Hope you can get a heritage something - or will be raising it? The cooking process is more complicated than throwing a turkey in the oven, but I like the way they explain how they come up with recipies. I can only have 3 hen (chickens) here, so I can't raise my own to butcher; don't know what the regulations are about that, but if "they" don't know about it...
     
  8. shaninsky

    shaninsky Out Of The Brooder

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    Grammapat, I am lucky enough to have a little farm so I can raise my own "happy" meat and eggs. There is a strong grassroots movement to change the laws so small farms can make a go of selling poultry and turkey. It's a little easier to market beef and pork. We don't have enough space for that but I have a few good sources nearby. These bronze turkeys are amazing creatures and it would be a shame to see them disappear. I think with articles such as the one in Cooks Illustrated, they will become more well known and the market will grow. I know in Toronto, Canada there are people paying $250 for these turkeys.
     
    1 person likes this.

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