Recipe for Deconstructed Heritage Turkey

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.
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.
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.
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.
Other Tips for Roasting Heritage
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.
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
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:
o Roast the bird whole until the breasts are done,
and then finish cooking the legs separately
o Remove and braise just the legs and roast the
rest of the turkey whole
Recipe for Roast Heritage Turkey
from Good Shepherd Ranch in Kansas
Heat oven to 325°F.
Rinse 12-16 lb turkey inside and out with cold running
water. Pat dry inside and out. Rub bird in side with
mixture of 3/4 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp of fresh ground pepper.
Using skewers, pin the neck skin to the underside of the
bird and fold the wings behind the back (akimbo style),
and tie drumsticks together to reduce cavity space.
Rub the entire bird with butter. Sprinkle bird on the
outside with 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. pepper. Place turkey
on a rack in a large roasting pan and pour 1 ½ cups water
into the pan. Roast for 30 min, then remove from the oven
and baste exterior with the liquid in the pan. Cover tightly
with foil, reduce the oven to 325 F, and return the bird to
the oven. Plan to bake bird for 15-20 min per pound .
Signs of doneness are when the drumstick feels tender
when pressed and juices from bird run clear. A
thermometer inserted into the meat should reach 160
About 30 minutes before the bird is done, remove the foil
from the bird, baste bird with pan juices and melted butter
and return to oven, uncovered, to complete roasting and
brown lightly.
Optional: To increase moisture and natural flavor, remove
bird from oven 1 ½ hours into baking and inject pan juices
into the breast, thighs and drumsticks with an injector.
Add 1 small-med cubed yellow onion and/ or rubbed sage
or rosemary to the cavity if desired. Cover pan again and
return to oven. Continue to bake until done, using the
time/weight ratio listed above as a guide.
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
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.
Time to Start
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
Oven: Place in a shallow, oven proof dish and
heat in a 325 degree oven until hot, about 40
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 / 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
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