RHR Thanksgiving Favorite – Roasted Pastured Turkey

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There is nothing more inviting than the smell of a roasting turkey on a cool Thanksgiving morning, and nothing tastier than the juicy, savory bird next to your favorite fixin’s. At RHR, we have a simple turkey-roasting recipe that we’re happy to share in the spirit of Thanksgiving-day planning and preparation.

Since our birds are processed cleanly, they aren’t injected with oils, water, or artificial flavoring. Our birds can certainly stand on their own, but we recommend brining our Turkeys to help enhance the natural flavor, add moisture, and tenderize the meat.

Basic Brine

  • 1 c. sea salt
  • 1 gallon distilled water
  • Fresh herbs to your liking (we recommend thyme, sage, and peppercorns)

Combine your ingredients in a large kettle on your stovetop and bring to a boil. Remove from heat, chill, and then submerge your bird in brine in your refrigerator for 12-24 hours. A 5-gallon food-grade bucket works great, but if you don’t have one available, a large roasting pan will work. If your bird isn’t fully submerged, turn it every 4-6 hours to ensure even brining.

When you’re ready to cook your bird, remove it from the brine, rinse with cool water, and place in a roasting pan, breast up. Add 1-2 cups water. We recommend an herb butter rub to really kick up the flavor.

Herb Butter Rub

  • ½ c. butter
  • 1 tsp. chopped garlic
  • ¼ c. minced onion
  • 1 tsp. thyme
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. black pepper

Soften butter and combine all ingredients. Rub generously on the outside of the bird, under the skin, and in the cavity. Once well coated, add another few shakes of salt and pepper.

Cover the bird in aluminum foil and place in the oven on 350 degrees. You can expect the bird to take 12-15 minutes per pound to cook. Keep in mind that cook times vary depending on your oven.

It’s important to note that pastured turkeys cook faster than commercially raised birds. Keep a close eye on the internal temperature, monitoring until it reaches 165 degrees. Uncover for the last 30 minutes of roasting to brown.

A Note on Stuffing

Tradition calls for bread stuff in your bird as it roasts, but we recommend preparing your stuffing separately as it can alter cook times and effect the evenness with which the bird roasts. If you must stuff, we recommend a few options:

Bread Stuffing

  • One loaf bread
  • 2 large onions, diced
  • ¼ c. butter
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper

Dice bread. Melt butter. Mix all ingredients and loosely stuff into your turkey, making sure to tie the legs to close the cavity. When the bird is fully cooked, remove the stuffing and combine it with your remaining bread and onion mixture. Spread in a baking pan and toast in your oven for 15-20 minutes, or until it starts to brown.

Fruit and Veggie Stuffing

  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  • 2 apples, cored
  • 2 onions
  • 4 whole carrots
  • 4 stalks of celery
  • 1 orange, quartered

Roughly chop apples, onions, carrots, and celery and combine in a bowl with melted butter. Tightly stuff into bird, alternating chopped mixture with orange quarters. Tie legs to close the cavity. When your bird is fully cooked, remove the stuffing before serving. You can add the cooked fruit and veggie mixture to diced bread, then toast it in the oven for a sweet and savory stuffing.

Gluten-Free Stuffing

Not to worry – if you’re gluten-free, you can still have fantastic stuffing by using a corn bread based recipe, like this one: https://www.marthastewart.com/337822/cornbread-dressing, or this one: https://www.finecooking.com/recipe/gluten-free-corn-muffins.

Do you have your Thanksgiving turkey yet? If not, there’s still time to order your pasture-raised bird from Red House Ranch. Click here to order online.

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