Heritage Turkeys for Thanksgivng 2021
Well, 2021 hasn't been quite the return to normal that we'd hoped for, but we can (hopefully!) look forward to seeing our loved ones again for the holidays. We have a way to make your fall feast a even more special -- a heritage turkey, raised humanely and totally free range! Our heritage breed turkeys (mostly hybrids between Standard Bronze and Royal Palm) are spending their cool fall days nibbling on fallen pears, apples, acorns, and grasses; when that's not enough, they also get to eat our custom feed low-corn, low-soy feed mix. We are offering our heritage turkeys for $7/lb -- a great price for these kinds of birds!
Before you purchase a heritage turkey, we suggest that you learn more about them, since they are really different from the Butterball you get at Meijer! But cooked correctly, they are a complete departure from the bland, mushy-yet-dry broad breasted soporific bird you're used to. We expect most of our birds to dress out between 12-15 lbs, but we will have a variety of sizes, since we had several hatches between April and July.
Ready to reserve? Act now, because we have a limited supply! We will be taking our turkeys for processing the week before Thanksgiving and have them available for pick-up on farm any time on Friday 11/19, Saturday 11/20, and Sunday 11/21. We had to hustle to get such a great processing date -- by allowing the turkey to rest for a full week before eating, you will have a wonderfully tender and flavorful bird. The market is full of impostor heritage turkeys, so make sure to get one from a local farmer you can trust.
Having the turkeys slaughtered a full week before Thanksgiving is going to give great results. I know it sounds like a lot, but aging game birds for this long is a tried and true method for developing tender meat -- and since heritage turkeys are grown out longer and are far more active than their industrial counterparts, treating them more like game birds makes sense. In fact, one of the most renowned producers of heritage turkey in Britain partially plucks and hangs turkeys for 7 full days, guts and all, before butchering in order to get the most flavorful and tender results! Since your bird will be plucked and gutted, we instead recommend letting it rest in its plastic wrapper for the first few days, dry brining it with a salt and spice rub several days before cooking to dry age your turkey for tender meat and crispy skin. By aging the bird, you will also be able to cook it much faster.
We have also developed and tested our own recipe that combines the best of easy butchering, dry brining, and a secret ingredient -- shio koji rice, a domesticated fungus cultivated on rice and used for centuries in Japan to make things like miso, soy sauce, and sake -- to make an amazingly tender and flavorful turkey! See the recipe here.
We understand that aging a turkey might not be your jam; we will also offer a limited number of spots for farm-processed turkeys for pickup on Monday or Tuesday before Thanksgiving. Same price per lb.
There are two steps to getting your own heritage Thanksgiving turkey: