Heritage Turkeys

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  1. F.S. Cohen

    When I was a small child in the 1930’s, we lived in an apartment house with the window of my bedroom opening to the fire escape.

    On that cold fire escape, the night before Thanksgiving, rested TWO turkeys. They probably weighed 14 lbs each and, in total would give as much meat as ONE of today’s 16 pounders.

    (There wasn’t enough refrigerator space to hold them. I would be wakened two or three times through the night as my mother checked to make sure ” a cat didn’t climb up!”)

    But, oh the flavor! The aroma! The only “flavor enhancing” was done with my mother’s hands as she literally massaged the butter,garlic, and seasonings into the skin.

    The schedule to get both done in time would have done credit to D-Day. (Anyone remember that?!?)

    Even the stuffing had a better flavor with those drippings.

    If you want to get a slight idea iof the difference in flavors, buy a free range organic chicken and compare the flavor to the battery-raised “up to 12% flavor enchanced brine injected”
    products sold as poultry today.

    Oh well, this is one memory that really is better than today’s reality!

  2. Elise

    Hi F.S.
    Thank you so much for your comment. I emailed it to my dad to read who was born in 1930. He completely agreed with everything you said and loved the comment about D-day.

  3. Phil

    Any cooking recommendations on this type of bird? I’ve read two conflicting methods of cooking, one low heat, 275, for a long time by the LA Times, and one high heat at 450 for a short time, by the localharvest website. I’m confused.

    Given that heritage turkeys have more dark meat, the legs and thighs which are exercised more, I would use the lower heat method, after first browning the bird on high heat. I would also cook it breast side down. See our turkeyrecipe for more details. ~Elise

  4. Ari

    I am pretty excited for this year’s thanksgiving. On Wednesday afternoon, my husband and I will be participating in a u-harvest at a local farm that has a few Narragansett turkeys. I feel better knowing my turkey had a happy life, which translates to super tasty meat without all the additives (why must they inject “flavor”???) and modified growth spurts. Thanksgiving will be delicious and environmentally responsible. Yum!

  5. Will

    Here in the UK there is a breed of turkey called a “Kelly Bronze”. They are reared in what seems to be an identical manner to your Heritage turkeys discussed above. Talk about delicious!!!! These turkeys are unbelievable. almost as unbelievable as the price. Last year my 18 lb. turkey cost me 72 GBP or 117.48 USD!!!!!!!