Timothy Leary is Dead (atlanticat) wrote,
Timothy Leary is Dead

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Heritage Turkey

If you're a turkey eater, you've probably eaten Broad Breasted Whites all of your life. This is the bog standard turkey that you get in any store or restaurant. I've never liked that variety of turkey and hence I never eat the stuff.

This year, I decided to try a heritage turkey. It arrived last Wednesday and is currently thawing in the 'fridge. A heritage bird is one of several domestic varieties that are NOT overly inbred and mass-produced for the turkey industry. They're grown in limited quantities on family farms for the Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons. This one also happens to be free-range and organic for the trump.

Naturally, I'm going to brine it, per Alton Brown's recipe and slide some thyme butter under the skin before roasting. I haven't yet decided what I'm going to put on the outside of the skin just yet--lots of choices there.

What I'm really not certain about doing is roasting it. My favored method of roasting anything is Low and Slow, which is to say hours of cooking at a relatively low temperature. This bird has the unique advantage of not being heavy on the breast meat, which means the whole bird will cook uniformly and be done at the same time. The extraordinarily few recipes for heritage birds seem to conflict over whether or not you should do it Low and Slow or Fast and Fiery. I don't know whether to be concerned about it drying out or not. It's definitely not as fatty as BBWs are, but the brine and the butter should help significantly to offset that.

Anybody know anybody who has cooked a heritage bird before? And a proper cooking method? Also welcoming suggestions for skin seasoning. :)
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