The Farmhouse Kitchen
Welcome to our farmhouse kitchen! Here you will find tips and links to recipes, that will help you make the most of your Doko Farm purchase. Check back from time to time, as this page will be updated seasonally, and as we are able to test more recipes. Enjoy!
Doko Farm Pasture-Raised Heritage Turkey
Thawing your frozen heritage turkey: This takes some planning. It takes 1 day of thawing time, in the refrigerator, for every 4 or 5 pounds of turkey. A 16-pound turkey would require 4 days to thaw completely. Alternatively, you can use the water bath method. Make sure that the bird is wrapped tightly and fully submerge it in a sink full of cold tap water. Allow 30 minutes per pound, changing the water every 30 minutes. A 16- pound turkey thawed using this method would be completely thawed in only 8 hours.
To brine or not to brine: There is no denying that pasture-raised heritage turkeys are far more flavorful than their commercial counterparts. We did not think it could get any better. Then we tried brining one of our heritage turkeys. It was like a culinary awakening! Although it is another step, we promise it is worth it. (If you are short on time, your heritage turkey can finish defrosting in the brining mixture.) We recommend a ratio of 1 cup brown sugar and 1 cup sea salt, to 1 gallon of water. Stir in the brown sugar and sea salt and submerge your turkey in the brining mixture overnight. Five gallon buckets, coolers, or plastic oven roasting bags all work well for brining. Refrigerate, or add ice to your cooler to keep your heritage turkey at a safe temperature while it brines. Or if it is cool enough, simply set your cooler outside on your porch.
Roasting your heritage turkey: If you do not yet own a meat thermometer, go ahead and invest in one now. We recommend roasting your heritage turkey in a 425-450 degree F oven, until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit for the breast and 175 degrees Fahrenheit for the thigh. Because you are cooking at high heat for a short period of time, you will not want to open the oven door to bast your bird. Keep the oven door closed for an even cooking temperature. Instead, set-up your heritage turkey, so that it can self-bast. We prefer using an oiled parchment paper tent, instead of plastic roasting bags. (You can use your roasting bags for the brining step above.) Remove your parchment paper for the last 10 minutes of cooking to brown and crisp-up the skin. (Bonus tip: secure your parchment tent with wooden clothespins that have been soaked in water.) Our small-sized heritage turkey took approximately 45 minutes to roast to perfection. A larger bird would take longer. A good starting point is to figure about 10 mins of cooking time per pound. Be sure to test the joint at the thigh to make sure the juices run clear. Rest your turkey for about 15 minutes before carving. For more tips and ideas follow this Local Harvest link or this link from Epicurious.
Recipe link: Last year we tried this heritage turkey recipe from Local Harvest. It was excellent! We highly recommend it, with one important change. Instead of using the Rosemary Maple Butter from this recipe, we recommend making a compound butter with your favorite fresh herbs. Let a 1/2 pound of butter soften to room temperature and mix in your chopped fresh herbs. Rosemary is still a good choice. We found the Maple Syrup made the drippings too sweet for making gravy.
Want something more advanced? Here is a very brief overview of Julia Child's Spatchcocked Turkey. You can get a video tutorial from America's Test Kitchen. (Don't have a subscription? They are offering a free 2-week trial). I have yet to spatchcock my first bird (or anything really!), so I sought advice from Kelsey, one of our experienced customers.
Kelsey's 6 Pro-Tips for Spatchcocking a Turkey
Brine your white meat, but not your dark
Tuck the wing behind the shoulder. It makes it easier to get the legs off, and also makes sure the wings don't overcook.
Take the thigh bone out so that you can stuff/season and truss the thigh up for fantastic flavor (and sliceable/shareable legs). The white meat can be brining while you work on this.
Gravy: After you remove your heritage turkey from the roasting pan to rest, place your roasting pan over two burners on your stove top and bring the pan juices (drippings and giblet broth from the Local Harvest link above) to a simmer. Whisk in a 1/4 cup of all purpose flour, until well blended and the gravy begins to thicken. Remove from the heat. If you would like, add some cream or milk at this point. Add salt and pepper to taste. Another option is to place the pan juices into a saucepan before bringing them to a simmer. Then follow the directions above. That is all there is to it! Now you have a delicious homemade gravy!
Turkey Stock: Once your holiday feast is over, do not toss your heritage turkey carcass. Instead, use it to make a flavorful stock. We have tried this recipe and found it to be easy and really good. We freeze ours in 2 cup batches to use later.
Leftovers: Doko Farm's Heritage Turkey Corn Chowder