Cooking Your Farm Fresh Turkey
Remove the giblets from the cavity and reserve. Wash the turkey thoroughly with cold water inside and out. Sprinkle the entire bird with salt (kosher if you have). If you are stuffing the turkey you should do so now loosely. In the chest and neck cavities and tie the legs of the turkey together. Tuck the wings under the back to prevent them from burning. If you are not stuffing you may want to fill the cavity with some aromatics for flavor. Quartered onions, apples, chopped celery, carrots and fresh herbs are nice. Arrange the bird breast side up on a roasting pan. Brush the skin with melted butter.
Preheat your oven to 325 degrees f. Fresh turkeys cook faster than store-bought due to the absence of preservatives and hormones. Cooking time is approximately 10-12 min. Per pound unstuffed. 13-15 min per pound stuffed. If you are using a thermometer you want the internal temperature to be between 150 and 160.
Baste your turkey often with pan juices. While the turkey is cooking prepare your giblets for gravy.
If the bird is getting too brown cover with foil for the remainder of cooking time.
If the bird is done and the stuffing is not, remove the stuffing and place in a buttered casserole and continue cooking it.
If using a covection oven your turkey will cook in almost half the time. However you chould cover it tightly with foil after the initial browning period and baste well.
When the turkey is done place it on a platter or carving board and let rest for at least 20 min. To hold in the natural juices. If you begin carving right away you will lose a lot of the juices and the meat will be dry.
Hemlock Hill Farm Turkey Gravy
While the turkey is roasting make the gravy. Place turkey neck and giblets in a sauce pan with 4 cups of water, 1 diced onion, bay leaf, 2 stalks of celery (with leaves) and 1 carrot. Bring broth to a boil then reduce heat to low and simmer until giblets are tender. Drain, reserving the broth. Discard onion and celery; chop the giblets into very small pieces. Just before carving turkey make a roux; butter, flour, milk, salt and pepper for kosher, replace roux with cornstarch and broth). Slowly add roux to the pan juices for desired consistency. Taste for salt and pepper.
Preparing Duck or Goose
Prepare the goose in the same manner as the turkey, by removing the giblets washing with cold water and salt. With a two tined fork, gently pierce the skin (not the meat) to allow some the excess fat to drain out during cooking and baste the goose. Tie legs together. Stuff if desired. Cook breast up at 350 f for approximately
12-15 min per pound. For gravy, use the same as above.
Fruit stuffing’s and glazes go especially nice with duck or goose.