Recipes / turkey

Brining and Cooking Your Pasture Raised Turkey

What's the difference between cooking a conventional vs. pasture-raised turkey? Thanks to Mommypotamous for this explanation and recipe!

"Most store bought turkeys are injected with vegetable oil, water, salt, emulsifiers, sodium phosphate, and artificial flavorings. Pasture raised free range turkey, on the other hand, has not been basted or injected. You may want to consider preparing your turkey in a brine like most chefs. Brine is a saltwater and seasoning solution that allows moisture to penetrate the meat.

Even a slightly overcooked turkey will be moist and juicy when prepared in brine. Brine also expedites cooking time, since water is a better conductor of heat than meat. Brine can be made from your favorite herbs and seasonings."

Brining Your Pasture-Raised Turkey

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sea salt
  • 1 gallon filtered water
  • 1 cup raw sugar or honey (optional)
  • 1 bunch fresh sage (optional)
  • 1 bunch fresh thyme (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons black pepper (optional)

Directions

  1. Bring all ingredients to a boil; remove from heat and refrigerate.
  2. Place thawed turkey in a deep roasting pan that is large enough to allow most of the turkey to be submerged in the brine, or use a commercially available brining bag (available in Williams-Sonoma or Sur La Table stores or on their websites). We use a 5 gallon food grade plastic bucket. If you use just the pan, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate (or put in an ice chest if your refrigerator is full). Turn the turkey in brine every few hours if it is not fully submerged. Keep turkey in brine for 12-24 hours.

Cooking Your Pasture-Raised Turkey

  1. When it is time to cook the turkey, lift it out of the brine, rinse with cold water and dry with paper towels.
  2. Slide a small rubber spatula between the skin and the meat to separate them.
  3. Insert half of the herbed butter mixture (recipe below) under the skin and spread evenly. Rub the remaining butter mixture on the outside of the skin.
  4. If you wish, fill the body cavity with stuffing.
  5. Truss the bird loosely with butchers twine, season with salt and pepper, and pace in roasting pan.
  6. Add 1 cup stock and roast until internal temperature of the thickest part of the thigh reaches 165 degrees. The turkey should be loosely covered with foil for part of the cooking time to help retain moisture. The foil should be removed for the last 45 minutes or so of cooking so the skin can be beautifully browned and crisp by the time the turkey is done. Be sure to baste the turkey often with juices from the bottom of the pan.

Roasting Times at 350 F

Begin to check for doneness 30 minutes before suggested cooking time.

  • 8-12 lbs: 2.5-3.5 hours
  • 12-16 lbs: 3-4 hours
  • 16-20 lbs: 4-5 hours

Pastured birds often cook a little faster than conventional turkeys, so monitor closely with a meat thermometer. The thickest part of the thigh should reach 165F.

Herbed Butter Mixture

Ingredients

  • 8 tablespoons softened unsalted real butter
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon chopped garlic
  • 1 teaspoon chopped sage
  • 1 tablespoon chopped thyme
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped shallots (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped chives (optional)

     

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    Turkey or Beef Jalapeño Cheddar Burgers

    We found this recipe on Spend With Pennies. "These might be my absolute favorite turkey burgers of all time!!  The delicious jalapeño cheddar filling in these burgers keeps lean meat juicy and tender while adding tons of flavor!  The burgers in the photo were made with turkey, but I have also done these with lean beef and they were equally delicious!  They can broiled in the oven or cooked on the grill!"

    Prep Time: 15 minutes
    Cook Time: 15 minutes
    Total Time: 30 minutes
    Servings: 4

    Ingredients

    • 28 oz lean turkey or beef (not extra lean)
    • 2 tablespoons finely minced onion
    • salt & pepper to taste
    • 4 tablespoons cream cheese
    • 2 oz . shredded cheddar cheese
    • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
    • 1 fresh jalapeno pepper , diced (seeds removed if you prefer less spice)
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • Rolls & Toppings as desired

    Directions

    1. Preheat grill to medium or oven to broil on high.
    2. In a small bowl combine cream cheese, cheddar cheese, garlic powder and diced jalapeno.
    3. Combine meat, salt & pepper and minced onion. Divide meat into 4 even pieces (7oz each). Take 1/4 of the cream cheese mixture and flatten it into a pancake shape. Wrap beef or turkey around the cheese ensuring the cheese mixture is completely covered. Brush each burger with a little bit of olive oil.

    To Broil

    1. Grill burgers over medium heat for 6-7 minutes on each side or until completely cooked. (Turkey should reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees and beef should reach 160 degrees F.)

    To Grill

    1. Place burgers on a foil covered pan approximately 6" from the broiler. Broil 5-6 minutes on each side or until completely cooked. (Turkey should reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees and beef should reach 160 degrees F.)

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    Making Your Own Bone Broth!

    Ah, bone broth – comforting, immune-boosting, nutrient-dense, and one of our best sellers here at BlossomPure Organic. Did you know that you can make your own bone broth from our chicken, turkey, beef, and lamb soup bones? It’s easy, economical, healthier than store-bought versions, and oh-so-versatile!

    In traditional societies across the world, every part of the animal was used – no exceptions. This included boiling the bones of the animal to make rich, nutritious broth, which you’ll now find in nearly every culinary tradition across the world. You can use bone broth as a base in soups and stews, to cook grains such as rice and quinoa for extra flavour, or to braise and roast meats and vegetables – though many choose to drink it plain, seasoned with salt and pepper to taste. It’s just that good for you on its own!

    Some of the benefits of bone broth in the body include:

    • Promoting digestive health
    • Stimulating brain health
    • Boosting the immune system and metabolism
    • Supporting the body’s detoxification process
    • Aiding joint, hair, skin, and nail health

    Remember, when you make bone broth, you are extracting the minerals from the bones. You’ll want the healthiest bones you can find – certified organic and 100% grass-fed from start-to-finish are your best bet. We always have soup bones in stock! 

    How can you make your own bone broth at home? It’s simple, and once you try it, we’re sure you’ll have a pot simmering on your stove on a regular basis. We’ve adapted the following recipe from Wellness Mama:

    Ingredients

    1. 2 lbs or more of BlossomPure’s chicken, turkey, beef, or lamb soup bones
    2. 2 chicken feet (optional – this adds gelatin)
    3. 2 tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar
    4. 1 onion, 2 carrots, 2 stalks of celery, and additional vegetables as desired (these are optional, but add extra flavour and nutrition)
    5. Additional herbs or spices to taste (optional – ex. 1 bunch parsley, 1 tablespoon or more of sea salt, 1 teaspoon of peppercorns, 2 cloves of garlic for the last 30 minutes of cooking) 

    Directions

    1. If you are using raw bones, place them in a roasting pan and roast for 30 minutes at 350. This is optional, but improves flavour (especially for beef bones)
    2. Place the bones in a large stock pot. Pour water of your choice over the bones and add the vinegar. Let sit for 20-30 minutes in the cool water (The acid helps bring out the nutrients from the bones)
    3. Rough chop and add the vegetables to the pot. Add anysalt, pepper, spices, or herbs, if using (except garlic and parsley – add these in the last 30 minutes).
    4. Bring the broth to a boil. Once it has reached a vigorous boil, reduce to a simmer and simmer until done – 48 hours for beef or lamb, and 24 hours for chicken or turkey.
    5. Optional - during the first few hours of simmering, you can skim off the denatured proteins that float to the surface. This frothy/foamy layer will form and can be easily scooped off with a big spoon. Discard this if you’d prefer a less cloudy broth.
    6. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Strain using a fine metal strainer to remove all the bits of bone and vegetable. When cool enough, store in a gallon size glass jar in the fridge for up to 5 days, or freeze for later use.

    Recommended Further Reading

    1. Bone Broth Benefits for Health  - Wellness Mama 
    2. Bone Broth, Broths, and Stocks - Nourished Kitchen

     

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    Gluten-Free Turkey Zucchini Poppers

    We found this recipe on  To Simply Inspire. "These Turkey Zucchini Poppers are a healthy, low carb meal or snack packed with Mexican flavors"

    Prep Time: 20 minutes
    Cook Time: 20 minutes
    Total Time: 40 minutes
    Servings: 5 (yields 25 poppers)

    Ingredients

    • 1 lb ground turkey or chicken 93% or leaner
    • 2 cups zucchini grated and water squeezed out (approx 2 medium sized zucchini)
    • 2 green onions sliced
    • 4 TBSP cilantro minced
    • 3 cloves garlic minced
    • 1/2 tsp pepper

    Directions

    1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
    2. Mix raw ground meat with zucchini, green onion, cilantro, garlic, salt, and pepper.
    3. Drizzle a little coconut oil or olive oil onto a baking sheet.
    4. Roll meat mixture into about 1 - 1 1/2 inch meatballs and place on the greased pan.
    5. Bake at 400 degrees 20-25 minutes, or until cooked through. Place under the broiler for an additional 2-3 minutes or until browned on top (careful not to burn)
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    Gluten-Free Pesto Turkey Burgers

    We found this recipe on Suzlyfe. "The best pesto turkey burgers you can make that are still healthy, hearty, and moist. You are ready for summer grilling season and cookouts with these gluten free pesto turkey burgers!"

    Prep Time: 5 minutes
    Cook Time: 10 minutes
    Total Time: 20 minutes
    Serves: 3

    Ingredients

    • 1 lb Ground Turkey
    • 1/8-1/4 cup favorite store bought Pesto (gluten free)
    • 1/8 cup chopped Sundried Tomato
    • 1/2-1 TBSP Red Pepper Flake
    • Salt + Pepper to taste

    Directions

    1. Combine ingredients in a large bowl and incorporate ingredients throughout.
    2. Form into three 5+ oz patties (my favorite size for cooking). Indent the center with your thumb and salt the exterior.
    3. Let sit for at least 5 minutes at room temperature before cooking.
    4. Cook on medium heat in a cooking spray greased grill, grill pan, or skillet for 3-5 minutes (until it is opaque halfway through). Flip and cover with lid or foil to finish cooking, an additional 3-5 minutes, depending. Finished burger will be firm but not hard. If you are adding cheese (like more parm!), add the cheese 3 minutes after you flip the patties, splash the cooking surface with water, and cover with lid.
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    Asian Turkey Meatballs

    We found this recipe on Chef Savvy. "You don’t always think of Asian food and turkey together but these two are a perfect match. The asian sauce and baking method gives the lean turkey lots of flavor and moisture. Turkey is naturally low in fat and provides immune-boosting nutrients like iron, zinc and potassium. It’s also packed with lean protein to keep you feeling full longer."

    Prep Time: 10 minutes
    Cook Time: 20 minutes
    Total Time: 30 minutes
    Servings: 4 (yields 12 meatballs)

    Ingredients

    Meatballs

    • 1 pound ground turkey
    • ¾ cup panko breadcrumbs
    • 3 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 whole green onion, both green and white parts, chopped
    • 1 large egg
    • ½ teaspoon sesame oil
    • 1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce

    Asian Sauce

    • ¼ cup hoisin sauce
    • ⅛ cup low sodium soy sauce
    • 1 tablespoon water
    • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
    • green onions for serving, if desired
    • sesame seeds for serving, if desired

    Directions

    Meatballs

    1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
    2. Add turkey, breadcrumbs, garlic, green onions, egg, sesame oil and soy sauce. Mix with your hands until combined.
    3. Grease a baking sheet with oil.
    4. Portion out 12 meatballs. (Working with slightly wet hands helps)
    5. Place meatballs on the oiled baking sheet and cook for 15 minutes or until fully cooked, flipping halfway through.
    6. Take out of the oven and toss with the Asian sauce.
    7. Serve immediately and garnish with green onions and sesame seeds, if desired.
    8. Note: If you are freezing the meatballs do not toss with sauce until ready to serve.

    Asian Sauce

    1. Add all of the ingredients to a medium bowl and stir to combine. Set aside until meatballs are done cooking.
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    Gluten-Free Turkey Meatballs with Italian Herbs

    We found this recipe on Suzlyfe. "These Healthy Turkey Meatballs with Italian Herbs are the perfect way to herb up your healthy menu plan. (heh, get it? Herb up?) Gluten free, dairy free (unless you choose the second option), and 5 minutes to prepare, these meatballs will be perfect for your clean eating weekend meal prep! Plus, the low cost ingredients will keep you right on budget. You will love this crazy healthy recipe!"

    Prep Time: 5 minutes
    Cook Time: 15 minutes
    Total Time: 25 minutes
    Serves: 4

    Ingredients

    • 1 lb ground turkey (preferably organic and free range)
    • 1 tsp thyme
    • 1 tsp parsley
    • 2 tsp basil
    • 1 tsp garlic powder
    • 1/2 tsp oregano
    • 1/2 tsp red pepper flake
    • 1/4 tsp fresh cracked black pepper
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 2 TBSP sun dried tomatoes, chopped (optional)
    • 1-2 cloves fresh garlic, minced (optional)
    • 2-3 TBSP freshly grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

    Directions

    1. Mix herb blend in small ramekin, prepare optional ingredients, if desired.
    2. In medium bowl, add herb blend and optional ingredients to ground turkey in portions. Do not over mix--ingredients should be incorporated and mixed through, but not overworked.
    3. Form golf ball sized meatballs and place on plate. Cover meatball plate with plastic wrap and let sit for 5-15 minutes at least to allow to meld.
    4. Turn oven to 350*F. Line a cookie sheet or lasagna pan with foil, pour 1/2 cup water or chicken broth (enough to coat the foil with a millimeter or so of liquid. Cover with foil and place in oven.
    5. Heat large saute pan over medium high heat on stove. Spray with cooking spray or oil of choice. In batches, sear meatballs on all sides over a period of 5 minutes. Pull back foil from oven pan, transfer meatballs and re-cover with foil. Finish baking in the oven for 10 minutes for each batch.
    6. Remove balls and serve! Balls should be firm, but not hard to touch.
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    Traditional Turkey Stuffing

    We found this recipe on Bon Appétit. "This easy stuffing recipe, or dressing if you prefer, will be a staple on your Thanksgiving dinner menu for years to come."

    Servings: 8-10

    Ingredients

    • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter plus more for baking dish
    • 1 pound good-quality day-old white bread, torn into 1-inch pieces (about 10 cups)
    • 2 1/2 cups chopped yellow onions
    • 1 1/2 cups 1/4-inch slices celery
    • 1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
    • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
    • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
    • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
    • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
    • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    • 2 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth, divided
    • 2 large eggs

    Directions

    1. Preheat oven to 250°. Butter a 13x9x2-inch baking dish and set aside. Scatter bread in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake, stirring occasionally, until dried out, about 1 hour. Let cool; transfer to a very large bowl.
    2. Meanwhile, melt 3/4 cup butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat; add onions and celery. Stir often until just beginning to brown, about 10 minutes. Add to bowl with bread; stir in herbs, salt, and pepper. Drizzle in 1 1/4 cups broth and toss gently. Let cool.
    3. Preheat oven to 350°. Whisk 1 1/4 cups broth and eggs in a small bowl. Add to bread mixture; fold gently until thoroughly combined. Transfer to prepared dish, cover with foil, and bake until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of dressing registers 160°, about 40 minutes. 
      DO AHEAD: Stuffing can be made 1 day ahead. Uncover; let cool. Cover; chill.
    4. Bake stuffing, uncovered, until set and top is browned and crisp, 40-45 minutes longer (if chilled, add 10-15 minutes).
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    Savoury Sweet Grain-Free Turkey Stuffing

    We found this recipe on Mommypotamous. "Make this holiday stuffing a delicious, grain-free alternative to traditional bread-based dishes. We love it with with roasted pastured turkeycreamy grain-free gravybroccoli and grape slawpecan barscauliflower mashed “potatoes” and pumpkin pie."

    Ingredients

    • 3 ½ cups onion, diced
    • 2 ½ cups celery, diced
    • 1 cup apple, cored and diced
    • 1/4 cup dates, chopped into small pieces (raisins or dried cranberries would also be good)
    • 2 cups almond flour
    • 2 teaspoons sage
    • 2 teaspoons thyme
    • 1/4 teaspoon marjoram
    • 1/4 teaspoon rosemary
    • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 2 tablespoons butter, ghee or coconut oil
    • 3 eggs, whisked

    Directions

    1. Preheat oven to 350F
    2. Grease a medium-sized baking dish (If you're using a cast iron skillet or Xtrema panthat can go from stovetop to oven, skip this step
    3. Add 2 tablespoons butter/ghee/coconut oil to a saucepan and warm over low/med heat.
    4. Add onion, celery, apple and herbs and saute over medium heat for 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
    5. In a large bowl, add almond flour and dates and mix. (Note: If you have a cast iron or Xtrema pan that can go from stovetop to oven, you can just mix everything in the pan.)
    6. Add the lightly beaten eggs to the bowl and mix well.
    7. Add mixture to baking dish and bake at 350F for 45 minutes - 1 hour

     

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    Paleo Turkey Stuffing

    We found this recipe on 40 aprons. "The best paleo stuffing recipe! Perfect for Thanksgiving or as a healthy grain-free side dish for roast chicken. Made with simple ingredients, you’ll be shocked at how much it tastes like “real stuffing”… but better!"

    Prep Time: 10 minutes
    Cook Time: 1 hour
    Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
    Serves: 8

    Ingredients

    • 2 tablespoons ghee or avocado oil or refined coconut oil
    • 3 cups onion diced
    • 2 cups celery diced
    • 1 cup mushrooms diced
    • 1 cup apple cored and diced
    • ¼ cup dried cranberries or dates, chopped
    • ¼ cup flat-leaf parsley chopped
    • 4 teaspoons poultry seasoning
    • ½ teaspoon salt
    • ½ teaspoon black pepper
    • 2 cups almond flour
    • 3 eggs whisked

    Directions

    1. Preheat oven to 350º F.
    2. Heat ghee or oil in a large cast-iron or oven-proof skillet over medium heat.  Add onion, celery, apple, mushrooms, cranberries or dates, parsley, poultry seasoning, salt, and pepper. Sauté until very soft, about 7 minutes.
    3. Remove from heat. Keep in oven-proof skillet or transfer to 9x9" baking dish. Stir in almond flour and mix well. Add the whisked eggs and stir well. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until browned on top.

    Recipe Notes

    If you don't have a cast-iron skillet, grease a medium-size baking dish before sautéing ingredients (a 9x9" works well). After eggs have been added and the mixture is well-stirred, transfer mixture to baking dish. Continue baking as directed.

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