We are currently raising our second batch of Orlopp Bronze turkeys. I talked a little bit about these wonderful birds in a post I wrote last year, and felt that for this season it was time to expand on the turkey theme a little by not just discussing how easy they are to raise and how much fun it is to be around them, but also to share some cooking hints meant specifically for grass-fed turkey along with a delightful gravy recipe that I have taste-tested myself using these wonderful birds.
If you decide you would like to buy one of turkeys from us this year, this will be an important read to you.
So, up first are some cooking hints for these turkeys, since they are not the 50 cents a pound dried out shot full of salt water Frankenturkeys you can buy at your local Walmart.
*If the Orlopp turkey was frozen, be sure to let it completely thaw out in your fridge before you cook it to prevent chewy dark meat. I was impatient once which is how I know this. The dark meat is very lean which is why this happens if the turkey is still partially frozen.
*Cook the turkey by itself (so no stuffing, orange peels, or weird things) breast down making sure to just rub the skin all over with some shortening. You could add some seasonings of your choice if that’s what you normally do.
Start the turkey off in a 425 degree oven and cook for 30 minutes.
* Turn oven down to 325 degrees and cook turkey for approximately two-two and a half hours more. You can tent the turkey with foil for the last hour or so if you like, or just wrap the feet in foil so they don’t burn. Covering the turkey is not necessary, however.
* Keep a watchful eye! Because the meat is so much leaner on grass-fed turkeys, they can quickly overcook! Prepare for an average cooking time of 8-10 minutes per pound. Check using your meat thermometer…Your turkey temp should be 165 degrees in the breast and 170 degrees in the thigh.
Great, now your turkey is done and wonderful smells that make the cook moan like a starved animal are now wafting throughout your home.
Let the turkey rest for at least 10 minutes before carving it.
This turkey makes the most wonderful gravy! Please, forget about that nasty gravy you can whip up from those overpriced packets of salty crap from the grocery store!
I have an awesome gravy recipe for you that my family has named Lisa’s Drink It Straight turkey gravy. I originally got this recipe from someone named Kittencal, who has some recipes listed on Food.com. I tweaked it a bit to suit my own taste. This recipe as I make it is also doubled from its original measurements, so if you want to make less, just halve all of the measurements listed here.
Lisa’s Drink It Straight Turkey Gravy
1 cup butter
1 cup all-purpose flour plus 2-3 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon fresh black pepper(or more, if you like it nice and peppery!)
white sugar to taste-I probably add in 1/8 to 1/4 cup at most. Shake it in slowly and do a little taste test each time to make sure it doesn’t get too sweet.
dash of sea salt-just to taste, don’t overdo it
8 cups pan drippings from the Six Pines Farm grass-fed turkey
*if you can’t get quite 8 cups of drippings from the turkey, just pour out as much of the drippings as you can, and top your measuring cup off with water or a mixture of water and low-sodium chicken broth.
In saucepan, melt butter.
Add in black pepper, stirring well.
Add in the cup of flour, whisk liquid constantly over low heat for about 3 minutes or till it starts to thicken nicely. Carefully add in the additional flour, one tablespoon at a time, as you do not want the gravy to be too thick!
Slowly add in the drippings/liquid. Keep whisking this constantly over low-medium heat for another 3 minutes or so, till thick and bubbly.
Carefully shake in the sugar. Don’t add the entire 1/4 cup at once as you may not want that much. So add a bit, then add a pinch of the sea salt, stir well, and have a taste.
“Where’s The Beef?”