Family And Friends Delight In A Free-Range Thanksgiving Turkey!
We at Sunrise Farms embrace family through wonderful gatherings and delicious food. One of our fondest holiday memories is Grandma Yoder’s holiday turkey. Our mother continues to cook free-range, home-grown turkeys for our family, just like her mother did before her. When Grandma cooked turkey, Grandpa would always carve it. Any leftovers were used for delicious turkey sandwiches. We hope you’ll enjoy this recipe in your family as much as we have in ours. Sunrise Farms grows fresh, all-natural turkey for Thanksgiving. Try out Grandma Yoder’s recipe for a treasured feast.
Baking the Turkey
Prepare an 18-22 pound turkey for roasting by taking out the giblets, rubbing the entire outside with salt and sprinkling one or two teaspoons of salt inside the turkey’s cavity. Put giblets in a kettle, cover with water, add salt & pepper and cook for one hour or until done. Giblets and broth from the baked turkey will be used to make delicious gravy! If you would like to stuff your turkey, see the stuffing recipe below. Otherwise, place turkey in a baking bag, following the accompanying directions. Instead of placing turkey on its back for baking, place it on its breast. Although you will not have a “picture perfect” turkey for the table centerpiece, the baking bag will produce a moist, white meat that is very delectable. Bake the turkey at 325 degrees for approximately 4 hours.
Use a meat thermometer to be sure the inside of the turkey reaches 165 degrees. Carve the turkey by cutting it into serving-sized pieces, then place on a meat platter and separate dark meat from white.
Old Fashioned Bread Stuffing
Melt 1 to 1 1/2 cups of butter in a small saucepan. Add 4 sticks of celery and 1 large onion (3″ diameter), both chopped very fine. Allow it to simmer on the stove while you toast and cube one whole loaf of white bread.
Add approximately 4 cups of chicken broth, butter, celery and onions to the bread cubes. Add salt and pepper according to taste. Other seasonings, such as poultry seasoning, sage, or thyme, are optional. Stuff turkey with mixture, place in a baking bag and bake turkey for approximately 5 hours at 325 degrees. Alternately, you can put bread stuffing in a 9 x 13 baking dish and bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until the top is brown. If you would like to bake the turkey and the bread stuffing together in the same oven, increase the baking time for the stuffing to make up for the lower baking temperature for the turkey.
Free-Range Turkey Gravy
Dip out the broth from the baked turkey and the stock from the giblets. Put the broth and stock in a kettle and bring to a boil. Add more salt if you desire or add water if the broth is too salty. Then add to the boiling broth a thickening of flour and milk (or water and tapioca starch) using a gravy shaker or wire whisk to mix the flour and milk. You may also add the chopped giblets to the gravy, if you prefer.