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Cooking The Perfect Pasture Raised Turkey

November 8, 2022

Cooking a pasture raised turkey is much different than a cooking a conventional, factory raised turkey. Pasture raised is much more juicy and tender. They also hold flavor much better than commercial turkeys. 

With all that, you will find a pasture raised turkey to be much more expensive than a commercially raised turkey.

Ever heard the saying, "you get what you pay for"? That saying applies heavily to these turkeys. 

Ensure your family is receiving the highest quality nutrition on this holiday with one of our pasture raised birds

Follow along to learn how to cook the perfect pasture raised turkey for your family and friends.

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The turkeys from our farm are frozen.

-Allow 3-4 days to thaw slowly in the refrigerator.

-After the turkey is thawed, remove bag of giblets from the body cavity and set them aside. These are great for making gravy.

-Remove turkey from refrigerator 30-60 minutes before cooking. During this time, prepare the herb butter marinade and mirepox.


  • 1 whole Edwards Family Farms Pasture Raised Turkey
  • Poultry Bone Broth (homemade or store bought chicken broth) or water
  • Olive oil
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 carrot
  • 4 celery stalks
  • 1 bay leaf

For Butter Mixture

  • 10oz butter at room temp
  • 4 tsp fresh rosemary
  • 4 tsp fresh sage
  • 1 Tbsp fresh oregano
  • 4 lemons (2 for juicing and zesting, 2 whole lemons)
  • 3 fresh garlic cloves
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste

Herb Butter Marinade

  1. Roughly chop herbs, lemon zest and garlic.
  2. Combine herb butter mixture ingredients in mixing bowl.
  3. Loosen turkey's skin with your hands and rub butter mixture over the whole turkey. Tip: Use a piping bag to get the mixture under the skin more easily. If you have time, cover and refrigerate the bird overnight to allow the flavors time to penetrate the meat.

A note from our friends at White Oak Pastures: "We have found that you do not need to brine pastured birds because they hold moisture and flavor better than conventional birds."

Making Mirepox

  1. Roughly chop celery, carrot, and onion and place them in the bottom of a roasting pan along with bone broth or chicken broth and a bay leaf.
  2. Use just enough liquid to cover the veggies. This mixture will add flavor to the bird and keep it moist.
  3. Set aside a few pieced of onion for roasting inside the cavity of the turkey.

Ready to Cook

  1. Preheat oven to 325F.
  2. Place turkey on a roasting rack, breast up, and set in the roasting pan over the mirepox.
  3. Loosely place 2-4 lemon halves and a few pieces of onion inside the cavity. Truss the bird loosely with butcher’s twine and drizzle turkey skin with olive oil.
  4. Place the roasting pan into the oven and cook, basting the bird with pan juices every 10-15 minutes.
  5. Remove the bird once the internal temperature of the thickest part of the thigh registers 160 degrees F (approximately 8-10 minutes per pound). Use a meat thermometer like this one.

Please note that our pastured turkeys generally cook more quickly than conventional birds.

Lastly, it is important to allow the turkey to rest 15-20 minutes before carving so you don’t lose all the delicious juices.

We hope you enjoy and have a blessed holiday!

Stacie Edwards

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