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Cooking A Pasture Raised Turkey

November 8, 2022 • 0 comments

Cooking A Pasture Raised Turkey
Cooking a pasture raised turkey is much different than cooking factory farmed turkey (aka Butterball) and they do not take nearly as long!
  • Prep Time:
  • Cook Time:
  • Servings: 12


  • (enough to cover veggies) Poultry bone broth (homemade or store bought chicken broth)
  • (enough to drizzle turkey) Olive oil
  • (1 large) onion
  • (1) carrot
  • (4 stalks) celery
  • (1) bay leaf
  • (10 oz) butter at room temp (for butter mixture)
  • (4 tsp) fresh rosemary (for butter mixture)
  • (4 tsp) fresh sage (for butter mixture)
  • (1 Tbsp) fresh oregano (for butter mixture)
  • (4) lemons; 2 for juicing & zesting, 2 whole lemons (for butter mixture)
  • (3) fresh garlic cloves (for butter mixture)
  • (1/4 tsp) allspice (for butter mixture)
  • (to taste) salt (for butter mixture)
  • (to taste) black pepper (for butter mixture)
  • (1) Turkey, Whole


Our turkeys come 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.

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.

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 to check temp.

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. Enjoy!

Recipe inspired by White Oak Pastures