Here at The Butchery, we take turkeys very seriously. Our Diestel Turkeys are exclusive to The Butchery and are range-grown at the Diestel Turkey Ranch in Sonora, CA. Golden Sierra Farms turkeys are fed an all-vegetarian diet of corn and soy containing to animal by-products or growth enhancers. The Diestel name is known throughout the state for their premium quality, free range all natural, sustainably farmed turkeys.
The Diestel Turkey Ranch became the heir to the Mrs. Mitchell legacy when they purchased the remaining Mitchel flock...a rare breed of turkey that is super broad-breasted and has more usable meat than a regular turkey. Many years of care have gone into raising this special breed and we're sure you're going to love it!
Now that you understand the importance of choosing a well-bred turkey, lets get into our favorite recipe from "Inside the Test Kitchen" by Chef Tyler Florence.
RECIPE: Serves 10-14
- 8 cups of 1-inch pieces of crustless sourdough bread
- 5 tablespoons grapeseed or vegetable oil
- 1 pound sage breakfast sausage, crumbled
- 1 cup diced carrots
- 1 cup diced celery
- 1 cup diced onion
- 5 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
- 10 sage leaves, minced, or 20 if not using sage sausage
- 8 thyme sprigs
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth
- 2 eggs
- Butter, for greasing baking dish
- 1 10- to 16-pound fresh turkey (ask your butcher to spatchcock it for you)
- Grapeseed or vegetable oil, as needed
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 to 2 bunches sage
- 1 to 2 bunches thyme
- Poultry shears or parrot-beak pruning shears
- Piping bag or 1-gallon freezer bag
- Instant-read thermometer
- Roasting pan or rimmed baking sheet with a flat rack that fits inside
MAKE THE STUFFING
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Toss the bread with 3 tablespoons of the oil and toast it on a sheet pan in the oven for 15 minutes, until crisp and golden.
Meanwhile, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the sausage; brown lightly, about 5 minutes. Stir in the carrots, celery, onion and garlic, followed by the sage and thyme. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper. When the vegetables are aromatic and tender, 15-20 minutes, add a splash of water if necessary to loosen the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Remove from the heat.
Remove the thyme sprigs and pull the leaves off, adding the leaves back to the stuffing. Add the toasted bread and the chicken stock, and mix.
Transfer about 2/3 of the stuffing to a food processor. Process until somewhat smooth, adding the eggs while pureeing. Spoon the remaining stuffing into a buttered baking dish, about 8-inch square.
PREPARE THE TURKEY
If you didn't have us at The Butchery spatchcock the turkey, remove the heart and giblets and reserve; discard the liver. Flip the turkey upside down so the breast is on your cutting board. Using kitchen shears, cut on both sides of the backbone so the bone can be removed.(This will take a little force.) Pull the bone out of the turkey and reserve for another use, such as turkey stock. Gently but firmly open up the bird a little, and set it on the board with the skin side up. Twist the thighs around so they lay flat.
Insert your fingers gently between the skin and the breast meat, separating the two while keeping the skin attached. You want to create a pocket for the stuffing without tearing the skin. Work your fingers all the way from the top of the thigh to the neck cavity.
Rub grapeseed or vegetable oil over the skin of the entire turkey, then season liberally with salt and pepper. Do the same to the inside of bird. (A good guideline for how much salt to use is 2/3 teaspoon per pound.)
PIPE THE STUFFING
Use a spatula to fill a piping bag or large Ziploc freezer bag with the pureed stuffing. Snip off the tip or one corner so you have a nickel-size opening. Stick the piping bag between the skin and meat of the left breast and begin piping the stuffing underneath - a gentle zigzag movement should give you even coverage. Move to the right, and pipe under the right breast. Massage the skin a bit to make sure the stuffing forms an even layer. If you have leftover pureed stuffing, pipe it into the neck cavity.
ROAST THE TURKEY
Keep the oven set at 375 degrees. Place a large rack on a roasting pan or rimmed baking sheet, and put the whole sprigs of sage and thyme on the rack. Place the turkey skin-side up on top of the herbs.
Put the turkey in the oven and roast 1¼ hours (for a 10-pound bird) to 1½ hours (for a 16-pound bird). At this point, the skin should be golden brown and the internal temperature should be 135 degrees. To measure the temperature, insert an instant-read thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh, keeping the tip away from the bone, and then do the same with the thickest part of the breast.
Tent the turkey with foil and continue to roast until the temperature reaches 155 degrees in the breast, about 20 minutes. (The internal temperature will continue to rise after the turkey is removed from the oven.) Remove the turkey from the oven and let it rest at least 15 minutes before slicing.
While the turkey is resting, bake the pan with the stuffing for 20-30 minutes, until lightly browned on top.
CARVE AND SERVE
Cut the legs off first, and separate them at the intersection of thigh and drumstick. Then slice the dark meat. Use your largest knife to remove each breast, whole. Start at the breastbone and slowly carve down and along the ribcage. Once you've removed both breasts, you can slice them lengthwise so each guest gets a stripe of of stuffing and crisp, golden skin. Serve the baked stuffing as needed.
Per serving (turkey + stuffing): 605 calories, 63 g protein, 18 g carbohydrates, 30 g fat (8 g saturated), 208 mg cholesterol, 553 mg sodium, 2 g fiber.