Slanker Grass-Fed Meat

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Cooking Pastured Poultry

Pastured Chicken Fryer is smaller than a roaster and is cooked like conventional chicken.  It can be cut up and fried, rotisseried on a grill, baked in an oven like a turkey, or cooked in a pot.

Pastured Chicken Roaster is an older, larger, tougher chicken.  It can be cooked like a conventional roaster chicken by baking in an oven like a pastured turkey.  For turkey cooking instructions see below.  Best of all, roaster chickens are super for chicken soups and similar dishes.

Pastured Heritage Turkeys are the same breeds of birds that were popular between 1850 and 1950.  They are descendants of old original, traditional breeds that used to be universally used for the traditional holiday feast.  They are the same birds you'll will find in the American Book of Standards.  It wasn't until the development of the large breasted supermarket bird of today that the Heritage turkeys declined in popularity.  With that loss also went the pasture raising methods that were responsible for the delicious subtle flavor that all pastured birds provide.

Heritage birds have longer legs, more flavorful dark meat, and just the right amount of white meat that is also flavorful.  Naturally, when using pasture raising methods it takes longer to raise a bird and the fat profiles of these birds are more delicate (they are higher in the Omega-3 fatty acid).  Consequently, pastured turkeys must be cooked at a lower temperature for a longer period of time.

This means the flavor is already in pastured birds so our job is to bring that flavor out, not mask or destroy it.  The trick is slow cooking at 325ºF and keeping the bird well covered until the last 30 minutes.  You know it's done when the meat separates from the bone and juices run clear.  Remember to use a meat thermometer.  Insert it into the center of the inner thigh muscle without touching the bone and cook to a minimum internal temperature of 180ºF.  Pastured turkeys have longer growing periods and their meat textures are well developed so season lightly.