Update – 2017***Both of these recipes will work well with Heritage Turkeys.


Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday!  I love that it is centered around giving thanks for all that we have and the Three “F’s”- Friends, Family and Food. Below you will find two great recipes for turkey; the first is for a Broad Breasted Turkey which has more white meat, the second for a Heritage Breed Turkey which has more dark meat and much bigger legs.


Aaron and I use this Turkey Recipe from Bon Appetite’s November 1997 issue every year.  We strayed from it once, but the next year came running back.

First the turkey is soaked overnight in a brine to improve flavor and ensure moist meat. (Be sure to use a pot large enough to hold both the brine.


For brine:

  • 6 quarts water
  • 2 large onions, quartered
  • 1 cup coarse salt
  • 1 cup chopped fresh ginger
  • 3/4 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
  • 4 large bay leaves
  • 4 whole star anise
  • 12 whole black peppercorns, crushed
  • 1 13- to 14-pound turkey, giblets discarded (this recipe works well for any size turkey though, just double the brine ingredients)

For cooking the turkey:

  • 2 cups  hickory smoke chips, soaked in water 30 minutes, drained
  • Disposable 9×6 1/4×1-inch aluminum broiler pans
  • 2 large oranges, cut into wedges
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons oriental sesame oil

For glaze:

  • 3/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/3 cup Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter


Make the brine:
Combine first 8 ingredients in very large pot. Bring mixture to simmer, stirring until salt and sugar dissolve. Cool brine completely.

Rinse turkey inside and out. Place turkey in brine, pressing to submerge. Chill overnight, turning turkey twice.

Make the glaze:
Bring all glaze ingredients to simmer in heavy medium saucepan.

If using charcoal barbecue: Mound charcoal briquettes in barbecue and burn until light gray. Using tongs, carefully divide hot briquettes into 2 piles, 1 pile at each side of barbecue. Sprinkle each pile with generous 1/2 cup hickory chips. Place empty broiler pan between piles. Position grill at least 6 inches above briquettes. Position vents on barbecue so that chips smoke and briquettes burn but do not flame.

If using gas or electric barbecue: Preheat barbecue with all burners on high. Turn off center burner and lower outside burners to medium-low heat. Place generous 1/2 cup hickory chips in each of 2 broiler pans. Set pans over 2 lit burners. Place empty broiler pan over unlit burner. Position grill at least 6 inches above burners.

Preheat Oven to 300 degrees.

Remove turkey from brine; discard brine. Pat turkey dry with paper towels. Place orange wedges in main cavity. Mix olive oil and sesame oil in small bowl. Brush over turkey. Arrange breast side up on grill, centering above empty broiler pan.

Brush glaze over turkey; cover and cook until the whole bird is a dark golden brown, glazing every 15 minutes and adding 1 cup hickory chips (and 6 briquettes if using charcoal barbecue) to barbecue every 30 minutes.

Transfer turkey into oven for 1-2 hours depending on size of the bird.  Cook until thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh registers 160°F.

Let turkey rest, covered with foil for at least 30 minutes or longer before carving.



If you have a Heritage Turkey from us this year, this is the recipe that we recommend (adapted from Chef Dan Barber of Stone Barns and Blue Hill, NY)


A Heritage Turkey from The Local Butcher Shop

Fresh Bay Leaf Butter from The Local Butcher Shop

Salt and Pepper



Preheat oven to 475 degrees.

Let turkey come to room temperature.  Carefully separate skin from the breast meat and rub softened Bay Butter on to the breast.  Season the entire bird liberally with salt and pepper.

Set the turkey, breast side up, on the rack of a large roasting pan.  Tie the legs together with kitchen string.  Roast for 20 minutes.  Lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees and cover turkey loosely with tin foil.  Roast until the thermometer inserted into the inner thigh registers 150 degrees (2 to 3 hours, depending on the turkey size).

Transfer turkey to cutting board.  Do not turn the oven off!  Let stand for at least 45 minutes to cool down.  Remove the legs and thighs, careful to not take too much skin with you.  Please thighs, skin side down, on a roasting pan and continue cooking 40-45 minutes or until juices run clear.

Separately slice breast and thigh and plate while still warm.

(Courtesy of BN Ranch)


Happy Thanksgiving from The Local Butchers!