Countdown to the Holidays: The Value of the Heritage Turkey
As we rev up to chow down for the holidays, Hungry Nation will highlight some of our favorite seasonal recipes from our creators.
Buying a “heritage breed turkey” for Thanksgiving dinner might sound like a pretentious indulgence, but in this video Shea Hess of Hungry in Brooklyn shows the value in buying heritage.
Heritage turkeys are domestically raised turkeys that possess historical characteristics of the wild turkey. They have a longer lifespan than the average consumer turkey and grow at a slower rate. Unlike the commercial turkey, heritage turkeys must be able to mate naturally without the assistance of artificial insemination, and also cannot be given hormones or antibiotics. Like their wild turkey ancestors, heritage breeds need open, outdoor spaces to spread their wings.
A heritage breed turkey actually comes in lots of breeds, many of which are endangered. Hess visits the Blue Moon farm in New Jersey that raises one of these endangered species – the Bourbon Red.
The natural living conditions required for heritage turkeys like the Bourbon Red don’t just make for a more humane meal, they also guarantee a more delicious one. The slow, un-manipulated growth of a heritage turkey allows for a nice layer of fat to develop under the turkey breast – meaning you already have moist turkey breast without having to do any extra work on Thanksgiving Day. That’s right, no brining, no major prep-work- you simply have to buy a heritage turkey to get a rich texture and taste.
After acquiring a Bourbon Red of her own, Shea Hess heads back to Brooklyn to show you just how easy making an amazing turkey centerpiece can be. Whether you want to learn more about free-range farming, or need an easy recipe for heritage turkey and gravy – you will certainly give thanks for checking out this episode of Hungry in Brooklyn!