Roasted Heritage Turkey

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Roasted Heritage Turkey

The Clarks of Applecheek Farm include this tried and true recipe with each heritage turkey they sell. It is adapted from heritage turkey farmer and chef Sandra Kay Miller of Pennsylvania.


  • 15-lb. fresh heritage turkey at room temperature
  • kosher or sea salt & freshly ground pepper
  • 4 cups giblet broth (see recipe bellow)
  • rosemary maple butter (see recipe bellow)
  • oiled parchment paper
  • 2 cups white wine (a deep, oaky chardonnay lends a wonderful taste)
  • 2 cups water
  • giblets & neck
  • bay leaf
  • 1/2 pound butter
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon freshly minced rosemary


1. Rub turkey inside and out with salt and pepper.

2. Loosen the skin around the breast with your fingers and insert rosemary maple butter between the meat and the skin, as well as on the inside of the bird’s cavity.

3. Set bird in deep roasting pan. Use a wire rack to lift the bird off the bottom of the pan.

4. Add the giblet broth to the bottom of the pan. Using a sheet of oiled parchment paper, tent the roasting pan with the oiled parchment paper. (Any type of cooking oil can be used; brush it on both sides with a pastry brush.) The parchment paper is easily affixed to the roasting pan with a strip of foil on each end or you can use clean, oiled wooden clothespins. Remove parchment paper during the last 30 minutes of cooking to develop a crispy, golden skin.

5. Preheat oven at 425–450 °F. Roast the bird until the thigh temperature reaches 140–150 °F; this can take 8-10 minutes per pound. Let the bird rest 10–15 minutes before carving to let the juices settle. Serves 10–12 people.

A word about basting

Quick roasting at high temperatures means the oven temperature needs to be maintained and frequent basting defeats that purpose. By adding butter under the skin, the bird is self-basted. Baste the bird when you remove the parchment tent. If there is not enough liquid for basting, add either more water or wine.

Giblet Broth

Simmer the wine, water, giblets, bay leaf, and salt in a small saucepan for 15 minutes. Discard bay leaf and neck. Giblets can be discarded if they aren’t your type of thing, or they can be finely chopped and added to the broth.

Rosemary Maple Butter

Bring butter to room temperature and whip the butter, maple syrup, and rosemary together.

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