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How we cook our pastured turkey

October 15, 2022 • 0 comments

How we cook our pastured turkey
We tried this recipe last year from Jill Winger of The Prairie Homestead and loved the results. It really enhances the natural flavors. Brine the turkey for 12-18 hours before roasting it for a moist, delicious holiday centerpiece!
  • Prep Time:
  • Cook Time:


  • (1 gallon) Water
  • (1 cup) Salt
  • (1/2 cup) Raw Honey - Pint Glass Jar
  • (5 leaves) Bay Leaves
  • (1 tablespoon) Black Peppercorns
  • (2 sprigs fresh or 1 tbsp dried) Sage
  • (2 sprigs fresh or 1 tbsp dried) Thyme
  • (1 container (or about 1.5 cups)) Nourishing Chicken Bone Broth
  • (1/4 teaspoon) Black Pepper
  • (1/2 cup) Apple Cider
  • (5 tablespoons) Butter, softened
  • (1/4 cup) Sage Leaves
  • (2 cloves) Garlic


Author: The Prairie Homestead

To Make the Brine:
1-gallon water
1 cup salt (I use Redmond Salt)
1/2 cup honey
5 bay leaves
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
2 sprigs fresh sage (or 1 tablespoon dried sage)
2 sprigs fresh thyme (or 1 tablespoon dried thyme)


In a pot on your stovetop, combine the salt, honey, and herbs with 4 cups of water. Bring to a simmer and stir until the salt is dissolved. Remove from heat, and mix in the remaining water. Set aside and allow to cool completely.
Pour the cooled brine into a large container and add the turkey. (I’ve used food-grade plastic 5-gallon buckets in the past. Or, you can line a large stockpot with an oven bag and place the brine and turkey in the bag.)
If the turkey doesn’t want to stay fully submerged or tries to float to the top, weigh it down with a clean plate.
Leave the turkey and brine in a cool place for 12-18 hours. If you have room in your fridge, that’s great. I never do, but thankfully it’s always cool enough in the shop. (Just make sure if you’re leaving it outside that it’s not accessible to any curious animals.)
After the brining period is complete, pull the turkey out of the brine and rinse under cool water. This will remove the excess brine to ensure the finished bird isn’t too salty. Dry the turkey completely (I use paper towels for this).  Set the turkey on a rack in a roasting pan, breast side up.  Optional, stuff it with apples and onions.  I usually do not do this. 


Use a spatula and gently separate the skin from the meat around the breast and thighs.  Stuff generously with garlic sage butter (recipe below).  Ensure the legs are tied together and tuck the wings close to the body.  Any leftover garlic sage butter can be rubbed on the turkey's skin:

 Garlic Sage Butter Recipe:
5 tablespoons softened butter
1/4 cup sage leaves
2 cloves garlic.


In a food processor, combine sage butter ingredients and process until smooth.  If you do not have a food processor, mince garlic and mix thoroughly with a fork.  


Pour the basting liquid (recipe below) in the bottom of the roasting pan and place in a preheated 325 degree oven.  Cooking times will vary but plan on about 13 min per pound.  Baste the turkey every 45 min.  If the breast starts to brown too quickly, cover it with a piece of foil.  Turkey is done when the thermometer reads 165 degrees.  I use a digital reading thermometer towards the end to ensure I do not overcook the turkey. 

To Make the Basting Liquid: 

1 1/2 cups Honeysuckle Farm Chicken Broth
1/2 cup apple cider
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Allow the turkey to rest for 10-15 min before carving. 

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