Heritage Turkey Cooking Guidelines
1. The day before you plan to cook your turkey, take it out of its packaging and remove the giblets from the cavity (they might be hard to find, but they are there). Place the turkey in the refrigerator uncovered as soon as possible, this will allow the skin to dry out. Take the turkey out of the refrigerator 1 hour prior to cooking to bring it to room temperature.
2. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Season with olive oil (or butter), salt, pepper, and a lot of your favorite fresh herbs — we recommend rosemary, thyme, and sage — in the cavity, on the outside of the bird, and even in small slits you create throughout the body.
3. Place the turkey and additional herbs on a rack in a roasting pan in the middle of the oven. The fresh herbs will add lovely aromatics to your turkey!
4. Ovens differ, but calculate about 10-15 minutes per pound depending on the size of the bird in a 325°F oven. Smaller birds (up to 14 lb) typically need 10 minutes per pound. Larger birds may need 13-15 minutes per pound. Cook to an internal temperature of 165°F, remembering that the temperature will rise 10-15 degrees after leaving the oven.
5. Check the temperature often, especially as the turkey gets closer to the final desired temperature. For an extra crispy skin, turn the oven temperature up to 375°F for the final 15 minutes of cooking — but be sure to check the internal temperature before turning the oven up! We do not recommend overcooking the bird.
6. The turkey is done when a slit in the skin reveals the juice running clear (not red). The turkey breast cooks slightly faster than the dark meat.
7. Always let the turkey rest for at least 30 minutes before carving to allow for the redistribution of juices.
8. Present the beautiful Heritage Turkey to your dinner guests, carve carefully, and enjoy!