turkey

1 Easy Recipe for Those Who Appreciate Simple

Thanksgiving day would be much less stressful for a host if she didn’t have to cook a $45 bird for a large group of people. That annual experience makes it hard to remember what you should improve on one year to the next.

If you ask Allison, she’ll tell you that we spent our entire second winter eating turkey. It was a unique experience that left us fairly confident when cooking up a turkey.

Brining

Before Sunday, I’d never brined a turkey before, so I decided to give it a try.

I just used a basic ratio, 1 tablespoon of coarse kosher salt for every cup of water. Make sure it’s dissolved.

Some people add a bunch of seasonings while brining, but I just wanted fast and easy.

I placed my turkey in a tall stock pot and filled it as high as I could with the brine. I wanted to immerse the bird, but couldn’t quite get its tail end submerged.

You’ll want to brine for at least 12 hours, but some people like to go for 24.

I’ve always seen it recommended that you brine in the refrigerator, but I left mine on the counter top.

Why is brining important?

Like I mentioned, Sunday was my first time brining a turkey and I have cooked a bunch of them.

It really did seem like the flavor of the meat was more pronounced and enjoyable because of the brine.

If you go without it, it’s still a great eating experience, but you can take those flavors to a higher level without much effort. It does take a little foresight though.

Roasting

We were having turkey for our noon meal on Sunday, so we set the oven on 350, threw the turkey in at 8:30 and pulled it out at 12 when we got home. My 16 pounder was approaching too well done in that 3.5 hour time frame.

Keep an eye on internal temps, you’ll want to breast to be about 165, and the thigh to be about 180.

I like to put 1/2 inch of water in the bottom of the pan, it seems like it keeps the turkey from burning to the bottom.

I also like to roast with the lid on, it keeps all the moisture contained and you’ll have something left to make gravy with when it comes out.

Without a lid, the moisture will mostly cook out of the pan, and the turkey is more at risk of becoming too dry, in my experience.

If it tickles your fancy, sprinkle several of your favorite spices on the bird before you throw it in.

I’ve come to the conclusion that starting with high quality meat is far more important than trying to get the perfect spice combination.

Carving

When you pull that turkey from the oven, give it a good 10 minutes on the counter to cool before cutting into it.

Something about slicing it open right away allows lots of moisture to evaporate. If you’re concerned about keeping it moist, you’ll let it sit for a bit to sorta stabilize those juices.

The Results

Everybody dug into our early thanksgiving spread and found it quite satisfying. we did it, I’m confident that you can pull it off real easy too.

Please shoot me a review once you’ve used my recipe!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Loren

The beginnings of a young farmer

Do you remember those days when you were young and trying to figure out what you wanted to be in life?

I was 20 years old when I attended a grazing school to learn more about livestock, pastures, and managing them profitably.

After that eye opening experience, I knew what I wanted to do. I set out to bring a farm together where I could raise animals in their natural environment.

Taking a break from the heat and enjoying a nice little breeze.

Taking a break from the heat and enjoying a nice little breeze.

Success is rare with start up farms

The fact of the matter is, my career of choice is a difficult one to get into. However, I think I've discovered the solution. 

I believe that the more I enable you to find clean wholesome nutrition, the closer I'll be to making my dream a reality.

My goal is to develop a community of like-minded folks who love my little family, my little farm, my services, and everything that we're trying to accomplish.

From that community, I will find the support needed to make my wildest schemes a functioning part of the real world.

 

Success is inevitable

This is my mindset, and I believe in it with everything I've got.

I know that I can fill a spot in your life that's been missing.  A connection to real food raised by someone you trust.

You know that every time you cook a Poultry Guy chicken, it'll be delicious, safe from food borne illnesses, and the birds always enjoy a life outdoors.

These are hard to find qualities and they are becoming more and more popular by the day.

 

The ultimate goal

I want you to employ me, I am at your service.  I will raise your chickens, turkeys, and pigs for now, hopefully other animals later.  If you need something I don't have, let me know and I'll see what I can do.

I want you to enable me to bring on other helpful people to serve you in ways that I don't have time to.  For example, a gardener who can supply you with fresh vegetables, a dairyman who milks a few cows and makes cheeses, an intern who takes on daily duties so I can focus on other important things, etc...

I want you to enjoy the farm as if it were your own. Visit the pigs wallowing in their slough, check on the chickens chasing crickets, watch the turkeys strut around and show off, or simply enjoy the regular on-line updates.

I want you to tell your friends about this wonderful experience that I have to offer so that they can join in with us too.

 

This Farm is a work in progress

As we go along, I'm certain that all those things listed above will be happening at some point. It's only a matter of time before the opportunities fall into place and we're off and running.

Probably the biggest obstacle to kicking this all off at this very moment is land accessibility. 

I've continually got my eye out for the right opportunity to lease 10-20 acres and get this farm plan of mine on the map.

If you're on my email list, you'll be among the first to know what's happening when.

Stay tuned!

 

When did you discover the job or activity that you're most passionate about?

Leave your reply below!

I've been promising this, now I've delivered!

While conversing with potential customers at my farmer's market, I was frequently passed by because my chickens were not cut up.

I solved the issue and I want to unveil my new offerings. 

In my Farm Store, I now have all parts of the chicken conveniently separated and available.

I imagine this is important to you because it'll thaw out faster, you wont have to even lift a knife, and it'll cook faster too.  Talk about saving time!

Not only that, grilling my chickens just got a whole lot easier too.  Here's how I like to do it!

One thing that I haven't posted yet because I lack a decent picture, is soup stock bones.

If you just want to make your own chicken soup and get all the awesome flavors out of those bones, this 2.7 lb package is for you.

$3.85/lb is my asking price and some of those bones even have a little meat on them yet.

By the way, my little Use The Whole Chicken Cook Book (red button at bottom of page) will show you the very best recipe for chicken soup if you haven't checked it out yet.

My cut up chickens are all that's available through the summer now, I will have whole chickens available only directly after processing.  I'm thinking to have another batch ready in late August.

Chicken pickin' time of year

My chickens are growing fast and we're already gearing up to put them all in the freezer by the weekend.

For those of you who have made your orders, you can pick them up Saturday, the 26th, after 4 in the afternoon or arrange to grab them sometime Sunday afternoon.

If neither works for you, send me an email and we'll make something work.

 

I've been taking some pictures so everybody can enjoy just how beautiful the grass and chickens are.  I love this fresh time of year.

I just had 8 piglets born 2 days ago, make sure to have me show them to you when you come get your chickens!  I'll have some pictures up on my next blog post.

Elias is showing me how a rooster crows :-D

Elias is showing me how a rooster crows :-D

Where else can you find such happy chickens?

Where else can you find such happy chickens?

Peekaboo!

Peekaboo!

I will have chicken legs, thighs, wings, breast and such available, I'll post prices and options on the Farm Store page once I figure out what kind of effort it takes to process them so.

Looking forward to seeing you!

Just another April snow day!

I made my chick brooder more weather proof before this snow and wind blew in.  I had some foam laying around that I used to insulate everything a little better.

I made my chick brooder more weather proof before this snow and wind blew in.  I had some foam laying around that I used to insulate everything a little better.

See? Warm and comfy!

See? Warm and comfy!

Looking for more handouts :D

Looking for more handouts :D

At least I didn't have to milk her 100% outside anyhow.

At least I didn't have to milk her 100% outside anyhow.

Kit is just trailing along as I do my chores.

Kit is just trailing along as I do my chores.

Elias was sleepin' hard when I walked in :) He wanted to go outside with me, but I don't think it'll happen today.

Elias was sleepin' hard when I walked in :) He wanted to go outside with me, but I don't think it'll happen today.

Allison tidying up the kitchen after breakfast, she's the best.

Allison tidying up the kitchen after breakfast, she's the best.

"Enjoying" the snow!

"Enjoying" the snow!

What is Pastured Poultry??

Let me answer your question! :-D

I raise my chickens out on pasture, hence Pastured Poultry. 

I can only raise them through the warmer months of the year because it gets too harsh and nasty out there in the winter.

The seasonal nature of my operation makes it tough for me to offer you my birds year 'round.  If you want chickens from me in the winter, I need you to buy a quantity for your freezer in the fall so you're stocked until spring.

I get my little chicks when they are days old and I keep them in a warm brooder with fresh wood shavings for 2-3 weeks depending on the weather.

On a nice sunshiny day, I move them to their outside pens.  It takes them a day or two to get used to their new situation, but they learn to pick through the plants and chase bugs before long.

My outdoor pens are called Chicken Tractors.  I move them to a fresh piece of ground every day to keep the birds clean and give them a new salad bar to pick through.

After 4-5 weeks on pasture, I harvest, package, and freeze them right here on my farm for you to take home and enjoy.

So far, I feed GMO corn and soybeans to my birds as it keeps my prices more affordable and it's easy to find a source.

If you want non-GMO fed poultry let me know, I would be happy to change things up if there are enough people asking for it.  Please be advised however, changes often increase expenses and therefore my prices.

My chickens keep very healthy when they're raised this way, I never have to use medications, hormones, or vaccinations ever.

My chickens are the cleanest, happiest, best cared for, and best tasting in South Dakota.  Try them out, you'll soon know what I'm talking about!

 

P.S.   If you want to be sure you'll get as many chickens as you want, contact me as early as possible. I order my first batch in early April, and my last batch by end of August. That's your yearly window to get chickens from me.

Where your meat comes from is good to know

I want to continue with my last story line and tell you a little about today's slaughter plants and how they operate.

I won't tell you everything I read in Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer, because I think it may be too much for some of my readers.  For those of you interested in learning more, I suggest reading the book.

Typically, people working in these facilities are low income groups living is poor neighborhoods and are on the losing end of our society.  This is the system we support when we buy cheap meat.

These same people are given repetitive jobs that are often harmful to their physical and mental health.  For instance, people on the kill floor who are killing animals day in and day out become completely numb to any kind of feeling for the animals they slaughter.  

Animals on kill floors are regularly abused by people who've lost their compassion.

I believe it's necessary to respect an animal for the sacrifice it makes for us humans to continue living. I hesitate to kill animals and it's a hard thing for me to do, but I understand the necessity.

When mechanical slaughterers are used, they sometimes malfunction and don't get the job done.  However, the line doesn't stop and chickens are sent down the line to be scalded alive. 

This is unacceptable to me, but it's an area almost completely overlooked by regulation.  There are inspectors on the job, but they are spread too thin and cannot keep up with the fast moving lines.

Mechanical eviscerators are exclusively used for gutting chickens, but are very crude.  Often they rupture intestines and douse the carcass in fecal matter.  I guess they think that's okay because it all gets washed off... Yeah, right.

These are just a few grievances, you can read about more in Eating Animals if you like.  Any one of those things above should be enough to make us think twice about buying cheaply produced meat. 

The system is rotten through and through.

Eating animals, is there a difference?

I read a book recently that I found to be rather repulsive, disgusting, and quite eye opening.

Eating Animals was the title, written by Jonathan Safran Foer.

Jonathan reminded me of the importance of choosing to eat ethically raised animals verses animals that have been consistently abused.  He described in gory detail the issues surrounding Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations and the slaughtering plants that ultimately process animals for our consumption.

Perhaps a question that should be answered is how do I define animal abuse?

In my mind, I appreciate animals as God's creation, and as such, they play a very special role on this planet.  Does a pig perform his God given duty while residing on concrete slats hanging over a manure pit where air quality is horrible at best?  Do chickens get to obey their instincts in a barn that never allows sunlight, and they wallow in their own manure coated wood chips?

Animals denied fulfillment of their own specific nature are all you can find in Wal-mart, and there are only a few good options at Cobourns.  

In the name of "cheap" meat, we have, as a society, allowed CAFOs to exist and they're expanding even today.

Unfortunately, though this meat may be cheap on the store shelf, there are many hidden costs in the production of these animal products.

The environment suffers, employees suffer, and ultimately consumers suffer too.  CAFO meat is unhealthy on every level of production and consumption, this is becoming very well documented.

So please, take the time to find out how your meat reached your plate.  Every bite you take is influencing the world we live in, and that can be a good thing.

Next time, I'll share what I learned about slaughter plants from this book, Eating Animals. I'll tell you this: it's disturbing.