Heritage Turkey - Roasting Instructions
I recommend roasting the turkey to a temperature that is significantly lower than the current custom. If you cook your bird to 140F you will help insure that the meat is moist. As stated previously, always start roasting with a bird that is at room temperature. A few hours before you plan to roast the bird, remove it from the refrigerator and let the bird come to room temperature. The deep flesh, not just the outer half-inch (1 cm), needs to be at or near room temperature before you roast it in order to achieve the best results. If the bird is at 34F (1C) in its interior parts when you start roasting it the breast will be dry long before the deep tissues are cooked. Because heritage turkeys tend to have little fat, I advise cooking them the way one cooks game birds — quickly. Roast in an oven at 425F to 450F. I would roast a heritage turkey to 140F, and no more. As always, let the bird rest for at least ten minutes before carving.
Submitted by Janet Duncan