Heritage birds have, quite simply, incredible turkey flavor (making the additional expense well worth it). The skin on this bird was so crisp that it practically shattered.

Martha Stewart Living, November 2015


Credit: Marcus Nilsson

Recipe Summary

50 mins
4 hrs




Instructions Checklist
  • Turkey:

    Preheat oven to 425 degrees, with rack on bottom. Mash together butter, grated zests, minced sage and thyme, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. Pat turkey dry. Loosen skin of breast and thighs; rub herb mixture under skin. Season inside cavity and outside with salt.

  • Fill cavity and neck end lightly with stuffing. Transfer remaining stuffing to a 1-quart baking dish; cover with parchment-lined foil. Tie legs and tuck wing tips under. Transfer to a roasting pan fitted with a rack. Bring wine, orange juice, orange-zest strips, whole sage and thyme sprigs, and 2 1/2 cups water to a boil. Dampen a piece of cheesecloth with wine mixture; drape over turkey. Pour remaining liquid into roasting pan.

  • Roast turkey 30 minutes; baste with pan juices. Reduce temperature to 350 degrees and roast 30 minutes more. Remove cheesecloth; baste. Continue roasting, basting bird and rotating pan every 30 minutes, until a thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh (avoiding bone) registers 150 degrees to 155 degrees (for a conventional turkey, 165 degrees), about 1 hour, 30 minutes more, adding water to pan as needed to prevent scorching (if bird is browning too quickly, tent with foil). Transfer turkey to a platter; let stand 45 minutes. Reserve pan with drippings for gravy.

  • Meanwhile, bake remaining stuffing 25 minutes. Uncover; bake until heated through and crunchy on top, about 20 minutes more. Carve turkey and serve, topped with more sage and thyme sprigs.

  • Gravy:

    While turkey is resting, pour pan drippings into a fat separator; let stand until fat rises to surface. (Or use a large glass measuring cup and skim fat from top with a spoon.)

  • Bring 1 1/2 cups stock to a boil in roasting pan over two burners, scraping up browned bits from bottom of pan with a wooden spoon. Whisk together remaining 1 cup stock and flour; stir into pan. Boil until thickened and reduced, about 5 minutes.

  • Stir in defatted pan juices; cook until heated through. Season with salt and pepper. Serve hot, in a gravy boat.

Cook's Notes

Use the giblets to make our Easy Turkey Stock. The USDA recommends cooking poultry to 165 degrees. Heritage-turkey farmers usually recommend a lower temperature, which is how we cooked our birds.