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Nov 12, 2010 06:37 AM

Heritage Turkey Roasting Question

Hi everyone!

Quick question. Last year was my first heritage turkey experience (got a Bourbon Red from Quattro's game farm) and I was very pleased with the results and am planning on getting the same type of bird this year.

Lately when I having been cooking roast chicken I have been getting good results by butterflying the bird and roasting the breast until it gets to 150 degrees. Due to the way the oven works, the breast meat and dark meat are ready at the same time (good explanation here:


I was thinking of doing this for my heritage turkey, but I know heritage turkey is typically ready at a much lower temperature than industrially produced birds (last year, I took the bird out when the thickest part of the thigh was 145)

My question is. . .if I were to take the temperature of the breast of a butterflied turkey, what temperature would you remove the bird at?


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  1. We spatchcock our turkeys too. There was a guideline/recipe in Martha Stewart last year. Might want to look it up. Cooks super fast. Can't supply you with a temp other than to say that her guidelines were actually a bit long for cooking times.

    1 Reply
    1. re: JudiAU

      Thanks for the help. . .After writing this I was thinking that maybe I could seperate the legs and thighs from the turkey after butterflying and roast the breast/carcass until 140 and then leave the legs and thighs in a bit longer.

      My non-seperated bird (12 -14 lbs) I think cooked in under 2 hours last year. . .I would imagine the butterflying would make it even faster. . .which is also appealing to me. . .small NYC ktichen and only 1 oven!