The Old Time Standard Bronze Heritage Turkey is a true Taste of History. The lineage our Old Time Turkeys can be traced over 173 years! Our Standard Bronze were called the “Mammoth Bronze” in the early 1900’s and, ironically, they trace back to Meyersdale, Pa and some poultry breeders by the name of "Bird Brothers".
Our turkeys and chickens were recently certified by the American Poultry Association as being true representatives of their respective breed standards. Our understanding is that we are one of only 2 flocks holding this certification at this time. The other farm holding this certification is Good Shepherd Poultry Ranch and we are so fortunate that our line of turkeys descend from their flock (sold in Heritage Foods USA www.heritagefoodsusa.com ).
The Standard Bronze Turkey was the turkey of choice before 1950 and today is in need of conservation to keep the breed alive for future generations. The commercial industry concentrated on creating faster growing, larger, more uniform birds that would put out the maximum meat in the least amount of time with the least amount of feed in the least amount of space and pushed breeds like the Standard Bronze to the side in their haste.
Your purchase assists our conservation efforts by allowing us to keeping the very best individuals as breeding stock for future generations. I am extremely grateful to Frank Reese from Good Shepherd Poultry Ranch for all the work he has done to preserve rare bloodlines in turkeys along with sharing the information taught to him by the master breeders of turkeys before him - so much would be lost if not for his efforts and life's work. He has traced his bloodlines back 173 years and has selectively bred his turkeys for both the table as well as for breed standard (like we do). We study and work hard to apply the information he has shared along with researching old historical magazines, books and documents to supplement and fill in minor details and fine points on breeding turkeys and poultry so we may be positive stewards for our poultry. Our goal is to preserve high quality poultry that represent their breed standard as well as being pleasing on the table.
Key points for our Standard Bronze turkeys
Here is some additional history on Good Shepherd Poultry Ranch and Frank Reese:
Old Time Heritage Turkey Tips & Tricks:
It is normal to have black “ink spots” under the skin – that is a clear indication that it was a dark feathered bird and comes from the small immature feathers that sometimes need to be removed. With a white bird, you generally do not see this even though it is there. You may also see some scratches and bruises. This occurs sometimes because they are active birds.
Store your turkey in the coldest part of your refrigerator until you are ready to cook – it is best for fresh meats to “rest” before cooking vs being cooked directly after harvest. Most references I have state storage time is “approximately 10 days from harvest when stored under 40 degrees” for poultry & many advise "resting” a bird for up to 2 weeks like aging for beef. I have found it best for the turkey (and most chickens) to “rest” for at least 4-5 days in the refrigerator before cooking for the best eating experience - eating a fresh processed bird (or anything other than fish) is not “good eats". We tested our personal chickens up to 10 days in a 38 degree refrigerator have found them to be fresher than any poultry we have ever purchased from a store & turkeys will be the same. We are not used to buying truly fresh meats today. Most supermarket “fresh” turkeys are stored at 26 degrees for 6 weeks or more and who knows how long in the refrigerator case.
Make sure you place a cookie sheet or pan underneath your turkey in the refrigerator so it does not leak and make a mess. There may be some water in the bag is from the chilling process. We use a wet chilling process to cool the birds during harvest.
Old Time Heritage Turkey Recipe
My preference is to do as little as possible with the turkey because there is so much flavor in these old fashioned, Heritage birds! I do not stuff my birds because I make stock from the bones. I do not brine as the birds do not need the flavor or moisture from the brine.
1. Preheat over to 450 degrees
2. Rinse turkey and pat dry.
3. Lightly salt inside and out (sometimes I skip this step)
4. Place turkey on rack in roasting pan or on top of celery and carrots.
5. Add a couple cups of water to roasting pan
6. Insert meat thermometer into thigh
7. Place turkey in oven and reduce heat to 325 degrees
8. Roast 12-15 mins per pound or until meat thermometer in the thigh reaches 165 degrees. (do not open oven any more than you absolutely have to!)
9. Remove from oven and let rest 20 mins or so.
Old Time Farm