Turkey Leftovers and a Turkey Cacciatore Recipe

When my mom and I made the Thanksgiving turkey roast video, I found I had a lot of extra outtakes after editing, and one of those included a discussion of leftovers. So I figured this weekend would be a good time to share Mom’s recipe for a cacciatore using leftover turkey. Here’s the short video with our leftovers discussion and then the recipe follows below. Cacciatore originally was a rustic style of food. In many contemporary interpretations it has evolved into a more complicated preparation. But at its origin, it was a… Read More

Defrosting a Pasture Raised Turkey

Certified organic, pasture raised turkey from Wrong Direction Farm. Prepped and ready for roasting after defrosting.

After I wrote last week’s blog post answering the question of how long a raw turkey can be kept in the fridge, I realized I should have started with a more fundamental topic: how should we defrost a frozen pasture raised turkey? Defrosting Steps It doesn’t have to be complicated. Just follow these three steps: Leave turkey in original packaging. This will prevent the turkey from picking up any odors from other foods in the fridge, especially seafood. Place turkey, breast side, in a large pan up to catch any leaks. If… Read More

How Long Can I Keep Raw Pasture Raised Turkey In My Refrigerator?

Seasoning a certified organic, pasture raised turkey from Wrong Direction Farm

If you are like me, you want to defrost your Thanksgiving turkey with plenty of time to ensure that when you start the cooking on Thursday, everything will be ready to go. But a question I’ve heard repeatedly is: how early is too early? Will my turkey spoil in the refrigerator? The simple and reassuring answer is you probably don’t need to worry about it. As long as your refrigerator is able to hold a temperature below 40 degrees, everything will be fine. The standard reference document for cold storage by Bruce… Read More

Roasting a Turkey With My Mom

Certified organic, pasture raised turkey we roasted with Dave's mom.

My mom has been roasting a turkey for Thanksgiving almost every year, starting that tradition about the time I was born. And many years she cooks an extra turkey or two for other occasions. I thought, with her decades of experience, it might be a good thing to shoot some video with Mom in her kitchen, and to discuss her turkey roasting techniques. So a few weeks ago I traveled to NJ to spend a day at my parents’ house, bringing along one of our Certified Organic, pasture raised turkeys and a… Read More

Wrong Direction Farm Turkeys Featured in Small Farms Quarterly

I wanted to pass along an article I wrote for Cornell’s Small Farms Quarterly about Wrong Direction Farm’s pasture raised turkeys. My plan is to develop a short series on various aspects of pasture raised turkeys in the upcoming editions. I’ll cover topics like caring for young turkeys during the brooder phase, considerations for turkeys on pasture, and thoughts on marketing opportunities. Here’s the link to the first article: This article is more farmer-oriented than what I normally include here on the farm website. But I thought it might be interesting for… Read More

Getting the Gobble Going

I made this short video out in the pasture with the turkeys, showing how I can get their group gobble going. Of course, on my first attempt they make a fool of me. But after that, they obliged with some nice gobbles. Besides the gobble, turkeys have about a dozen different calls and vocalizations. Some are honks of single notes, some are trills across a few notes. The toms also make a sound that is somewhere between spitting and coughing when they are showing off their plumage. They don’t have a big… Read More

Tom Turkeys Showing Off

Tom turkeys are utterly confident in their ability to impress the world. With no regard to subtlety, they are incurable preeners. Have a look at our turkeys out on the pasture as they do their best to impress each other. Unlike chicken roosters, whose mating displays are limited to feather puffing and a few dance moves, turkeys make much of on gaudy displays. Body feathers puff up, tail feathers fan out, wings are held off the body with the tips of the flight feathers dragging along the ground. The black wiry beard… Read More

Wrong Direction Farm Turkeys In a Story On allrecipes.com

Pasture raised, certified organic turkeys grazing at Wrong Direction Farm in New York.

This week I was able to make a contribution to a reporting piece regarding the supply-chain side of Thanksgiving turkey sales, published over at allrecipes.com. Check it out here. It was fun to have a part in the discussion from the small farmer perspective, since all the other voices were from much larger organizations. I provided a little background about how we do our forecasting and the factors that go into the production cycle for turkeys. Since we focus on pasture raised turkeys, we can’t just grow out huge numbers of turkeys… Read More

Let Them Eat Rocks

Visitors to the farm are sometimes surprised to learn that we feed our chickens and turkeys rocks. In the case of turkeys, a lot of rocks. Many birds use rocks as a digestive aid. This arrangement makes sense because birds lack teeth for chewing, so anything that can’t be broken down by pecking or clawing goes down the hatch whole. Rocks collect in a bird’s gizzard and they are used to mill food into smaller pieces for more thorough extraction of nutrients. Over time the rocks (technical term is gastroliths for any… Read More

Turkeys and Our Celebrity Summer Intern

Pardon the name dropping, but the first group of turkeys went out to pasture today, under the intent gaze of Harrison Ford who is volunteering his services with us this summer.  How did we manage to get him to help?  Read on, but first let me drag this out with farmy details. Allie has been raising turkeys this spring.  She was reluctant at first, but she negotiated a deal that I’d let her raise eight ducks with the turkeys.  It turns out she has a real knack for caring for the birds,… Read More