I cooked an organic turkey this year – differences noted | Anyone else shift to organic for Christmas Dinner 2012
I’ve been buying organic veggies for quite a while and this year for the first time decided to cook an organic turkey.
I chose a 13lb organic turkey from Simple Truth – it’s the first year I’ve seen turkeys available from them.
Now I’ve read online that Simple Truth are part of the Kroger group, and offer both ‘natural’ and organic produce. I looked for the USDA sticker (to be as sure as anyone can be).
The organic turkey was advertised as USDA Organic, vegetarian fed and antiobiotic-free
Internet research tells me that:-
“If your product has a valid organic certificate from an NOP (national organic program) accredited certifying agent or one authorized through an international trade partnership with the United States, you may use the USDA organic seal in the forms provided below. Your certifying agent will review and approve all labels prior to use to ensure compliance.
If your product has not been certified organic by an authorized certifying agent, you may not use the USDA organic seal. Please review the information below. Please note that other color combinations are not permitted. The black and white seal may be on a white or transparent background.
source: Agricultural Marketing Service – National Organic Program”
A very balanced looking turkey, without the over-inflated breast look that a lot of non-organic turkeys and chickens have
Wonder what spam I’ll get on my blog for mentioning over-inflated breasts? Oh, well. 🙂
This turkey did look very nice, here’s what’s left of it as of December 26th 2012.
How I cook a turkey – organic turkey or otherwise
I usually cook a turkey un-stuffed and make any stuffing separately. I like to put a cut-up lemon or two inside the turkey, along with a cut-up onion (cut in fairly large chunks). All veggies used were organic and some of the herbs and spices were too.
I also added a clove of garlic inside the turkey this time and two bay leaves. Sometimes I stuff the inside with fresh herbs, this time I didn’t have any so melted a stick of butter and added the following dried herbs –
- 2tsp Thyme
- 1 tsp Coriander
- 2tsp Marjoram
- 1 tsp Sage
- 1stp Allspice
I added the herbs and spices to the butter and painted the turkey with it. I just listened to the turkey angel this time!
The label indicated I should cook the turkey for 4 hours and 25 minutes at 325 degrees F. It only took about 3.5 hours and had a pop-out timer which is always a help.
I tented the turkey with foil for the first 1.5 hours and then kept foil on the wingtips for the remaining time, or they would have been burned.
So how was my Simple Truth Organic Turkey compared with other non-organic turkeys I have cooked?
It lost a lot less fluid whilst cooking, still looked very presentable and cooked a lot quicker than other non-organic turkeys I have baked.
The juice made delicious gravy. (Didn’t use the giblets, not my bag baby).
We moved house in September and this is the first time I’ve cooked a whole turkey in this particular range which is much more efficient than the range I cooked with previously.
The faster cooking could have been from a more efficient oven, although I did cook a non-organic turkey breast for Thanksgiving in the same range and it took the same amount of time as I’ve previously experienced.
How did the organic turkey taste?
Everyone enjoyed it, including me. Other turkeys have tasted good too. I guess if I want to be completely sure about my turkey I need to go to a local farm and choose one there.
Love to hear your turkey tips and from anyone else who cooked an organic turkey or any other type of dish for Christmas Day. Comments and information sharing always appreciated.