Keeping it local for the perfect Thanksgiving turkey
Posted by by Michael Selby, executive chef
Monday, November 4, 2013
In our search to provide you with another wonderful turkey option, a group of us visited Ferndale Farms in Cannon Falls, Minnesota, and met with John Peterson, a third generation turkey farmer, to get an up-close look at how his local farm runs and how the turkeys are raised. The passion and authenticity that goes into raising their turkeys is incredible. It was just what we were looking for to create our new Apple Cider Brined Turkey Breast.
On a tour of the grounds, we discovered Ferndale Farms is immaculate and free range like nothing we’ve seen before. Not only do the birds enjoy a free-range environment, but they’re also rotated to fresh grass weekly. When John opened the fence doors to visit the turkeys, we walked right into the center of the flock and were met by friendly turkeys. I held one of the 40-pound Toms and couldn’t believe how beautiful, curious, and stress-free he was. What a gift to know where your food comes from and that it has been raised responsibly.
Michael Selby with John Peterson, Ferndale Farms
The turkeys have shelter and acres of green pastures
Just down the road from our private flock of turkeys, we found the next ingredient for our local Apple Cider Brined Turkey Breast in Montgomery, Minnesota. At the Montgomery Apple Orchard, owner Scott Wardell and his family take great pride in the quality of apples and cider they produce. Their crisp apples are handpicked and fresh-pressed into a chemical-free cider using a special process called UV pasteurization. By using light instead of heat or chemical preservatives, this process keeps the flavor of the apples intact.
After sourcing the turkey and cider, it was time to add our culinary expertise to the mix. We combined a light coating of sea salt and herbs with the turkey and cider. This French-cut breast is about as easy as it gets to both cook and serve. This cutting technique removes all bones from inside the bird, but the drumette is attached on the outside. Your knife will slice right through it just like a loaf of bread. French-cut turkey breasts yield full flavor with all the functional benefits of a true boneless turkey breast.
The brine we created is equally important to your turkey. Brine is a type of marinade that usually contains salt and sugar. Brines are used to start the curing process, but are usually rinsed off before any curing actually takes place. This is what makes the white meat so tender. Our particular brine is very mild and will stay on the bird until you rinse if off at home. If you want a richer flavor, bake as is without rinsing off the brine.
We have a limited supply of this turkey and would strongly encourage you to preorder your turkey by visiting or calling your nearest Lunds or Byerly’s.
This holiday season, we welcome you to support Minnesota family farming by enjoying our succulent new Apple Cider Brined Turkey Breast. Cheers!