Category: Breeds


Cold Weather Heritage Dinners

It’s cold. Colder than it’s been in my five years living on the East Coast.

As much as I would love to stay under a blanket all day, I, like many of you, must feed myself. Here are a two of my favorite easy winter dishes – delicious meals that have the added benefit of heating up your kitchen!

Lasagna

Lasagna

A cheesy, tomato filled dish with a thick, meaty sauce featuring Heritage Ground Pork or Beef is a great dinner with great leftovers for days. Favorite recipes include Butternut Squash and Pork Lasagne from the Food Network and this easy Beef Lasagne from The Pioneer Woman.

Shepherd’s Pie

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Potatoes, cheese, veggies, and meat – what more could you ask for on a cold evening? Alton Brown at the Food Network has an easy recipe featuring ground lamb and BBC Food has a fun alternative featuring beef chilli.

What are some of your favorite cold weather dinners?

 

Meadowood Farm Tunis Lamb

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This Holiday Season we are proud to offer Tunis Lamb from Meadowood Farms in Cazenovia, New York. Meadowood Farms produces fine sheep and cow cheeses that our friends at Saxelby Cheese have been carrying for a some time. After a visit to the farm this summer, we began working with Meadowood to feature beef from their Belted Galloway cattle. We decided to deepen our relationship with them this fall after we tasted their incredible lamb.

We spoke one of the farm managers, Fiona, to fine out more about their flock and production methods. Here’s what she had to say:

“At Meadowood Farms, we raise dairy sheep so in order to improve the meat quality in our lambs, we use Tunis sires (rams) on our ewes. The lambs are raised on their mothers for 30 days at which point we wean the lambs and start milking the ewes. The lambs are raised up to eight months old on lush pasture here in central New York. They are moved to new paddocks daily so they always have a fresh mix of grasses and clover to feast on. Since the lambs are weaned early from their mothers, we do supplement them with a small amount of grain, about 3% of their overall diet, which rounds out their nutritional needs. They also have access to a mineral supplement and fresh water at all times. The Tunis work well in our system because they thrive on pasture and in turn produce a mild yet flavorful and tender meat.”

We are proud to feature Tunis lamb legs and racks currently on our website. Order here http://store.heritagefoodsusa.com/lamb-and-bison-c52.aspx

Heritage Turkey Photo Contest!

Here are a few submissions we’ve gotten for our Heritage Turkey Photo Contest! The chefs behind these beautiful birds will be submitted into a drawing to win a FREE 18lbs Heritage Turkey next year.

Still holding on to a photo of your Heritage Turkey from this Thanksgiving? Send it to us by the end of December. A winner will be announced early next year.

Adam_Amsterdam Andre_Evens Andrea.HardyStanford Benjamin.Brown David.Boutt David.Kirk Denise. Jordan Dianne_Sinclair Jackie_Donovan Jason.Beard Laura.WarrenHill Lauren_Valacer Lucia.DeRespinis Michael_Byrne2 Muffy.Kelly Pam.Harris philippe.Shils1 philippe.Shils2  Sidney.Bostic Steph Sue_Recht

Frank Reese on Heritage Turkeys

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Our very own Frank Reese was profiled in Modern Midwest as a farmer who “wants to change the way you think about your Thanksgiving Meal Centerpiece.” 

WHAT IS A HERITAGE TURKEY?

  • Long life outdoors:  Heritage turkeys should be active and healthy: running, jumping, flying and exploring, all in the great outdoors. Farm factory raised birds are confined to buildings, and are too overweight to fly.
  • Naturally mating:  Forget artificial insemination. There better be no needles involved when it comes to making little baby heritage turkeys — also known as poults. Broad-breasted white turkeys have been genetically engineered to the point they can no longer naturally mate.
  • Slow growth rate: Factory farms can raise a 20-pound turkey in 12 weeks. It should take at least twice as long (28 weeks) for a heritage turkey, giving them time to develop a strong skeletal structure and healthy organs.
  • Meat: Expect a heritage bird’s meat to be darker thanks to all that running, jumping and exercising on the farm. The darker the meat, the more nutritional, said Reese. “If you’ve got muscle that’s been used, you have the ability to store vitamins. You don’t store vitamins in fat.”
  • Heritage varieties: Black, Bronze, Narragansett, White Holland, Slate, Bourbon Red, Beltsville Small White, Royal Palm, Jersey Buff and White Midget.

Talking Heritage Turkey with Frank Reese on Heritage Radio Network

Frank Reese
Frank Reese

Frank Reese live on Heritage Radio Network!

This week on No Chefs Allowed, Heritage turkey hero Frank Reese talks with hosts, Megan and Tricia as they begin planning for Thanksgiving. Frank, a fourth-generation turkey farmer, is the ambassador for the turkeys that used to feed America. Frank talks to No Chefs Allowed about today’s industrialized poulty practices, and encourages everyone to support the last remnants of the turkeys that used to don our tables at Thanksgiving. Megan and Tricia set off to get their own Heritage turkeys before they sell out! 

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

It’s Heritage Turkey Time!

 

Narragansett Turkeys at Good Shepherd Turkey Ranch
Narragansett Turkeys at Good Shepherd Turkey Ranch

It’s Heritage Turkey Time! Over the past decade, Heritage Foods USA has been a leader in the food revolution in the United States. Selling Heritage Breed Turkeys is just one aspect of our work in supporting American agriculture in the form of traditional family farms, and careful stewardship of our national resources. Nothing exemplifies the spirit of our commitment more than our Heritage birds for Thanksgiving.

We want all our customers to celebrate Thanksgiving with us. We at Heritage have much to be grateful for. With the ongoing support of our customer base, we are able sustain 40 family farms, with more being added every month. We have helped to preserve an area roughly the size of Manhattan for traditional agriculture!

Our turkeys are produced by Frank Reese and his team at Good Shepherd. Frank essentially introduced a gastronomic meaning to the word “heritage” in the English language! While many farmers now use the term, Frank and his team raise the truest example of the original Heritage Turkey: according to the USDA, he remains the only farmer allowed to use the name “Heritage” on his label thanks to certification by the oldest agricultural organization in North America, the American Poultry Association. All Heritage Turkeys are certified to be humanely raised with no antibiotics at all, ever.

Bourbon Red Turkey at Good Shepherd Turkey Ranch
Bourbon Red Turkey at Good Shepherd Turkey Ranch

Heritage Turkeys come from bloodlines dating back to the mid 1800s. The unbelievable flavor of the white and dark meat has been heralded by the greatest chefs of our time. So remember to order your Heritage Turkey early!

Heritage Turkeys arrive the Tuesday before Thanksgiving via FedEx. Get yours today!

The Heritage Turkey – Two Ways

Sunny Turkeys

Thanksgiving is the traditional time to enjoy turkey. But everyone wants the Thanksgiving meal to be cooked in the traditional way – so you get a roasted turkey with stuffing. Delicious, but there are a million other ways to prepare turkey. Really, anything you do with chicken, you can substitute turkey. The flavors will just be more robust and flavorful.

The best way to experiment with cooking turkey is to buy the whole bird. It is not only more economical, but it also gives you the ability to play around with flavors and enjoy the meat throughout several dishes – or meals.

Here, we have two tasty and very different turkey preparations using the whole bird. One of our own HFUSA staff created both recipes, so we can attest to the cheers that erupted at the table when they were presented!  One is a sweet and sour turkey dish over cold noodles (using the thighs, legs and wings) while the other is a spicy coconut turkey dish served over rice or with lettuce wraps (using the breasts).

Be sure to keep any extra turkey trimmings, the back and all the bones to make a lovely poultry stock. Homemade stock is my favorite thing to keep in the freezer. I use homemade stock for risottos or the base for numerous sauce and soups. You can also substitute stock for water when cooking rice, couscous or other grains for a richer flavor.

Enjoy our whole Heritage Turkey today and try these two very different, very delicious preparations.

Sweet & Sour Turkey

Ingredients:

Marinade

½ cup sugar

½ cup soy sauce

¼ cup rice vinegar

3 cloves of garlic (roughly chopped)

1.5 tablespoons fish sauce

1 inch chuck of garlic (chopped into 3 pieces)

2-8 red chilies (depending on amount of heat you want!)

zest of 1 lime (peeled in strips, not grated)

 

Dressing

½ cup sugar

½ cup soy sauce

¼ cup rice vinegar

3 cloves of garlic (diced)

1.5 tablespoons fish sauce

1 inch chuck of garlic (diced)

2-8 red chilies (depending on type and amount of heat you want!)

zest and juice of 1 lime (grated and juiced)

fresh lemon juice to taste

handful of fresh mint

 

Thighs, legs, and wings of the Heritage Turkey

1 head of Napa Cabbage

Rice noodles

 

  • Preheat the oven to 350
  • Separate the thighs, legs and wings from the remainder of the Turkey (save breasts for other dish and remaining pieces for stock)
  • Season the pieces with salt and pepper
  • Sear turkey in cast iron pan, skin side down, until you get a nice browned color across the skin side
  • While the turkey is searing, prepare your marinade
  • In a bowl combine the marinade ingredients, taste and adjust as needed
  • Flip turkey pieces over so flesh side is against the pan
  • Add marinade mixture plus 1 cup water to the pan
  • Cover with tin foil and braise in the oven for 2 hours, until the meat falls off the bone
  • Check turkey every half hour, scoop marinade liquid over turkey pieces to maintain moistness
  • As the turkey cooks, the marinade should reduce to form your sauce but you may need to add water as you go so turkey is not cooking dry
  • While the turkey cooks, prepare your rice noodles according to package instructions and shred the Napa cabbage.
  • Also, make the dressing for your noodles. You should notice the dressing and marinade ingredients are very similar so the flavors will be complimentary.
  • Once done, take pan out of oven and allow turkey to rest for 10-15 minutes
  • Taste the pan sauce and adjust as needed. Use to glaze the turkey.
  • Dress cabbage and noodles with dressing mixture then garnish with the chiffonade of fresh mint

GSTR_TurkeyBreed2

Coconut Turkey

Ingredients:

Turkey breasts

2 cans coconut milk

zest of 1 lime (peeled in strips, not grated)

1 bay leaf

1 inch ginger (sliced thin)

3 onions

3 tablespoons curry powder

1-2 cloves of garlic

1 tablespoon sugar

2-3 red chilies (depending on type and amount of heat you want!)

Optional: 1/3 cup coconut milk powder

Diced scallions and cilantro for garnish

  • Preheat the oven to 350
  • Separate breasts at the bone and put them on a rack in a roasting pan
  • Season with salt and pepper
  • Pour can of coconut milk over the turkey
  • Add the peel of 1 lime, 1 bay leaf, the sliced ginger, 1 onion quartered
  • Cover in tin foil and cook in oven until tender and done, about 2 hours
  • While the turkey cooks, pull out a separate pan to sauté 2 whole diced onions
  • When clear and fragrant, remove onion from pan and keep in small bowl
  • In same pan, toast 3 table spoons of curry until fragrant
  • Add onions back to pan and diced ginger, 1-2 cloves diced garlic, chilies, 1 can of coconut milk and tablespoon sugar
  • Warm the sauce in pan to thicken
  • When turkey is done, rest for 20 minutes
  • Strain the cooking liquid from the turkey and add to sauce pan
  • If you want to thicken the sauce more, you can add another 1/3 cup coconut milk powder, but it is not essential
  • Pull turkey off the bone and slice on a bias. Add meat to the coconut mixture
  • Put in a serving dish and garnish with diced cilantro and scallions
  • Serve over rice along with lettuce wraps if desired

Heritage Cowboy Chicken

So you’ve just gotten your Columbian Wyandotte Chickens and are looking for some recipe ideas. Here’s another great one from Chef Cheryl McCleary:

_cowboy chicken

Ingredients

1 3 to 4 lb Whole Heritage Chicken
1 Tbsp Olive Oil

Rub:
2 Tbsp Kosher Salt
2 Tbsp Sugar in the Raw (can use brown sugar)
2 Tbsp Ground Chili’s (ground roasted New Mexico chili’s)
1 Tbsp Large Grind Black Pepper
1 Tbsp Five Spice Powder
½ Tbsp Granulated Garlic
½ Tbsp Onion Powder
½ Tbsp Lemonade Powder
¼ tsp Cayenne Pepper
¼ tsp Celery Seeds

Glaze:
½ cup Melted Butter
½ cup Balsamic Vinegar
½ cup Honey

Directions

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Mix all ingredients for rub and set aside until you prepare chicken. Cut chicken in half down center on back, open it up and lay it flat. Put light coat of olive oil all over chicken, on bottom side of chicken (would be the inside) lightly cover with rub. On top side of chicken generously coat with rub. Put seasoned chicken on top of broiler pan, bake to 165 degrees internal temperature. Turn oven up to 450 degrees to crisp the skin cooking until chicken reaches 175 internal temperature it take about 5 minutes, take chicken out of oven, glaze, let rest 10 – 15 minutes and let internal temperature rise to 180 degrees, glaze one more time and serve.

Remember, Heritage chickens cook differently than supermarket birds, so times and temperatures may need to be adjusted based on your oven.

Summer Grilled Heritage Chicken

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By Dick Bessey

1 Columbian Wyandotte Chicken

2 tsp salt

Olive oil for coating grill

Cut chicken into pieces and sprinkle with salt. Heat grill to low to medium heat. Coat grill with some olive oil to prevent sticking. Lay chicken skin side down on grill and cook for about 15 minutes until the skin is nicely browned. Flip pieces over and cook another 15 minutes. The chicken is done the moment you cut it and the juices run clear (The USDA recommends an internal temperature of 165 degrees, but many of our chefs say a few degrees less is safe with Heritage chicken).

Serve with your favorite grilling sides and beverages (everything from beer and potato chips to champagne and grilled asparagus) and enjoy!

Heritage Chicken Tour Takes Flight!

GSTR_ColumbianWyndotte

Heritage Foods USA is proud to announce our historic effort to revive 24 rare, heritage chicken lines and create an alternative market for non-industrially bred chicken.  We are partnering with Frank Reese, the country’s preeminent poultry farmer, to show our customers what real chicken tastes like.

Heritage Foods USA will offer a rotation of 24 heritage chicken varieties every 3 months starting immediately.  Numerous heritage breeds of chicken are on the brink of extinction and we must create a market for them by eating them. Heritage Foods USA is the only place you can taste these special heritage birds today.

Heritage chickens are breeds that have been around since before the industrial era.  Their genetic lineage has been preserved from genetic modification.  Heritage birds grow at a healthy rate, while industry chickens are genetically manipulated to grow at an unnaturally fast rate that is harmful to the skeletal, cardiovascular, and immune systems of the bird.  Industrial chickens are bred as dead end animals that cannot reproduce or survive on their own. 

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Mr. Reese explains, “It is not the antibiotics. It is not the hormones. It is not the feed. It is the genetically engineered animal” that makes the difference in the poultry industry.  If we focus on animal welfare while ignoring the genetics of these birds, we are not changing a thing. 

Mr. Reese’s poultry not only look and taste different from commodity poultry; his birds have double the protein and half the fat.  He told us, “The skinnier the bird, the longer the leg, the darker the meat, the higher the nutrition. The bigger and fatter and plumper it is, the more worthless the meat is.”

Our inaugural breed is the Wyandotte of the Columbian variety.  This very old American breed of chicken was first exhibited in 1890 at the Columbian World’s Fair in Chicago.  There are fewer than four breeders in America who raise the Columbian Wyandotte to the true old standards, and most have fewer than 25 hens. We hope you will support our commitment to revive heritage chickens and establish an alternative poultry market.

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