Elmwood Stock Farm is involved with breed-conservation efforts for Narragansett and Slate heritage-breed turkeys, and is one of the few farms in the country to produce heritage breed turkeys that are USDA Certified Organic.
Some characteristics that distinguish these very rare heritage turkeys from the standard, broad-breasted variety are slower growth, more proportionate breasts to legs and the ability to naturally breed. They are naturally smaller birds with a slimmer, longer shape (not round, like grocery-store varieties that are bred for fast growth). There is a better balance between the dark meat and white meat, which means roasting a bird to perfection is easier, and the meat has a richer flavor. The skin may also be a different color than the near-transparent white, as skin color is related to feather color, and heritage breeds are beautifully feathered in a variety of bronze, black, brown, gray, white and red colors.
Heritage turkey requires different cooking methods than the mega-birds commonly available in supermarkets, and we are happy to offer preparation advice. Elmwood Stock Farm’s organic heritage turkey was reviewed in a taste test by Cook’s Illustrated magazine as “recommended.” Also, Louisville’s Courier-Journal food writer Jere Downs visited Elmwood Stock Farm’s turkeys producing this article and this video.