Suggested cooking instructions:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Rinse turkey with cold running water then pat dry inside and out. Rub 3/4 tsp salt and ¼ tsp of fresh ground pepper inside of turkey. Fold the wings behind the back and tie drumsticks together. Rub the entire bird with butter and sprinkle outside with ½ tsp salt and ½ tsp pepper. Stuffing your Heritage Turkey is not recommended.
Place your turkey on a rack in the center of a large roasting pan with 1 ½ cups water. Roast for 30 minutes, then remove and baste exterior with drippings. Lower temperature to 300-325 degrees, cover tightly and return to oven. Plan for 25-30 minutes per pound. For an extra moist and juicy turkey, draw and inject drippings into breast, thighs and drumsticks 1 ½ hours into cook time. Add 1 medium chopped yellow onion to cavity and aromatic herbs like sage or rosemary at this time if desired. Return to oven in a tightly sealed roasting pan and bake according to time/weight ratio.
When the drumstick feels tender and juices run clear, check for doneness. When internal meat thermometer reaches 165 degrees, remove from oven and let your turkey rest for 30 minutes so juices set. Remove cover and baste in the roasting pan with ½ natural juices and ½ butter, return to oven uncovered for a few minutes to brown the skin.
Carve and serve at the table with a bottle of Long Meadow Ranch Pinot Noir, Anderson Valley or Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley.