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                                      Perfectly Roasted Heritage Turkey

Traditions are a long standing part of American tradition and there is nothing that says Thanksgiving better than a perfectly roasted Turkey. The smell of the traditional turkey quietly roasting in the oven can bring a house to life. The wood stove, once the center of attraction, in the main kitchen created some of the most unforgettable meals for the family. That stove also held a key to the essence of the house that came alive each time the burning wood would heat its fire pit and chambers. And as it warmed the kitchen its creaks and groans invited the walls, floors ceilings and those in it to join in revitalizing the slumbering life of the house. And as the aromas of the turkey cooking permeated throughout the house and there was a quiet understanding of why the taste buds responded with anticipation of the coming special event. Good Shepherd Heritage Turkeys™ carry within them the ability to once again call upon the taste of the day’s gone by. Pre heat oven to 400 degrees Rinse 12-16 lb turkey well, inside and out with cold running water. Pat dry inside and out. Rub bird in side with mixture of 3/4 tsp salt and ¼ tsp of fresh ground pepper. I do not stuff the birds, using skewers I pin the neck skin to the underside of the bird and fold the wings behind the back (akimbo-style), tie drumsticks together to reduce cavity space. Rub the entire bird with butter. Sprinkle bird on the outside with ½ tsp salt and ½ tsp pepper. Place turkey on a rack in a large roasting pan place 1 ½ cups water Place open in oven for 30 min. Remove from oven and baste exterior with natural juices cover tightly return to oven that has had temp reduced to 300-325 degrees. Plan to bake bird for 25-30 min per pound. To increase moisture and natural flavor 1 ½ hours after baking remove bird from oven. Using an injector, draw and inject breast, thighs and drumsticks with cooked juices. Add 1 small-med cubed yellow onion to cavity (small amounts of rubbed sage, rosemary may be added to cavity at this time if desired) Return to oven in tightly sealed roasting pan. Bake according to time/weight ratio. Doneness can be checked by drumstick feels tender when pressed and juices from bird run clear. Internal meat thermometer should reach 180 degrees. 30 minutes before bird is to complete baking time. Remove cover baste bird with ½ natural juices and ½ butter return to oven in open roasting pan to brown lightly. (Dressing can be made separately using neck/heart/gizzard and baked later as part of bird cooking time).

Heritage Chef™ Chicken Salad



Of the hundreds of versions of Chicken Salad (and I’ve tasted hundreds) this is my absolute favorite. When creating this recipe I wanted to enhance the wonderful natural taste of fresh baked Heritage Chicken while adding a mix of flavors, along with  various levels of crunch, sweet, sour, and creaminess. I think this version would make my Mama proud. It can be served on fresh bread, as a party appetizer or on a bed of crisp lettuce. I’m sure you’ll love it. 
 See "Grandma Litke's Sunday baked Chicken" for cubed chicken 

2+ cups Baked Heritage Chicken (cubed)                  1 cup fresh chopped white onion

½ cup medium cheddar cheese (diced)                     ½ cup chopped walnuts or pecans

¾ cup white seedless Grapes (sliced in halves         ½ cup diced celery

3 tbsp.  sweet relish                                                   1 cup Mayo (not salad dressing)

dash of fresh ground pepper                                     ½ tsp. Sea salt


Mix all items together let set for 5 min and then add additional salt if needed

PS. You can also add a dash of hot sauce if you want to create a slight amount of heat.


 Heritage Chef™   Tex-Mex Caviar

 A great snack  or appetizer, or a great side with a South of the Border taste. This recipe was used many times during my 20+ years of entertaining in Texas. Best if you let it marinate and chill for 4-6hrs

 ½ lb.  of ground Heritage Poultry ™      ½ lb. of Heritage Turkey Bacon™

2 tbsp. Garlic & pepper salt                      1oz mesquite marinade

2 tbsp. of canola oil                                   2 cans drained black beans

3-5 good sized Tomatoes                         1-2 large white onion

1 bunch fresh Cilantro                             1 -2 jalapeno peppers


Finely Chop Tomatoes, onions, cilantro and mince jalapenos then place in lg bowl to marinate

Cut turkey bacon into small fine pieces and brown lightly in a nonstick pan. Remove bacon from pan and     

Set aside. Mix Mesquite marinate and Garlic/salt/pepper with ground chicken . Add oil to fry pan and brown chicken chopping it into small pieces as it fry’s. Remove and blot chicken pieces on paper towel. Add meat to tomato, onion, cilantro and jalapenos. Mix thoroughly  let set for 5 min then taste for any additional salt. Chill in closed container for 4-6 hrs. Serve with corn chips or toasted flour tortillas, May also be used as a great side dish too
 Stuffings can be thier own dish and both of these recipes come from the 1930's . Their tried and true and proclaim Holiday seasons like no other

                            POTATO AND GIBLET STUFFING


6 Large potatoes, peeled, boiled until done but not mushy.

Giblets from turkey, boiled until tender and diced

Dice potatoes into I inch cubes and brown in 4 tbsp. butter

Brown lightly I cup chopped onions, 2 tbsp. chopped parsley, and giblets

Mix potatoes, adding 2 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. pepper, 1/4 tsp. paprika, 1 tsp. thyme, and mix thoroughly.


Stuff turkey and roast as usual.  Make gravy with stock in which giblets were cooked to serve with potato stuffing.




1 large loaf bread broken and put through food grinder

2 stalks celery

1 small onion

12 stuffed olives also ground

1 pound chestnuts roasted enough to loosen skin, pealed, quartered

1 pound Good Shepherd turkey Sausage, fried in pork fat


Mix all ingredients thoroughly and stuff into turkey being careful to leave chestnut meats unbroken.


With either of these stuffing's, you’ll like the following sauce, which as a hand me-down from my childhood, was called Confederate Gravy- why , I do not know.  It’s handy to have around, and is excellent as a sauce for vegetables as well as turkey stuffing.

Break one raw egg into a cup and beat slightly adding 1/2 cup sifted flour a little at a time until mixture is stiff.   Slowly add 1/2 cup milk, beating after each addition until the cup is full.  Slowly add egg mixture to 1/2 cup turkey broth and 1/2 cup fat from turkey, which have been heated together in saucepan. Do not let gravy boil, but keep over low heat until flour is cooked, about 20 minutes.  Add salt and pepper to taste, turkey giblets and one chopped, hard boiled egg.  When heated through serve.



Ruben Chicken Burgers

Traditionally Rubens are made with beef , however this New York favorite takes a healthy twist by using  Heritage Chicken   The unique flavor of this traditional bird enhances the overall flavor.
1 lb Good Shepherd Heritage Ground Chicken™     1/4 tsp dry mustard
1 1/2  cups of bread crumbs                                     4 slices Swiss cheese
1/2 cup finely chopped onion                                          (1 oz each)
1 lg egg beaten                                                         4 burger buns (or dark rye bread)
1 tsp Worchestershire sauce                                     4 tbl  of rinsed and 
1 tsp soy sauce                                                            drained sauerkraut
1/2 tsp garlic powder                                               4 tbl  Russian dressing

Combine chicken, bread crumbs, onion, egg, soy sauce, Worchestershire sauce, garlic powder and mustard. Shape into 4 patties, no thicker that 1/2 inch.

Lightly grease broiling pan  and grill about 6 inches from heat. 4-5 min on each side or until no longer pink in the center.

During the last 3-4 minutes of cooking, place swiss cheese slices on top of burgers to melt. Put burgers on buns and top with 1 tbl of sauerkraut and Russian dressing

Coq au Vin

The origin of the recipe is unknown. There are two popular myths as to its source: Napoleon and Caesar. What is known is that the recipe is very old (at least 400 years) but did not become popular until the early 1900s. Since then it has become one of the best known French recipes, both within and outside of France. Coq is the French word for "cock" (as in old Rooster, or male chicken). Vin is French for "wine" and "au" is French for "of the". Consequently, "Coq au Vin" literally translates as "Cock of the wine". However, as literal translations are not that meaningful, a better translation would be "Cock cooked with wine".  Until the 20th century it was common for rural families to have some chickens (for eggs and meat) and a rooster. The rooster would be kept until it was too old to perform its duties, at which time it would be killed and eaten. However, by this time the meat would be hard and stringy, so cooking it slowly in wine would tend to soften the meat and make it more edible. As such, the recipe has historically been considered "peasant food" or "poor people's food" as the well-off would be able to afford a better cut of meat which would not require slow cooking in wine in order to be edible.

 6-8 strips of thick apple wood smoked bacon 1/4 by 1 1/2-inch strips
3 1/2 pounds Good Shepherd Heritage Poultry ™   (Rooster or older bird a selection of parts, or all of one kind), thoroughly dried
.Salt and pepper
bay leaf
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
18 to 20 small white onions, peeled or roughly diced large whole white onion
3 tablespoons flour
2 cups red wine (hearty Burgundy,)
About 2 cups chicken stock or beef bouillon
1 or 2 cloves garlic, minced
About 2 tablespoon tomato paste
3/4 pound fresh mushrooms, trimmed, washed, and quartered

1. Sauté bacon several minutes in 2 tablespoons oil in a heavy-bottomed casserole until lightly browned; remove bacon to a side dish and leave fat in pan.  

2. Heat fat in pan to moderately hot, add chicken (skin side down), and turn frequently to brown nicely on all sides.

3. Season chicken pieces with salt and pepper; add bay leaf and thyme. Place onions around the chicken. Cover and cook slowly 10 minutes, turning once.

4. Uncover pan and sprinkle on the flour, turning chicken and onions so flour is absorbed; cook 3 to 4 minutes more, turning once or twice.

5. Remove from heat, gradually stir and swirl in the wine and enough stock or bouillon to almost cover the chicken. Add the bacon, garlic, and tomato paste to the pan. Cover and simmer slowly 20 to 30 minutes per pound, then test chicken; remove those pieces that are tender, and continue cooking the rest until tender. You may add additional broth to keep cooking sauce bubbling. If onions are not quite tender, continue cooking them; then return all chicken to the pan, add mushrooms, and simmer 6 to 8 minutes. Sauce should be just thick enough to coat chicken and vegetables lightly. If too thin, boil down rapidly to concentrate; if too thick, thin out with spoonfuls of chicken broth. ______________________________________________________________                                                                                               
Wheat Harvest Midday Chicken

Wheat harvest is still a community event and while the harvest is more efficient than before one thing that is constant is the need to feed a hard worker. This recipe was used by my Grandmother and Great –Grandmother to feed large groups of harvesters. It was often served cold on sandwiches or kept warm and served with piping hot mashed potatoes, (This recipe can also be found in Molly O'Neill's book "One Big Table")

1 Good Shepherd Heritage Chicken ( 4 lb Barred Rock) cut into frying size pieces

1/2 cup flour
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp poultry seasoning
1/2 tsp ground pepper
1/4 tsp paprika (optional)
Cooking oil
1 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup half & half

Rinse and pat pieces to remove excess water. Make mixture of 1/2 cup flour (whole wheat can be used ) 3/4 tsp salt, 1 Tsp poultry seasoning, and 1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper, (add paprika if desired) Dredge chicken pieces in mixture then fry until lightly brown. Places pieces in a roasting pan and pour mixture of 1 cup cream and 1/2 cup of half and half., cover and bake at 325` for 2 to 2 –1/2 hours. You can make a very rich gravy with pan drippings. 

 Note: Variation on the above recipe: use 1-1/2 can of condensed milk instead of cream. Add 1 large sliced onion before adding chicken to baking pan. After baking is complete remove bones and spoon mixture over home made biscuits


Ultimate Chicken Bake

Pre heat Oven to 325F.
1 (3lb) Good Shepherd Heritage Ranch Chicken  Jersey Giant prefered
8 oz cream Cheese softened
2 cups shredded cheese (like Colby/Jack blend (divided)
½ cup blue cheese salad dressing
1/4th cup favorite hot sauce
1 (14oz) chicken broth
3/4cup boiling water
1 ½ cups raw uncooked brown rice
½ cup diced celery
½ cup diced red bell pepper
1 cup Panko bread crumbs

Grease a 13x9-inch baking dish. Cut chicken into serving pieces; remove and discard skin if desired.

In medium bowl combine cream cheese with 1 cup shredded cheese, blue cheese dressing and hot sauce; whisk until smooth. Pour chicken broth and hot water into baking dish; sprinkle with rice, celery and red pepper. Lay chicken pieces on top of rice mixture; spoon cream cheese mixture over chicken. Cover with foil and bake for 2 hours. Adding additional water if needed. Meanwhile in medium bowl combine remaining 1 cup of shredded cheese and Panko bread crumbs. Remove foil and sprinkle chicken with crumb mixture. Return to oven and bake uncovered for additional 15 min or until chicken is done and topping is browned. Let stand 10 minutes _______________________________________11/10_________

Grandma Litkes Sunday Baked Chicken

Grandma Litke was a God fearing woman and never missed church on Sunday, which meant she had to get up early to start dinner. One of her specials was baked chicken. She’d get everything ready and just before she walked out the door it all went into the oven. She knew her bird would take longer to bake than most and she had the cooking time planed according to the stan-dard 45minute sermon, 3 hymns, the offering and the preacher handshake as they went out the door of the church. Bt the time they had arrived home the house smelled wonderful, and the bird, well the bird was cooked to perfection.

4-5 to 5 lb Good Shepherd Ranch Heritage  Chicken™  roasting type
2 tsp salt
1 branch of celery
1 small onion sliced
½ clove of garlic minced
Poultry Seasoning
¼ cup olive oil

Clean chicken thoroughly. Wash quickly in side ands out with cold water and drain thoroughly. Sprinkle one half the salt inside the chicken. Truss chicken lightly to hold shape. Choose a kettle of a size into which the chicken will fit snugly. Keep the shape uniform so that the bird will stand squarely in its back when put into the roasting pan. Add 2 ½ cups of water along with celery, salt and onion. Cover tightly and heat to boiling, then reduce and simmer for 30 minutes. To keep the chicken moist, spoon some of the hot broth up over it from time to time during this parboiling. Remove the chicken, drain off the broth and measure, there should be about 2 cups fluid to be used with dressing. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of seasoning in to cavity of bird. Mix ¼ cup of olive oil with remaining seasoning packet. Brush chicken on outside. Place chicken in roasting pan that has a rack that lifts the bird ½" from base of pan. Add ¾ cup of broth around chicken. Cover the roasting pan and place in a moderately hot oven (375` F ) and bake until chicken is very tender and browned or from 30 to 35 minutes per pound or 2 ½ - 3 hrs. for a 5 lb bird.


Laura’s Summer Picnic  Fried  Chicken

There is nothing that can compare to home fried chicken. Laura Reese could kill, pluck, clean and fry a chicken before you could get to, and from, local Chicken Shack in town. She had a way of cooking chicken that you’d swear it was God sent. Her culinary talents were uncomplicated but by no means uninspiring. Her cooking was no family secret she simply had mastered her craft by repetition. Laura had a big well seasoned cast iron frying pan that was a family heirloom. By combining basic elements her cooking was delightfully and deliciously predictable.


1 selected Good Shepherd Ranch Heritage Chicken™
1/4tsp pepper

¾ cup flour                                                                  ½ cup butter

1 tsp salt                                                                      cooking oil

¼ cup water                                                                

Cut chicken into halves or quarters. Wash carefully and pat dry. Shake in bag with flour, salt and pepper. Place in cast iron skillet with pre heated cooking  oil  and brown on all sides.  Remove grease from skillet and then dot the fried pieces with butter, then add ¼ cup water , cover and cook on low heat for 20 minutes in or until done. When ready to serve turn heat back up to medium high and cook uncovered chicken for 5 minutes turning to increase surface crispness .


Great Grandmothers  Gustaf Laverne Bair’s Chicken and Noodles

Immigrants brought their family recipes with them when they came to America. Food was part of their identity. Not only as ethnic these recipes were often part of individual families identity. Mostly close in there ingredient these common became personalized by adding small amounts of flavors or spices to bring its identity closer to each family. Such was the case of Laverne Blair a strong woman originating from England Grandmother Blair had learned the importance of making the most of anything including stretching the availability of food during the cold winter months. Often a few birds were kept over during the winter months just to make Chicken and noodles.

     Recipe:  1 selected Good Shepherd Ranch Heritage Chicken™
Cut up chicken and place in slow cooker on low add seasoning and enough water to cover chicken completely.  Add 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp ground pepper Cook 4-6 hours on low heat adding water so bird remains covered.  Remove chicken with slotted spoon and transfer broth to a large pan.  Allow chicken to cool just enough to be able to work with it with your hands, pull chicken off bones and tear into bite size pieces, return chicken back to broth,  bring to a slow boil and add desired noodles and cook until noodles are tender.  Serve Chicken and Noodles over mashed potatoes   

__________________________________________________________________________     Aunt Virginias Roets Christmas Roast Goose

Virginia Roet collected everything, you could walk into her home and if you were looking for something I could almost guarantee if you looked long enough you could find it. So it was with her collection of recipes. Aunt Virginia had a recipe for pretty much everything and family and friends often depended on her for the unusual recipe. Here is her never fail traditional Holiday Roast Goose.

Select a 10-12 lb Good Shepherd Ranch Heritage Goose™
For Stuffing Prep: remove fat from cavity, remove neck, giblets. And place in enough cold water to cover and bring to boil for about 12 1/2 hours. Remove meat from neck, discard bones and mince giblets   (plan to use this in stuffing and to make gravy.

GOOSE: Rub inside of goose with salt, pepper, and lemon juice, place prepared stuffing (see below) in bird (do not pack tightly) Close cavity with poultry pins. Tie legs and place wings folded close to the body (you may remove the wing tips) Take a poultry pin and prick bird all over (this will help release the grease) Place bird breast side down in open roasting pan with rack.  Pour 2 -2/1/2 cups of boiling water over goose  and roast at 400' degrees for 1 hour then reduce temperature to 350'  Remove goose from oven discard liquid from pan , turn goose (breast side up) and pour 2-2 1/2 cups boiling water over bird. Return to oven for additional 1 hour or longer. Remove from oven and let stand for 15-20 minutes before carving, reserve fat in pan to make gravy.

 STUFFING: 1 lb white bread cubed and dried, Reserved cooked and minced giblets from the goose, 2 tablespoons light olive oil, 1/2 stick of butter, 3 garlic cloves, 2-3 medium white onions, 3 to 4 stocks of celery, 1/4 cup chopped parsley, 2 tablespoons of dried sage cut into large pieces, 2 cups of chicken stock (canned will do) 4 med eggs well beaten, salt and pepper to taste.

Place olive oil, butter, garlic, onions and celery, and parsley in a frying pan. Cook until vegetables are tender. Add bread cubes and remaining ingredients mix until well blended. Place loosely into bird cavity. Roast bird as directed.



 Nora Pickering’s Turkey Meat Loaf

Nora Pickering experienced the depression of the 30’s. She and her family learned to survive on less, much less, than most. Nora had a saying “If  it’ll hold still long enough I’ll either freeze it or can it for later” Later for Nora meant for the hard times. With her past experience she had learned to make the most of everything. Her turkey meat loaf is a perfect example of how to stretch your dollar and not lose the goodness and flavor

Recipe: Select 1¼  lbs Good Shepherd Ranch ground Heritage Turkey™

 1med chopped  onion                          6 slices Good Shepherd Heritage Turkey

                        ½ cup bread crumbs                             Bacon

                        1/2 tsp salt                                           2 tbls chopped bell pepper

                        ¼ cup water                                         1 egg

                        ½ tsp dried oregano                             ½ tsp dried basil

1  8oz can tomato sauce                     1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Catsup to top

Combine all ingredients; place in a lightly greased 9X5x3 load pan or shape in loaf form and place in lightly greased 1 quart baking dish. Place bacon strips over top Bake in pre heated 350 degree oven for 55- 60 min or until meat is no longer pink in center of loaf.  Unmold on platter top with Catsup  serves 4


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