While we are excited about everything on our Thanksgiving Day menu, the turkey is the star of the show. We source our turkeys from John Boys Farm, a 185-acre family farm on the Battenkill River in Cambridge NY. Farmer John Ublado is a former Wall Street finance guy who got hard core into hard-core farming. He uses 100-year old farming techniques to raise Berkshire Pigs, Black Angus Cattle, chickens, ducks, geese and turkeys.
They grow all of their own GMO-free grain to feed the animals and grind it fresh weekly. The animals they raise are truly free range and live in fenced off woods and out on pasture. There are plenty of times when the farmers actually have to for look for them as they could be anywhere in the wide swaths of woods. The turkeys they raise are White Holland turkeys, a heritage breed that is thought to have Aztec origins. These are seriously the best turkeys I have ever tasted. Since the farm is so far north, I drive up to Westchester to meet him sort of halfway at the Pound Ridge farmers market to pick up our birds.
Special turkeys deserve a special preparation. We confit the legs in duck fat, orange zest, garlic, thyme, and rosemary, slow and low in the oven for 4 hours until the meat is fall-off-the-bone tender. The breast gets the classic Thanksgiving treatment — we roast it with vibrant olive oil, sweet butter, and fresh herbs.