Image: Farmer Focus

Health authorities are urging Americans to keep their Thanksgiving gatherings under ten people this year. Fewer mouths to feed means a smaller bird. But cutting back on quantity doesn’t mean you have to skimp on quality.

With Farmer Focus, you get the best of both worlds. The birds are all humanely raised on independent family farms in Shenandoah Valley. The turkeys are free-range, with each bird descended from a purebred lineage. This means they grow more slowly, as did farm-raised birds of the past. That longer grow time leads to a more tender, juicy, and better tasting turkey.

The birds retail between $4.99 to $5.99 a pound with an average weight of around 13 pounds — ideal for about six to eight people. The turkeys are available in the New York City area at Fresh Thyme, Zabars, Westerly Natural Market, Westside Market, Gourmet Garage, selected Key Foods, and FreshDirect.

Dry Brining


  • Turkey
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons minced fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh sage
  • 1 1/4 tablespoon whole black peppercorns, ground
  • 3 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • Zest from 2 lemons
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons olive oil


  1. Combine dry brine ingredients — garlic, parsley, rosemary, thyme, sage, black pepper, salt, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, and olive oil.
  2. Pat inside and outside of turkey dry. Use half of the brine under the skin, one quarter on the outside of the bird, and one quarter in the cavity. Refrigerate for 24-72 hours.

Roasting the Bird


  • Brined turkey
  • 1 medium onion, quartered
  • Kitchen twine


  1. Pre-heat oven to 425°F. Place turkey on a roasting rack, then stuff cavity with onions. Truss the bird by tucking its wings under its body, place kitchen twine under the turkey, close to the wings, cross the twine at the neck of the turkey. Wrap each end of twine around tip of the leg and tie legs together.
  2. Roast turkey for about 20 minutes or until you see brown spots on the skin. Reduce oven to 350°F and continue roasting for 45 minutes more, periodically basting bird with pan juices that collect.
  3. Cover pan with aluminum foil. Continue roasting for 30-45 more minutes, until the turkey registers 160°F on an oven thermometer at the thickest part of the thigh. Baste every 15 minutes until bird is cooked through.
  4. Let turkey rest for 20 minutes.