Recipes / Cooking Instructions

Preparing & Cooking A Free Range Willie Bird Turkey

Willie Bird turkeys are raised in Northern California on all natural diet and are free to roam. These broad-breasted turkeys are nationally known for their superior quality, tenderness, and taste.

We recommend that you purchase a simple instant read cooking thermometer (Most large stores carry this item). This will give you the most accurate read for the best cooking temperature for the bird. Do not leave the thermometer in the turkey. Or, prick the thigh with a form or skewer; the juices should run clear, not pink.

Preheat oven to 375f. Remove giblets from under neck skin and the neck from the cavity the previous day and use as a broth for your stuffing and gravy. If cooking without stuffing, season cavity and outside of the bird with salt and pepper or poultry rub, fill with a peeled, quartered onion, cut up celery, and then place the bird in a large roasting pan with one cup of water or more depending on the size of the turkey. If stuffed, fill cavity and under neck skin with your favorite stuffing. Then truss the turkey by tying the legs together and place in pan and continue. Brush outside of the bird with melted butter or cooking oil and place in oven. Reduce temperature to 325f after 45 minutes and continue cooking, basting 2-3 times throughout the cooking process. Cover bird with a tin foil tent for the last hour.

Ten to fifteen minutes per pound is the recommended roasting time (if stuffed, add 30 minutes). The temperature check can be done in the deepest part of the breast. Remove from oven and place on a warm platter, then allow 15 minutes to finish cooking with tin foil cover still on, then serve.


  • 10-12LB. 2 to 2 1/2 HOURS
  • 12-14LB. 2 3/4 to 3 1/4 HOURS
  • 14-16LB. 3 1/4 HOURS to 3 1/5 HOURS
  • 16-18LB. 3 1/5 HOURS to 3 3/4 HOURS
  • 18-20LB. 3 3/4 HOURS to 4 HOURS
  • 20-22LB. 4 HOURS to 4 1/5 HOURS
  • 22-24LB. 4 1/5 HOURS to 5 HOURS
  • 24-30LB. 5 HOURS to 5 3/4 HOURS

Preparing Willie Birds Smoked Turkey

Our smoked turkeys are fully cooked and smoked to an internal temperature of 165F. This means that your Willie Bird smoked turkey is ready to eat hot or cold as desired.

Once the turkey is removed from its vacuum-sealed bag the shelf life is 7-10 days in the refrigerator.

Serving Suggestions

Cold: Slice and serve for main course, cut-up for a delicious smoked turkey salad, slice for hors d’oeuvres, etc. Also use in pasta, split pea soup, baked beans, and any other dish that uses ham as an ingredient.

Hot: To serve the whole smoked turkey hot, place in a sealed roaster pan or wrapped in foil and heated at a medium temperature (approx. 325F) for the following times or approximately 10-15 minutes per pound.

Small (9-12 lbs) – 2 Hours

Medium (13-16 lbs) – 2.5 Hours

Large (17-22 lbs) – 3 Hours

Note: The whole smoked turkey cannot be stuffed before reheating. Please cook turkey stuffing separately, either on top of the stove or in the oven. Save the bones or carcass for soup or beans in place of ham hocks.

Smoked Boneless Turkey Breast Or Whole Smoked Chickens

Heat the same as whole smoked turkey, 10-15 minutes per pound in a 325F oven, in a covered roaster. For a 3-5 pound boneless turkey breast, heat approximately 1-1.5 hours.

Also, either smoked turkey product can be sliced and heated in a microwave oven, or try an open BBQ for a simple delicious flavor.

Meat Loaf


3 eggs
½ cup milk
1 ½ cups bread crumbs
2 pound ground meat ( beef, turkey, etc)
1 envelope dry onion soup mix
In large bowl beat eggs and milk; add bread crumbs mix well. Mix in ground meat and soup mix. Pat into a 5×9 inch loaf pan. Spread with topping evenly over meat mixture. Bake uncovered, 325 oven for 1 to 1 ¼ hours. Let stand for about 5 minutes before serving.

Topping In a small bowl, mix ¼ to ½ cup catsup and ¼ up mustard.

Turkey Lasagna

1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
2. In large nonstick saucepan heat the oil. Add the turkey and onions; cook, stirring as needed, until turkey is browned.
3. Add to the turkey and onions in saucepan. Stir in jar of sauce, tomato paste, Parmesan cheese; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for about 5 minutes.
4 . Spoon half of the meat and sauce in the bottom of a 13 x 9” baking pan; top with the noodles; spread the cottage cheese and shredded cheese; add another layer of noodles; top with the remaining meat and sauce mixture. Sprinkle the rest of the mozzarella cheese evenly on top.
5. Bake, covered, 1 hour; uncovered and bake until cooked though and golden, about ten minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
Shopping List
2 teaspoons oil
16-ounce container of cottage cheese
1 package of shredded mozzarella cheese
1 package of no-boil lasagna noodles
2 pounds ground (turkey or other ground meat) also ½ to a pound of sausage.
1 onion chopped
1 a large jar of tomato sauce Del Monte, Hunt’s,etc.
1 6-ounce can tomato paste
Parmesan cheese

Turkey Scallopini

1 pound turkey breast steaks 3/8” in thick
4 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoon flour
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon white pepper
¼ teaspoon garlic
½ cup butter or margarine
¼ pound fresh mushrooms sliced
3 tablespoons chopped onion
¾ cup dry white wine
1 chicken bouillon cube (optional)
2 tablespoons snipped parsley
Pound turkey steaks flat between pieces of waxed paper. Press each ,on both sides, into mixture of Parmesan cheese, flour and seasonings. Melt ¼ cup butter in a skillet over medium heat. Saute steaks until golden brown, about 3 minutes on each side. Remove from skillet and keep warm. Saute mushrooms and onions in remaining butter; add white wine and bouillon cube. Add browned turkey. Cover and simmer 10 to 15 minutes, or until tender. Remove turkey to platter. Pour sauce over and sprinkle with parsley.
Serve over rice or noodles

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