Recipes: ‘Roast Heritage Turkey,’ ‘Skipjack Oyster Dressing’

Credit: Edwin Remsberg/Dishing Up Maryland

ANNAPOLIS, MD– As the holiday season approaches, the Maryland Department of Agriculture encourages all Marylanders to incorporate local products in their celebrations. Our state is home to a diverse array of farmers, producers and watermen providing the freshest ingredients around.

“The Maryland state seal features a farmer and watermen, and there is no better way to honor that tradition than to include local meats, seafood and produce in your holiday meals,” said Agriculture Secretary Joe Bartenfelder. “Buying local for the holidays is a great to thank our farmers, producers and watermen for the hard work they do year-round.”

According to the latest USDA Census of Agriculture (2012), 117 Maryland farms sold 154,404 turkeys. Turkeys sold directly from the farm to the consumer account for a small portion of the total production. By purchasing a locally-raised turkey, consumers help to support our family farms and community.

Maryland seafood, in addition to being tasty, is also a nutritious addition to any holiday feast. It is low in fat, sodium and calories, and it contains important vitamins, minerals and omega-3 fatty acids for a healthy heart.

Looking for a quintessential Maryland combo? Try pairing the below recipes for Heritage Roasted Turkey and Skipjack Oyster Dressing. You can keep the local theme rolling by adding locally produced cheese, produce, beer, wine and more! VisitMarylandsBest.netto find a producer near you.

Roast Heritage Turkey
From Lucie Snodgrass, Dishing Up Maryland Cookbook

12 Servings


  • 1 (16-18 pound) Narragansett or other heritage-breed turkey, cavities cleaned, rinsed, and patted dry
  • 1 small onion, peeled
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon seal salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • ½ teaspoon dried rosemary
  • ½ teaspoon dried savory


  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Place the turkey breast side up on a roasting rack in a shallow roasting pan. Make six small incisions in the turkey’s skin using a sharp knife. Insert the garlic under the turkey’s skin.
  2. Spread the mustard over the turkey’s skin with a knife, and then drizzle the olive oil over. Sprinkle the salt and pepper on the turkey’s skin and in the cavities, and place the onion in the neck cavity. Sprinkle the sage, thyme, rosemary, and savory over the turkey, and insert a meat thermometer into one of the thigh areas near the breast.
  3. Loosely cover the bird with aluminum foil, making a tent over the turkey and lightly tucking the foil around the edges of the pan. Roast for about 4 hours, or 15 minutes per pound. (See Note). About 30 minutes before the turkey is done, remove aluminum foil and allow the skin to brown. Continue roasting until the meat thermometer reaches 180°F and the turkey’s juices run clear.
  4. Remove the turkey from the oven and let it stand, covered, for 20 minutes.

Note: If you choose to stuff the turkey, you will need to increase the roasting time. I usually bake my stuffing separately, so that vegetarians can eat it, but you can certainly divide the stuffing, putting some in the turkey and baking some separately, if you prefer.

Skipjack Oyster Dressing (Credit: Edwin Remsberg)

Skipjack Oyster Dressing

From Maryland’s Best Seafood Marketing Program

  • 2 large stalks celery
  • 1 medium onion
  • ½ cup (1 stick) margarine or butter
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon lemon and pepper seasoning
  • ? teaspoon mace
  • ? teaspoon tarragon
  • ? teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 pint shucked Maryland oysters, with liquor
  • 8 slices day old bread, cubed


  1. Finely chop celery and onions. Sauté in margarine or butter until tender. Mix in seasonings.
  2. Add oysters with liquor and simmer until edges of oysters just begin to curl.
  3. Remove from heat and gently mix in bread cubes.
  4. Adjust moistness with water as desired.

Makes about 4 cups dressing (allow about ½ cup per pound for fish; 1 cup per pound for poultry). Note: For an extra special tangy taste, core and finely chop 2 medium apples and add with celery and onions when cooking. Yield will increase about ½ cup.