I finally got around to smoking the free-range heritage breed turkey we purchased before Thanksgiving (family situations meant we were away for both Thanksgiving and Christmas). We had purchased it at the local farmer's market.
This bird first went into brine for about six hours. For the brine, we used the recipe from Alton Brown's Good Eats Roast Turkey, episode # EASP01. My wife had made a vegetable stock the day before, so it was good and fresh.
Following the brining, I placed the aromatics, rosemary, and sage in the cavity and placed it breast side down on a rack. I decided that any juices would have a tendency to migrate toward the breast meat instead of the back. Since this would be for the two of us and not for company, the appearance was secondary to having better-tasting breast meat, so I did not mind having the rack's imprint on the bird.
I set the smoker for 225 degrees and smoked with apple chips, adding more from time to time. I smoked it until it reached 170 degrees before removing it.
My MES 30" electric smokehouse had just been retrofitted with the larger smoker pan so this was the first smoking with the "new" setup. It worked very well. The turkey turned out very moist and delicious. I am not sure if the premium price for the turkey was worth it, but it did have a really good flavor.
I didn't take any before shots, so here are just a couple of pictures of the finished bird:
The back side had a more even color, like that which you can see on the lower part of the legs.
Much of it went into the freezer for future meals.