We are thinking about Christmas! This is our Christmas Turkey guide covering everything from buying, cooking tips, recipes ideas and a carving video. Place your order in the shop.
Christmas comes but once a year so we all want to make the main meal really special for our families and friends. Roast Turkey with all the trimmings is one of the most popular and traditional of Christmas dinners. It will feed a large number and more as cold cuts the next day.
Free Range Turkeys
We supply free range Bronze Turkeys at Christmas. The Bronze turkey is a breed of domestic turkey which was originated from crosses between the domestic turkeys brought by European colonists to the Americas and the eastern wild turkeys they found upon their arrival. The name of the breed refers to it’s plumage, which bears an iridescent bronze-like sheen. These birds are hand reared, free range and have received an exceptionally high level of care ensures their superior quality and succulent flavour. These are naturally slower growing birds which contributes to its excellent flavour and texture.
Christmas Turkey from Salix Farm
We have sourced our Free Range Turkeys from Salix Farm in the Essex countryside who have been producing traditional turkeys for the Christmas market for over 50 years High welfare standards and a natural lifestyle give these birds plenty of taste. The birds are delivered to us fresh, boxed and oven ready.
Getting the right sized Christmas Turkey
A Bronze Turkey is a great choice for Christmas as it will feed feed a large number of friends and family (and more as delicious cold cuts the next day). Have a look at the table below to find the right size for you.
As a rule of thumb you should allow 450-500g of meat (on the bone) for each person. This will give you enough for a great meal with some left over.
- 6-8 people: 4 kg turkey
- 10 people: 5 kg turkey
- 12 people: 6 kg turkey
- 14 people: 7 kg turkey
Don’t forget that a turkey is a large bird, so it worth checking your oven size. Turkeys between 4 to 7 kilos will be between 15cm to 20cm high over 7 kilos and up to 10 kg expect height to be between 20 – 25cm.
Add to the check list – a large enough roasting dish.
Christmas Turkey Preparation
When you collect your Turkey it will be oven ready so you just need to prepare it and plan your cooking schedule. (When you get your bird home keep it in a cool place or refrigerate.)
When you are ready to cook you Christmas Turkey:
- Check the giblets and remove them. These are already separated from the bird and wrapped separately often inside the bird.
- Bring the bird up to room temperature. (Allow two hours)
- Removing the wishbone makes the carving much easier as you can cut larger, neater slices from the breast.
- We recommend that you do not place stuffing in the main cavity as this will prevent hot air from circulating inside the bird which will slow the cooking time. (A large peeled onion and seasoning however will enhance the natural flavour of the meat.)
- Stuffing is good placed in the neck cavity.
- Weigh the prepared bird to calculate cooking time – see below
Christmas Turkey Preparation Tips:
- Smear softened butter under the turkey skin and over the legs. Season well.
- Put the turkey on a rack set inside a roasting tin.
- You might want to try putting it breast-side down in the roasting tray. The only fat deposits in a turkey are in the back and placing it this way up allows the fat to move through the breast meat as it cooks. (Turn it the right way up for the last half hour of cooking to brown the skin)
- Cover the turkey and tin loosely with foil, sealing it well under the rim of the tin.
- Start the turkey roasting at 400°F (200°C) / Gas mark 6 for the first half hour then reduce temperature down to 350°F (180°C) Gas mark 4.
- Baste occasionally.
- Foil should be removed for the last half hour to get a crispy brown skin you might need to raise the oven temperature to do this
- The turkey is ready when the juices run clear. You can test this with a fork or meat skewer behind the knee joint of the thigh where the meat is thickest.
- If the juices are still pink cook for another 15 to 20 minutes and test again.
- Always leave the turkey to rest for between 30 – 60 minutes before carving.
The latest advice from the British Turkey Information Service is that if the turkey is over 4kg, calculate 20 mins per kg + 90 mins. If the bird is under 4kg, calculate 20 mins per kg + 70 mins. They provide a handy cooking time calculator
If you you are undecided on what to have as your main meal this Christmas have a look here at some of the alternatives>>