CHRISTMAS JUST WOULDN’T BE CHRISTMAS WITHOUT TURKEY
Henry VIII is rumoured to have been the first to enjoy turkey at Christmas as an alternative to the goose. But it wasn’t until the Victorian era that it became a more common addition to festive tables. And then in the 1950s as transportation improved and breeding increased, turkey provided the ideal-sized bird fit to feed the whole family. And now, although there continue to be increasing numbers of festive alternatives, turkey remains the favourite centrepiece with 54% of British households choosing it for the big day. So, it’s important to get it right.
HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST TURKEY
Two of the most commonly bred and enjoyed turkey breeds are the Broad-Breasted White Turkey and Bronze Turkey. But how do you decide which is right for you?
White Turkey is the most popular breed in the UK as they have larger breasts and smaller legs. The skin is white when plucked and their flavour is more subtle. Grown slowly to maturity means high-quality, flavoursome, succulent meat. And with such a high proportion of breast meat, they’re unsurprisingly the popular choice for families. Bronze Turkeys – named for their unusual colour as their feathers shimmer a metallic green-bronze in sunlight – tend to be more traditionally reared and are free-range. They’re famed for a fuller, more distinctive flavour and moist meat, that has a firmer texture than White Turkey. Offering a taste of restaurant-quality meat perfect for this special occasion.
AWARD-WINNING BRITISH POULTRY
All our turkeys are reared on the nearby Usk Vale Farm by the Davis family in the rolling, green Monmouthshire countryside. Every bird can be traced back to an experienced and caring farmer. And we’re really proud that all the eggs we use are “Laid in Britain”. The Davis family feed their poultry on specially formulated, locally milled rations that contain 75% grain (and no growth enhancers) which helps maintain optimum health and growth for the turkey.
Their White Turkeys have been traditionally reared in the Usk Valley for over 30 years in spacious, open farm buildings with plenty of natural light and ventilation. They’re bedded daily with fresh straw or wood shavings and have continuous access to food and water. Particular attention is paid to the birds’ health and welfare – with more space than guidelines suggest – to give them a better way of life.
Their Bronze Free Range Turkeys roam and forage on rolling Monmouthshire pastures from the age of six weeks. This freedom to exercise gives the turkeys an enriched way of life which helps to develop and improve the quality of meat, giving it superb flavour and texture. And this means that you’ll get succulent, fine-textured, full-flavoured meat that you’ll be proud to serve on Christmas Day.
SO WHICH WILL YOU CHOOSE?
Whether it’s a simple seasonal supper for two or a festive feast for ten – there’s something to suit:
PULL OUT ALL THE STOPS – BRONZE VS WHITE TURKEY
Our Monmouthshire Free Range Bronze Turkeys or Whole Usk Vale Turkeys (White Turkey) can be ordered in weights from 4kg to 8kg that can feed crowds of every size. Our handy weight guide will help you decide which size suits you best. Just don’t forget to allow enough for leftovers!
PREFER AN EASY SERVE OPTION?
Then try our Usk Vale Turkey Breast Joints, Available in 1kg – 6kg sizes they’re ideal for smaller gatherings with minimal effort required to prepare and serve.
SERVING JUST ONE OR TWO?
Our individually rolled breast Turkey Paupiettes are filled with our delicious cranberry stuffing and give you a perfectly sized taste of Christmas.
TOP TIPS FOR COOKING
Far from complaints of bland, dry meat, a perfectly cooked turkey is moist and full of flavour. Some simple basics can help you make the most of your award-winning bird though…
1. Allow time for the turkey to get to room temperature before going in the oven – around 30-minutes should be enough. All our turkeys delivered on 21st – 22nd December will stay fresh until Boxing Day so there’s no need to worry about freezing and defrosting.
2. During cooking, make sure your tin is big enough, that there’s plenty of space in the oven. Cover the turkey with foil to keep moisture in and remove near the end for golden, crispy skin.
3. Leave time for your turkey to rest once cooked. Not only will this allow the juices to spread through the meat, but you’ll have plenty of time to get your roasties and gravy sorted too. Just wrap in foil and cover with a couple of clean tea towels to keep the meat hot and ready to carve.
There’s always a joke about leftover turkey at Christmas – but you can’t beat a cold meats platter with bubble & squeak, or turkey sandwiches with cranberry sauce on Boxing Day – just be sure to order what works for you. You can wrap and freeze cooked meat to use again in a few weeks. We like this recipe for a flan that also uses up any leftover ham: Delia’s Turkey Flan with Leeks and Cheese.
Our Christmas Turkeys are available for delivery from 19th to the 22nd December. Order yours today for a Christmas dinner to remember this year.