How do you pick your Christmas Turkey? Is it how it looks in the movies, where there’s a mad rush to the last cling-wrapped Turkey in the frozen aisle of the Supermarket? It shouldn’t be! The first clue to a good Turkey is to buy fresh – never frozen. This way it is very easy to estimate how long your bird has been stored for.
Another obvious sign of a special Turkey is knowing where it’s come from. Finding your dinner in the supermarket is fine, but have you seen where the Turkey lived? Getting to know a farmer or butcher that supplies your meat can be a valuable asset at Christmas. You can find out where it comes from, how it was reared and what kind of life it had.
What’s more, you can trust these suppliers to advise and offer the best deal, and the quality of their meat will be better. Why’s that? The best Turkeys have been Game hung and dry-plucked, which tends to result in a better flavour and texture!
“A special Turkey isn’t perfect”
A perfectly symmetrical bird probably didn’t have an active life. Rearing Free-range Turkeys is more about keeping the birds out of trouble on the farm than fattening them up, so focus on the origin of the bird rather than a perfect appearance.
“There are different kinds of Turkeys!”
If you are under the belief that Christmas Turkey can be ‘tasteless’ – then you are buying the wrong bird. A free-range, slowly reared turkey will be surprisingly moist and exciting taste. Norfolk is dominated by two types of Turkey – The Bronze and the Norfolk Black.
The Norfolk Black is a highly regarded breed, and thought to be the oldest in existence, leading to the term we use ‘Traditional Taste’. The shape of the Norfolk Black is more like a pheasant; with a longer, narrower breast that is slightly gamey to taste. It offers a much tighter, firmer meat and therefore keeps the flavour and the moisture. When reared Free-Range and naturally, the Norfolk Black is truly unbeatable fresh and hot or as a cold meat.
The Bronze turkey was bred out of the Norfolk Black and has a broader breast for plenty of succulent, yet mellow tasting, white breast meat. As these birds are allowed to grow naturally and to a perfect age of maturity, their meat is layered with an ideal, yet small amount of fat, offering a moist, flavoursome taste.
The process that brings a really special Turkey to your table on Christmas day should not take any short-cuts. Our number one tip to finding a special Turkey for your family this year – research the life of the bird to make sure what you’ll be eating will be as amazing as the day!