It's that time of year when the nights draw in and thoughts turn to Christmas. And no Christmas is complete without a turkey (or veggie alternative) centrepiece. We know how important it is to make the right choice of showstopper and this guide aims to help you with your turkey choice and inspire you with ideas for alternatives if you're after something a bit different.
All our turkeys are Bronze, a traditional slow-growing breed which thrives living outdoors amongst grassland pasture. These birds come from small farms and are raised slowly and naturally for over 6 months - nearly twice as long as commercial supermarket turkeys. To further develop their stunning flavour and texture, two of our producers (Frenchbeer Farm and Goodmans) go one step further, dry-plucking by hand and then game hanging their birds for at least 10 days before being dressed and boxed in a old fashioned cardboard box ready for delivery.
These traditional free range Bronze turkeys from Leicestershire are fed a natural diet of oats and foraged grass and are grown over six months. They've also made appearances on Radio 4 and Observer Food Monthly for their exceptional flavour, texture and succulence.
Arriving at the Worcestershire farm as day-old poults in late June, these turkeys graze grass fields during the day and put to bed in their barn every night. Fed a specially prepared natural ration so that they grow slowly to develop in flavour, these birds are dry-plucked and game hung, a traditional and age old method of plucking the bird’s feathers by hand then hanging to develop the flavour. They regularly appear in the national press including The Telegraph and The Independent.
Starting with a traditional, certified organic cereal diet in their Dartmoor National Park home, these turkeys go on to forage in the surrounding fields and meadows. After six months, the birds reach maturity and carry a layer of fat which ensures the meat is tender and succulent when cooked. They are then dry plucked and game hung, adding a unique and distinctive flavour by tenderising the meat, much like hanging a piece of beef while it ages. These birds have won 3* Great Taste Awards (that’s the top two in the whole of the UK).
All our producers grow their turkeys for over 6 months, twice as long as your average supermarket Christmas turkey. Frenchbeer Farm and Goodmans go one step further by dry-plucking and game hanging their birds, a traditional method of plucking the bird’s feathers by hand. This lets the skin remain dry, making it crisp up better during cooking.
Game-hanging is much as it sounds, hanging birds after dry-plucking to bring out the best flavours. Much like hanging a piece of beef while it ages, game-hanging birds adds a unique and distinctive flavour by tenderising the meat.
All our turkeys will be dressed and delivered in a good old fashioned cardboard box, perfect for recycling after the festive period is over.
Thinking of going cold turkey on the turkey? Oh we do love sharing the big bird out over the Christmas (or Thanksgiving) dinner table. Just not, you know, every single year. From the Dickensian to the ‘why not?’, here are seven turkey alternatives which feed family and friends without scrimping on ethics.