Turkey…Not just for Christmas

Turkey…but it is the time of year which keeps the industry going. How do you like it? 

Every year on December 25 the majority of us still gather round the table and decide to eat turkey. Some of us love it and some us find it dry, a total waste of time and a pointless endeavour. Yet still many choose it as their meal of choice every year.

We have over time socially conditioned ourselves to eat turkey, and it’s a good job, because Christmas keeps the industry going for the rest of the year, when barely any turkeys are eaten in this country.

Legislation dictates that there must be a vet on site when slaughtering poultry, and this means it’s an expensive production process and not worth keeping turkeys going the rest of the year, so if you want one in the summer, it will be frozen or from Italy.

There are many different varieties, ranging from white to bronze and then free-range, organic, and my personal favourite, herb-fed.

My turkeys are coming from York and they are super flavoursome and succulent and orders can be placed until December 14. I think we should eat it more, and tolerate Italian turkey until we can justify getting the birds produced year-round. Or, we can accept it as being the festive joy that it is. Either way, turkey is for life – not just for Christmas. Enjoy yours this year!

Top turkey tips

Superior quality fowl such as a herb-fed turkey cook more quickly than others. Follow these insructions to ensure you get a properly tasty bird:

• Remove the bird from the fridge the night before you intend to cook it to allow it to reach room temperature.

• Stuff the neck with the stuffing and place a large peeled onion in its cavity to give extra flavour.

• Sprinkle the bird with salt and pepper and place it breast side down in a roasting tin.

• Pre heat the oven to 190C/Gas 5 or 170C if you have a fan-assisted oven.

• About 30 minutes before the end of cooking turn the bird onto its back to brown the breast and season again with salt and pepper.

• Insert a skewer on the inside of the thigh. If the juices run clear the bird is ready. If the juices are pink, put it back in the oven and check at 10-minute intervals.

After cooking, allow the turkey to rest for 20-30 minutes and then carve.

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