Sunday, 20 October 2013

Kelly Bronze Turkeys - Thanksgiving is coming - How to cook the perfect turkey!

It's that time of year again when my thoughts turn to turkey! Not for Christmas although that isn't far away but for me Thanksgiving is my big turkey day. Some years I cook for up to 25 guests and this year I am planning on having the best tasting turkey I have come across in years. 

A couple of years ago I tasted a Kelly Bronze Turkey at a food show I attended and the memory of the taste, so reminiscent of turkey meals as a child, has stayed with me.

Recently I had the pleasure to visit Kelly Bronze Turkeys at their Essex headquarters and I can honestly say I learned so much about turkeys!

Paul Kelly saying hello to one of his birds!
We arrived at Kelly Bronze Turkey farm and gathered in the Board Room with a cup of coffee and listened to Paul Kelly tell us all about his family turkey business.  His passion and sense of humour kept us enthralled whilst we talked about rearing turkeys, inseminating them, breeding them, pioneering their future and the final performance on your platter on Christmas Day!

Trust Paul Kelly when he says two hours is the time needed to cook one of his turkeys!
At this time of year he has about 2000 turkeys on a local 10 acres site roaming freely through the fenced off forest and living the 'good life' which will result in a tender, delicious turkey meat.

But there is more to just breeding turkeys on their site, they research blood lines and send eggs all over the world.

A consignment of eggs readyto go to Eastern Europe
They know the parentage of each of their eggs and keep an eye to make sure they select the perfect eggs for a high yeild.

We took a tour around the establishment and this was the 'maternity unit', where thousands of eggs are being incubated, uniquely monitored with state of the art technology.

Resulting in these little cuties! There were squeels of delight when the other bloggers got a chance to hold some of these tiny turkey chicks. There were some normal 'white', 'mix' and 'true bronze'.

The chicks go from cute and fluffy to the gang below in a very short time. But the life they live is as good as it can be.  They are free to roam naturally and develop strong muscles and good taste.  They have a protected area but are free to roost in the trees of the forest area.

At first you see a couple then more

And more and you are soon surrounded by turkey!

Then off for a spot of lunch!  A Kelly Bronze turkey is plumper and tastier and weighs typically 5kg compared to a traditionally reared turkey at 10kg.  Paul Kelly is very proud of his product and very keen to get acoss to us and everyone else the correct way to cook a turkey and insists that his 5kg bird takes only 2 hours to cook.

A meat thermometer is an essential piece of kitchen kit, so much so that each Kelly Bronze turkey comes with cooking instructions and a meat thermometer.

Then there is the matter of carving. Paul demonstrated the best way to get the most meat from your roast.

The neck and giblets cooked with the  juices from the roast and served simply with a large salad and a glass of cold white wine.

One thing is for sure I want a Kelly Bronze turkey on my Thanksgiving table next month! Who's bringing the cranberry sauce?
Many thanks to Paul Kelly and all at Kelly Bronze Turkeys for an informative day and a really, really lovely and tasty lunch.

1 comment:

  1. Heidi I am in for a turkey Thanksgiving dinner and more than ready to bring the cranberry sauce :) What a lovely tour of the Kelly Turkey farm, a maternity unit and the egg grading and keeping a tab on bloodlines is proof enough of how serious these fellas are !