Time to talk turkey

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Christmas Turkeys

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Last Christmas we, as a nation, consumed around 10 MILLION turkeys with around 76% of households favouring this festive bird as their dinner table centrepiece. Be prepared for earth- shattering revelations as we share with you our top five turkey tips this Christmas.

 Tip # 1 – Order in plenty of time

In fact, pretty soon would be good, just don’t expect to waltz into your local supermarket on Christmas Eve and necessarily expect to pick up a turkey; you may have to make do with a tin of spam instead. For reliability and the best in locally sourced meats, place your order today with reputable South Hams suppliers, The Bear and Blacksmith Butchery, Aune Valley Meat or the Salcombe Meat Company.

Tip # 2 – Make sure your oven is big enough

It may seem obvious but do YOU know what a 20lb turkey looks like? Well, it might be that tin of spam if you can’t get your bird in the oven. If you’re cooking for a large family, it may be better to buy two smaller birds instead which will cut the cooking time, too. Typically, you can buy fresh free range or barn reared turkeys in weights between 10lbs and 26lbs. However, if you really want to go large, the heaviest turkey ever recorded weighed in at an incredible 86lbs. According to Guinness, he was raised in Peterborough and his name was Tyson.

Tip # 3 – Remember to remove the giblets

Easy to forget if you’re not stuffing the bird. The giblets (which include the gizzard, heart, liver and neck) are sometimes packed in plastic which will not add to the flavour of your bird one bit! Removed, they can be used to make a tasty broth or fresh gravy to complement your meal. Waste not, want not.

Tip # 4 – The technical stuff

For birds under 16lbs, work on around one pound per person (which allows for the weight of the carcass). Truss and stuff loosely (if at all) to allow for even cooking/expansion. Rub the turkey all over with melted butter/oil for even browning and ideally start it off upside-down for an hour to keep the juices in the breast. When cooked, allow the bird to rest for about 20 minutes. Cooking time for a fresh unstuffed turkey, 15 minutes per pound at 325F/160C/Gas 3 … allegedly.

Tip # 5 – Fresh is best

And on pretty much every level - taste, succulence, traceability and welfare. If you’re going to be eating cold turkey sandwiches for the next century, they’d better be good! Oh, and you won’t have to worry about forgetting to defrost the turkey either.

So, there you have it – all the secrets of seasonal turkey joy. Now there’s only one thing left to do: Get your Christmas turkey and meat orders placed today with outstanding local suppliers, The Bear and Blacksmith ButcheryAune Valley Meat or the Salcombe Meat Company and that’s one more item ticked off your to-do list.

Now for the Christmas shopping …

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