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Firstly, about the turkey. There are commercially two strains of turkey, the Norfolk Bronze and the Whites. While everyone would have their own views on which one they like, there appears to be little or no difference in their eating quality.
Our poultry is farmed in our locality and reared traditionally by only feeding slowly, so the flesh develops naturally, just as the rest of the meat we sell, 'Meat as nature intended'. This is then further enhanced by being hung with their entrails in and then being kept for upwards of 14 days before cooking. During this process the flesh takes on a more rounded flavour and gives off a gamey smell as the enzymes in the meat break down the tissues to create, what hopefully is a premium product. It is this process that enables you to cook the turkey more quickly.
Remove the giblets as soon as possible and set aside to make the stock. I usually put a peeled onion, cut in half, into the cavity of the bird whilst it is being kept in the fridge, this helps keep the bird.
-When you come to cook the turkey, take it out of the fridge and allow to reach room temperature. If you are stuffing the turkey it is best done just before cooking.
-Brush the turkey all over with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
-Place the turkey breast down into your baking tray. As the turkey carries most of its fat on its back, this posture will help keep the turkey moist whilst cooking.
-Preheat the oven and cook at 200 for the first 30 minutes, then turn the oven down to 170.
-30 minutes from the end, turn the turkey onto its back to allow the breast to brown and increase the temperature to 190.
-Cut down between the legs and if the juices run clear then your turkey is cooked (A general rule of thumb is 25 minutes per kilo plus an additional 30 minutes extra, for example a 6kg turkey would take 3 hours). Then cover your turkey with tin foil and allow to rest for at least 30 minutes.
Please note that the Norfolk Bronze bird has a black stubble which is very deep rooted and cannot always be completely removed.
I wish you luck with your cooking, no more getting up at 3 in the morning please!!! as it is just not necessary when you have a quality product.
Wishing you all a merry Christmas,
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