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Christmas cooking tips: Cook your perfect Christmas turkey with tips from Kelly Bronze legend

Luxury turkey brand Kelly Bronze’s Managing Director, Paul Kelly, feels very passionately about making consumers think twice about buying a crown or joint and reveals some top tips on how to cook a whole bird.


Emily   Ashworth

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Emily   Ashworth
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Cook your perfect Christmas turkey with tips from Paul Kelly himself!

Around 70 per cent of turkeys purchased at Christmas are turkeys or crowns, as the public continues to believe that crowns are easier and simpler to cook than a whole bird.

 

But what they should be asking is what happens to the legs and wings, says Paul Kelly, Managing Director of kelly Bronze Turkey, whose family have been perfecting the art of rearing flawless turkeys for nearly half a century.

 

The amount of waste created by the demand for turkey crowns is alarming, and really isn’t a sustainable route to continue down.

 

After tracking costs over the years, Paul has found that purchasing a whole bird is not only awlays best value for money, but the cooking this way is beneficial too.

 

He says: "The shocking truth that a turkey crown is nearly double the cost per kg of a whole bird should be reason enough to make the switch this year. All turkey producers add the cost of the legs that are removed on to the price of the crown, so when you buy a crown you have paid for the whole bird regardless. With all the amazing recipes that use the leftovers from a whole bird, there is no excuse for buying a crown.

 

"There are however so many other benefits to cooking a whole bird. First of which is the ability to make a good stock – you need the bones from the legs and back which contain the bone marrow to create a delicious stock, which can then be used to add bundles of flavour to other dishes.

 

"Another of the glorious things about cooking a whole turkey at Christmas is the leftovers, which more often than not consists of the hugely underappreciated dark meat. Whilst it is true that dark meat, i.e. that of the legs and thighs, is slightly higher in cholesterol and fat, it’s predominately the heart-healthy mono and polyunsaturated kinds. Dark meat also contains more iron, zinc, riboflavin, thiamine and vitamins B6 and B12 than white meat."

 

Below are some tips from Paul himself on how to get the best from your bird when cooking it.


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Cook the perfect turkey

  • Take the turkey out of the fridge and leave to stand for at least two hours, allowing it to reach room temperature before cooking.
  • Preheat your oven to 180°C, or 160°C for fan ovens.
  • Remove any trussing/string from the bird and the pack of giblets from inside the cavity, and place in to a large roasting tin, breast down.
  • Add your favourite vegetables to the tin along with one pint of water and the giblets, and season well.
  • Place in to the preheated oven, with no foil.
  • Remove from the oven halfway through cooking, turn the bird over and puncture right through the thighs. Season well before returning to the oven.
  • Check the core temperature using a meat thermometer 30 minutes before the end of the cooking time.
  • Remove from the oven when the core temperature reaches just under 65°C, and leave to stand for a minimum of 30 minutes before carving. Do not cover with foil!”
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