Kelly Bronze Free Range Turkeys
KellyBronze turkeys are the best of the best, the most joyful treat.
Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without a KellyBronze turkey.
DAYS UNTIL CHRISTMAS
Whole Kelly Bronze Turkey
Kelly Bronze Turkey Crown
Kelly Bronze Turkey Breast
KellyBronze Free Range Turkeys are not just Free Range, they are Bred To Be Wild!
In 1526 an enterprising young trader called William Strickland imported six wild turkeys into England, and it was Henry VIII that made eating turkey at Christmas fashionable in the royal courts.
Sixty years ago the bronze feathered turkey all but disappeared from our plates due to the little black feathers that were left in the skin. We call it designer stubble! The modern white-feathered turkey does, of course have the same number of quills left, however, due to the white pigment they cannot be seen. For this aesthetic reason the traditional bronze turkey disappeared and sadly, along with it, went flavour and eating qualities…crazy!
It was in the early 1980’s my father Derek Kelly, travelled the country to rescue the last remaining flocks of pure bronze Turkeys and we started a lifelong passion to sustain and build the KellyBronze breed.
Over the past 30 years, we have fulfilled a dream – seeing our unique bird reared to full maturity, roaming wild in pastures and woodlands. The KellyBronze is harvested and hand plucked, then hung like a game bird. The result is fit for the Queen, maybe she has one…I couldn’t possibly say!
Throughout the years and due to our success we have to some extent, become a victim of “The hoover effect”, not all vacuum cleaners are made by Hoover and not all Bronze turkeys are KellyBronze turkeys, yet many assume they are. Sometimes people use our name connected with other bronze. Whilst flattering, it is obviously frustrating because there are vast and important differences:
A KellyBronze is our own unique breed; it is a very slow growing bird and therefore has to be grown to full maturity, to achieve the weight you need for Christmas. The maturity, combined with our free-range farming, hand plucking – without the use of water – and traditional techniques of hanging in specific temperatures, ensures “greatness”. These methods coupled with our distinctive cooking times produce the ‘perfect’ turkey. It is this sequence of events that result in the KellyBronze.
It is very easy to genetically put the bronze feather colour onto a mass produced white turkey. These birds can be grown quickly. They are processed in a factory with an automated plucking machine that uses water. Then bagged in carbon dioxide to lengthen shelf life. This turkey can still be called Bronze; but will have none of the flavour, texture, luxury life or eating qualities of The KellyBronze Turkey.
It takes time, passion and a walk on the wild side to create excellence. If it were that easy, everyone would be doing it!
YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED BY PAUL KELLY
Q. What is the difference between a Bronze and a KellyBronze?
A. People can call a turkey Bronze as long as its feather colour is Bronze regardless of the breading and methods of production behind it. A KellyBronze is our own unique breed; it is a very slow growing bird and therefore has to be grown to full maturity to achieve the weight you need for Christmas. The age, combined with our free-range methods, hand plucking – without the use of water – and traditional techniques of hanging in specific temperatures and unique cooking times and methods produce the ‘perfect’ turkey. It is this sequence of events that result in the KellyBronze.
It is very easy to genetically put the bronze feather colour onto a mass produced white turkey. They can birds quickly in buildings for just 10 weeks plus. They can then be processed in a factory that uses automated plucking using water, then bagged in carbon dioxide to lengthen shelf life. This turkey can still be called Bronze but will have none of the flavour or texture of a KellyBronze.
Q. Are they Organic and what are they fed on?
A. We do rear an Organic KellyBronze – in limited numbers – available through a small number of stockists. The organic birds are not offered for Home Delivery. There is no difference in flavour between our organic or wild woodland turkeys, KellyBronze are fed on locally grown cereals WITHOUT any drugs, additives or growth promoters.
Q. Your cooking times are much shorter than the norm, why do your birds cook quicker?
A. Yes they are and its a combination of reasons that lead to this. Firstly, the birds maturity means that there is more fat marbling in the meat. This fat conducts the heat through the bird more effectively. As you will see, we recommend cooking the birds very simply – no, foil, no stuffing, getting to room temp before going into oven…all these factors and our recommended optimum cooking temp, add up to a quicker guideline cooking time. Trust us…and the thermometer !
Q. Your cooking times are much shorter than a standard turkey, why are your birds so simple and quick to cook?
A. The KellyBronze breed is a small slow growing breed and therefore takes longer to get to the right weight. This maturity has the biggest single impact on flavour. As the turkey matures it lays down natural fat and it is this fat that carries the flavour and conducts the heat through the meat whilst cooking. Again, the maturity of the bird results in lots of bone marrow, hence the meat remains succulent with oodles of natural flavour and produces it’s own delicious gravy.
The saying “The older the bird the better the flavour” is so true.
Q. I have an Aga – which oven should I use in it?
A. As my mother, Mollie Kelly always said, “The best way to cook a KellyBronze is quickly”. I would not cook the turkey in the slow oven or worse still, overnight.
Please use the oven closest to my guide of 180oC. When you think it’s close, insert the meat thermometer provided into the breast, once it reaches the correct temperature it is then cooked. Remove from the oven, do not cover the bird, and leave it to stand for 40 minutes – if not longer to allow the meet to relax – it will not go cold and this gives you time to roast everything else in the empty oven.
Q. Gas Conversion?
A. 350 F – 180 C – Gas mark 4.
Q. How do I store my turkey?
A. Please remove your turkey from the box, take the giblets out of the bird cavity, place them on a tray (still in their bag) and put everything in the fridge. If you don’t have space to refrigerate it all, keep the giblets in the fridge and store the turkey in its box in the coolest possible place e.g. garage – please be mindful of pets.
Q. How long can it be kept before (a) cooking and (b) after cooking?
A. (a) In a very cold fridge – for 5 days. (b) in a very cold fridge – up to 7 days.
Q. Should I stuff my turkey?
A. My mantra of “If you start with a quality ingredient, it doesn’t need any help to make it taste great” applies here. I would strongly recommend that you do not stuff your bird as this lengthens the cooking time and then overcooks the turkey.
Stuffing is of course delicious which I cook separately – you may not have stuffed with the stuffing, but it is still stuffing, if that makes sense!
We do offer a stuffed breast joint; it cooks very easily and is a delightful alternative.
Q. Should I cover my bird with foil during cooking or when leaving to stand?
A. My mantra of “If you start with a quality ingredient, it doesn’t need any help to make it taste great” applies here as well. Tin foil is not needed and I would not recommend it. A KellyBronze has plenty of natural fat, it will cook quickly and stay moist and juicy without it; also you wouldn’t get the tasty crispy brown skin, which is one of my favourite bits (see my tip number 5 in ‘Carving Instructions’ for perfect turkey crackling).
Once cooked, take it out of the oven and leave it to stand, please do not cover it with anything; the turkey will stay hot for a long time – if covered you are in danger of continuing the cooking process.
Q. Are the giblets with the bird?
A. Giblets come with a KellyBronze whole bird, a KellyBronze crown and a DemiBronze.
Q. How do I know I`ve bought a genuine KellyBronze Turkey?
A. A KellyBronze turkey always comes in our signature box, hand wrapped in greaseproof paper with our own optional KellyBronzeThermometer and our unique Cooking and Carving instructions.
Q. How do I make sure my bird stays moist?
A. My mantra of “If you start with a quality ingredient, it doesn’t need any help to make it taste great” applies here as well. No need to add butter or baste to keep it moist, a KellyBronze has plenty of natural fat and it looks after itself during cooking. Please take a leap of faith and follow my cooking instructions.
Q. Can my turkey be cooked overnight?
A. As my mother Mollie Kelly always said, “The best way to cook a KellyBronze is quickly” and therefore I would not recommend slow or worse overnight cooking.
Q. How do I know if my turkey is cooked?
A. Please use the meat thermometer provided, when it reaches the correct temperature it’s done. Double check by putting a carving fork in the thigh and if the juices run clear, it is cooked. Remove from the oven, please do not cover the bird, and leave it to stand for 40 minutes if not longer to allow the meat to relax; It will not go cold and this gives you time to roast everything else.
Q. How are they delivered?
A. We use a Courier service. A KellyBronze turkey always comes in our signature box, which is then packed in an insulated container and sealed. It will remain at the correct temperature for up to 5 days so no need to worry. Once received, please open and follow the instructions on how to store it.
Q. What is kgs in lbs?
A. Multiply kgs by 2.2 to get approx lbs.
Q. How many people will my bird feed?
A. Allow approximately 500g per person for an average meal or 250g if buying a breast roast. It is always nice to have a little left for sandwiches on Christmas evening whilst watching the telly and 500g per person allows this.
Q. I have a few black feather quills left in my bird. What should I do about them?
A. This is the sole reason the bronze turkey disappeared from our shelves in the 1950s. The white hand plucked turkey has just as many but you cannot see them.
They are harmless and most of them that may be left will shrivel up during cooking. As we hand pluck, it is impossible to remove each and every one of them. Please don’t ruin your Christmas day with tweezers trying to remove them, if, however, you enjoy taking them out, please sign up for our plucking team next year!
Q. Can I get a KellyBronze at a time other than Easter, Thanksgiving or Christmas?
A. We now have a BRED TO BE COOL range of KellyBronze products available on our website, please take a look or contact the office and ask for availability.
Q. Can I have a hen bird I hear they taste better?
A. Typically a hen bird is below 7kg but please be assured there really is no difference in flavour or texture between males and females.
Q. Will it fit in my oven?
A. A standard oven will take up to a 9kg turkey. The approximate dimensions of a 9kg bird are, 14″ long x 10″ high x 12″ deep.
Q. How long can it be kept before cooking and after cooking?
A. As a FRESH bird, it will last in your fridge up to 5 days. Once COOKED it will last in your fridge up to 7 days.