Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What is the difference between a Bronze and a KellyBronze?
A. People can call a turkey Bronze simply by its feather colour and regardless of the breading and methods of production behind it. Important to understand is that 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. Then there is of course the age, combined with our free-range farming, hand plucking - without the use of water - traditional finishing, temperature controlled methods of hanging and finally our unique cooking times that ensure greatness. It is all in the detail and this vital sequence of events that result in the KellyBronze Turkey.
It is very easy to genetically put the bronze feather colour onto a mass produced white turkey. They can grow these birds quickly in buildings for just 10 weeks plus. They can then be processed in a factory that uses automated plucking machines, using water and then bag in carbon dioxide to lengthen shelf life. This turkey can still be called Bronze and therein lies the difference; it will have none of the flavour, texture, gravy or eating qualities 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 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 as well as delicious and produces oodles of it’s own delicious gravy.
The saying “The older the bird the better the flavour” is so true.
Q. I have an Aga, which of the ovens should I use?
A. As my mother Mollie Kelly always said, “The best way to cook a KellyBronze is quickly”. I would not cook our turkey slowly in the bottom oven or worse still, overnight and I know that many Aga owners and shops suggest it. For KellyBronze turkeys, use an oven closest to my guide of 180 C. Before it’s due to be cooked, check by using the meat thermometer provided, insert into the breast, once it reaches 65 C in temperature it is then cooked. Remove from the oven, do not cover the bird at all, simply leave it to stand for at least 40 minutes 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. 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 and make sure that where it’s left, continues to remain cool.
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 delicious.
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. KellyBrone turkeys have natural fat, tin foil is absolutely not needed and I would not recommend it.
Once cooked, if you then cover it, you are in danger of continuing the cooking process, just leave it to stand.
See my tip, No 5; in the carving instructions for the perfect turkey crackling, give it a go, you’ll love it.
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 KellyBronze thermometer (if you request one) 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 good 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 temperature, 65 C, it’s done. Double check by putting a carving fork in the thigh and if the juices run clear, it is cooked. Once removed from the oven, please do not cover the bird, 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.
Of course I always take my turkey out when still pink as it continues to cook whilst standing. I can’t possibly tell you to do that as I would be arrested and sent to jail by the food standards agency!
Q. How are they delivered?
A. 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. For home delivery it will arrive via courier service.
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. We always love to have a little left for sandwiches on Christmas evening whilst watching TV 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 turkey has just as many but because they have a white pigment you cannot see them. They are harmless and most of any that may be left will shrivel up during cooking. As we hand pluck it is impossible to remove each and every one, please don`t ruin your Xmas 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, chilled to -18 C. which are available on our website, please take a look or contact the office directly.
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 in your fridge it will last up to 5 days. Once COOKED it will then last up to 7 days.
If we've missed anything, please email or call us on PaulKelly@kellyturkeys.com or 01245 223581.