Christmas without the traditional turkey is simply unthinkable! Being such a special meal, it is vital that the turkey you will serve to your loved ones will surpass all
It took me some time to find the right turkey for Donald Russell. In fact, for years I was apprehensive when customers asked ‘why don’t you do
a turkey?’ Everyone sells turkeys for Christmas; but we would have to sell
the ultimate turkey – one which would deliver the Donald Russell experience
to our customers.
So I embarked upon a lengthy quest, seeking out the best free-range birds
across Britain and beyond. I tried scores of turkeys! In the end I extended my search further, as I believe passionately that for something as important as this, it is worth going the extra mile.
Eventually I had my Goldilocks
moment – the turkey that was just right in every way. I had finally found a flock of turkeys which measured up to my high expectations, in Loué, France. When
we taste-tested them again and again against other free-range
turkeys, I knew I was onto a winner; the meat was
consistently moist and the flavour rich and old-fashioned
– just the way I like it.
Generations of experience and
passion for poultry
The farmers of Loué manage every detail beautifully – it is clear to see that they
care passionately about their work, and the fantastic end result it produces.
They are, of course, building on a long
poultry-farming heritage which goes back to the Middle Ages in the area
around LeMans. In1958, their reputation for rearing the very finest birds
was finally cemented for the future, in the founding of the Loué farmers’ cooperative.
Since then they have traded under their own exacting standards of animal welfare, and
proudly display their badge of quality on each turkey.
We work very closely with our turkey farmers. They raise small flocks
specifically for us, which we discuss in detail, down to the last bird. Our chef,
Stefan, and I follow their progress every year as they grow, through regular
visits and reports. This summer, when our Christmas turkeys were just young, I paid the
farmers a visit, and was once again overwhelmed by the passion these families have for their birds.
Rearing the perfect Christmas turkey
It is a very careful combination of factors which goes into rearing turkeys of this
• The breed is important – Bronze is
a traditional, slow-growing heritage breed that provides a full and rustic flavour.
• This flavour is enhanced by the birds’ varied diet of multigrain and natural
foraging in the fields.
• The lifestyle of free-range birds gives their meat an old-fashioned ‘bite’, full of character and totally unlike the chalky meat of battery birds – here, these muscles have worked every day as the birds range in the fields, just as nature intended.
As always, the proof is in the eating…
Last month, the first of our flock
appeared at Donald Russell, professionally blast frozen to seal in
their freshness. I immediately asked Stefan to roast one so we could taste it. Well, I needed to be sure we will bring a ‘wow’ to your Christmas table!
I must say, the flavour and quality of these turkeys actually took me by surprise – it was even better than I
remembered from last year. So I feel I can say it louder and prouder than
ever before: These are indeed ‘the Rolls-Royce of turkeys’!
Don’t just take it from me – Mrs Malone-Lee, a customer of ours from Harrow,
sums it up nicely: "Not normally a great fan of turkey
but our Christmas one was a taste revelation. It was tender, delicious
and relished by all – including a chef and a choosy elderly relative
who had not, she said, enjoyed a turkey since childhood".
So don’t hesitate – the right turkey will be worth every penny, and will reward
your family with a Christmas feast to remember – after all, you have my guarantee!