Keeping turkeys: tick, tick, tick…

Bronze turkeys in the cottage garden

My bronze turkeys

Time is running out for our terrible turkey twosome. They’re much larger than when they arrived – a little bit taller than a Little Missy at this stage – and strut about the garden as if it is their own especial fiefdom. They were eight weeks old when I picked them up from poultry specialist David Kelly; now, almost three months later, it’s nearly time to say goodbye.

After the original article I wrote for the Irish Examiner on keeping bronze turkeys, my editor has asked for a follow-up to go in the paper before Christmas. Between deadlines and needing the parent’s superior oven power to cook one of the lads for the Examiner photographer, Thanksgiving is going to happen this weekend.

Therefore, some night during the week, a neighbour – now known as The Turkey Killer in the cottage – is coming for the Harvest. Having fed and watered and cleaned and cursed and admired their antics for the last while, I’m still not quite sure how I feel about this stage of proceedings. Anybody got any good Thanksgiving turkey recipes?



Food writer. Broadcaster. Blogger. Author. Married to Eight Degrees Brewing. Member of the Irish Food Writers' Guild, founder of Irish Food Bloggers Association and co-author of Sláinte: The Complete Guide to Irish Craft Beer & Cider (New Island)

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4 Responses

  1. Lucy says:

    Oh – are you going to be there to assist. Or just go somewhere else? I’ve never cooked my own turkey so can’t help there, pretty sure my mother uses Delia

  2. Caroline says:

    Oh no, there’s no running away! I’m stuck right in the middle of it. Just been out pruning branches on the holly tree so that we have somewhere to hang them. It’s going to be, at the very least, interesting.

  3. Kristin says:

    I love this recipe for cider-brined turkey with a maple chilli glaze from A Kitchen Year by Paula McIntyre. I’ve been making it ever since the book came out a few years ago and swear by it, and every guest we’ve served it to raves about it and can’t believe how moist it is. Brining the turkey makes such a difference. This recipe only uses the crown, but you could play with it to use it for a whole turkey.Cider-brined Turkey with Maple Chili Glaze, Homemade Stuffing, Bourbon Sweet Potato Puree, Roasted Winter Vegetables, and Nutmeg Maple Cream Pie

  4. Caroline says:

    Thanks for this recipe, Kristin. Think I’ll try my Thanksgiving turkey unbrined and I can have this brining option to fall back on for Christmas day! I don’t think the Mammy is entirely convinced about my Bronze turkeys…yet.You’ve just reminded me that I need to pick up some more sweet potatoes too!

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