Church Farm Ardeley

A Free Range Experience

Its Chriiistmaaaaas!

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Well, not quite, but it is only around 120 days away and with our new special offer this month and next on fresh turkey, goose, and duck (pay last years prices! No increase!) I felt compelled to star case some of our delightfully ugly bird brains.

Please welcome to the spotlight, the Norfolk Black Turkey!

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Isn’t it a beaut! These guys are scratching around in Squitmore wood on the farm I believe.

These birds are a show stopper at Christmas time. They aren’t a particularly big bird (classed as a ‘light weight’ turkey, by none other than the turkey club), but they still make an impressive centre piece at any Christmas dining table. The birds are free range (naturally) and slow growing (of course), and this active, more natural lifestyle produces a bird that is far tastier and more succulent than its intensively reared counterpart. The flavour of a Norfolk black has a lot more depth to it than your standard supermarket bird, and you feel like you’re actually sinking your teeth into something. Often an intensively reared animal is just flaccid and watery, on account of it being so overweight it ends up being little more than saggy flesh and H2O.

The black turkey is thought to have been brought over here by the Spaniards in the 1500s. In Norfolk in particular, they took a liking to this bird, where in the 1500s they already fattened geese on the stubble after harvest. Turkeys seemed more than up for the same treatment, and soon flocks of hundreds were driven down to the London markets, eating their way through the spilt grain in the fields and getting nice and plump on the way. Rather cutely, their feet were tarred and wrapped in hessian, to protect them on their epic journey. How quaint is that!

Today, the Norfolk black is the trademark turkey for TV chefs. Jamie, Delia, Rick Stein, they have all joined the turkey crusade! And rightly so. These birds are considered an endangered breed what with the majority of turkey farmers preferring quick growing varieties. And don’t forget, a turkey is not just for Christmas! This lovely lean meat is extremely versatile, and a cheaper alternative to chicken for use in stir fries, curries, or my favourite, bashed out flat and bread-crumbed before pan frying in butter. Our frozen birds are currently 50% off, so go on, give a high welfare, free range, Church Farm turkey a go!

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