Talking Turkey… not Turkish

"gobble gooble, I'm a bronze turkey"

On the advice of my dear Mother In-law I went out today and pre-ordered a turkey for our Christmas feast.

“You don’t want to be running around Christmas Eve looking for a bird!”

Not being fully trained in “turkey ordering” though I had to do a bit of research before heading out to the shops. After all what do I know about turkey purchasing?

The first thing I had to discover was what size turkey will I need?

Should I just order the biggest bird available? Or maybe the smallest, there are only 4 adults and 2 kids to feed? Or should I go for something in the middle?

Well thanks to the people at I think I may have found the answer.

Depending on how much bird you want left over for sandwiches or a second dinner later in the evening you should order a turkey from the following sizes:

  • 4kg (9 lbs) Turkey will feed about 6 people with no much in the way of leftovers
  • 7-8kg (15-17 lbs) Turkey will feed up to 10 people
  • 10-11kg (20-24 lbs) Turkey is going to feed plenty of people, maybe 15-20

So with the sizing out-of-the-way now all I had to do was decide where to order my Christmas bird. So I got on the old ‘dog and bone’ (that’s a telephone for those of you not fluent in cockney slang) and called my mother in-law, who informed me that you can get a turkey anywhere. So after trying the newsagent on the corner and discovering that turkeys are not available just ‘anywhere’ I returned to my trusty computer and did a bit of research.

Here in the UK I discovered you can pre-order a turkey from most good butchers as well as some outlets of  Morrisons, Sainsburys, Waitrose and Marks & Spencer (the food shop, not the place you buy knickers from). Across the pond in Canada (my native land) I have been informed that as far as my mom is aware only butcher shops offer and a few of the big stores, sadly, all my contacts in the US were clueless, so it is probably just your local butcher, or my fellow readers if any of them is kind enough to pop the information into a comment!

So having discovered where to buy a turkey, I popped down to the shop, strolled up to the counter and said, “can I order a turkey please, 4-5 kilos should be enough?”

“Certainly sir, what kind of turkey would you like?”

It was at that moment that I discovered there was more than one type of turkey roaming farms awaiting to be gobbled up.

Here in the UK there are two main classifications of turkeys, free range and farmed. A free-range turkey would be my choice if you can afford it, after all the poor little birdy sacrificed his life for your dinner, so you should at least get one that was happy. The poor little farmed guys and gals were kept penned up and forced fed, and I have been informed, probably don’t taste as nice as our happy free range birds.

I have also learned that there are different breeds of turkey including Norfolk Black, Bronze, White Holland, Bourbon Red, Narragansett, Black, and Beltsville Small White just to name a few. I am not sure which one tastes the best but a good butcher will probably have an opinion to help you out. Personally, I chose a free-range Bronze turkey on the advice of the kind woman in the store.

Of course if all this seems like too much work you could always just  open the window Christmas day and throw a few shillings out the window at a passing child, à la Ebeneezer Scrooge, and send him to buy the biggest goose at the butchers.

Of course I cannot endorse this method as probably the butcher will be closed and more than likely the child will just steal your money!


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