It's almost the end of January. The children are back at school, every diet known to man has been undertaken and for those of us still sticking to our resolutions, Christmas is a distant memory. There is one memory that lasts longer than the others, and that is the taste of our award winning KellyBronze turkeys. Reared free range on our farm, nothing beats an oven roasted KellyBronze for Christmas dinner. From a traditional meal for 10 on the 25th, to turkey sandwiches for the kids on Boxing Day and even turkey soup to nurse any sore heads (or tummies) on New Year's Day, we make sure we make the most of our produce. In our house, it's always a sad moment when there's none left and it begs the question, why don't we eat turkey all year round?
One of the biggest factors in that decision is always the price and, if the truth be told, our turkeys are slightly more expensive than the average turkey you can buy in the supermarket. Most people are prepared to pay a bit extra when they know they're going to get top quality, so what's stopping us from enjoying this beautiful bird all year round?
A quick trip to my local Waitrose revealed that the shelves where turkeys, destined for the Christmas table, once sat, were now full to the brim with almost every kind of chicken the UK produces. Local butchers, like us, only sold turkeys to order around Christmas (with a bit of Thanksgiving thrown in, thanks to our US counterparts). Primarily because we all know that, at Christmas, we're prepared to spoil ourselves and indulge to the point of excess. It suddenly dawned on me that the reason why we don't eat turkey all year, every year, is because we simply don't produce it for every occasion. That needs to change.
A superbly lean source of protein, it's better than any prize chicken and can be eaten every day of the week. If we're happy to reserve the best food for our biggest occasions, surely it stands to reason that we should be able to have the best, every week of the year, should we feel inclined to do so.
One eatery, which refuses to let this delectable bird be resigned to one day a year, is Strut-and-Cluck. Located in Shoreditch on Commercial Street, this young restaurant is one of the only places in London whose menu predominantly focuses on turkey.
Brought to life by co-owners Amir Chen and his wife Limor, the restaurant features free range turkey, carefully sourced from farms in East Anglia and seasonal vegetable dishes inspired by Eastern Mediterranean home cooking. Not only do they expect to use birds farmed only to the highest welfare standards to create the most mouth-watering Mediterranean delights, they also prove that this underused meat can be eaten and enjoyed whatever the occasion.
Much like Amir and Limor, I've been on a mission to revolutionize the way people consume marginalised meat such as turkey and game. Having hosted a "feathers" cooking demonstration at The Game Fair last year, alongside leading game chef, Jose Souto, I want to continue to show everyone how turkey can be cooked and prepared in a number of ways, as well as championing its health benefits.
So what are we waiting for? If we love turkey, we should eat turkey! And if you're looking for a fantastic place to enjoy some delicious turkey and you find yourself in East London, I promise you, you will not be disappointed. As for me, while I don't have enough hands on deck at my farm right now to produce my turkeys all year round, my New Year's resolution is to experiment with turkey as a staple ingredient no matter the season. It's not just for Christmas you know...