Mike Tomkins' KellyBronze Turkey Recipe

Mike Tomkins' KellyBronze Turkey Recipe
KellyBronze turkeys are a unique breed of slow grown, free range birds. Three generations of The Kelly family have been breeding turkeys for over 50 years in Essex, resulting in birds that are incredibly high in quality and flavour. There’s no better way to make your Christmas the one than by investing in the best of the best for the ultimate Christmas meal.

High quality meat and cooking to temperature over time go hand-in-hand for achieving the best tasting food. We visited Paul Kelly at KellyBronze, with MasterChef finalist 2021, Mike Tomkins, to find out what makes their turkeys so unique and delicious. We were lucky enough to celebrate KellyBronze’s 50th Anniversary with Paul, where of course we gifted him a Thermapen as he is a big advocate of cooking his turkeys perfectly to temperature. 

Mike also guided us through the process of preparing and cooking a KellyBronze turkey to show how simple it is to create a beautifully juicy centrepiece this Christmas. 


Turkey usually needs to reach a temperature of 74°C to be safe to consume, and can be removed from the oven at around 67°C as the bird will continue to rise in temperature as it rests. Because of KellyBronze’s artisan process, their turkeys are very safe from food poisoning bugs, so they recommend cooking their turkeys to 60°C to allow it to rise to 65°C while it rests.

KellyBronze turkeys cook in half the time of a standard bird because of the presence of intramuscular fat, so they recommend beginning to probe the meat halfway through their estimated cooking times.

  • Whole KellyBronze turkey
  • 320 ml buttermilk per 1kg of turkey
  • 2 heaped tsp salt per 1kg of turkey
  • Bunch of tarragon
  • Bunch of thyme
  • Salted butter
What makes Kellybronze turkeys special?
  • Their unique bronze turkey breed is more flavoursome than the standard white feather breed now typically found on the market.
  • They are bred to maturity for seven months in a large woodland area. It is the only farm in the UK where the turkeys are allowed to roam.
  • They are plucked by hand (without the use of water) and hung using temperature controlled methods.
  • Paul believes that bringing turkeys into nature and growing them as intended massively affects the taste.
  • Each of Paul’s turkeys are supplied with a cooking thermometer. Paul is a huge advocate of cooking to temperature over time to optimise the unparalleled KellyBronze flavour.
  • On Christmas Eve morning, we’re going to spatchcock our turkey! Flip the bird onto its front (breast side down). Take some meat scissors and remove the spine of the bird – I always reserve this and use it for the gravy! If you don’t have scissors, take a sharp knife and carve down each side to remove the spine.
  • Combine the buttermilk and salt in a large mixing jug. Place the bird into a large sealable bag big enough to contain the whole turkey. Pour over the buttermilk salt mix. Using the bag, rub the buttermilk all over the turkey before sealing. Place a large plate underneath the bag and leave in the fridge overnight.
The next day
  • Preheat your oven to 220°C and remove the turkey from the bag and place it on a large chopping board – using a jay cloth, remove as much of the buttermilk as possible. Using your hands, separate the skin of the bird from the flesh of the breast meat and the legs. The skin is surprisingly tough and won’t break easily.
  • Finely chop tarragon and remove the thyme leaves from the stalks. Add your herbs to a large bowl followed by enough butter to spread under the skin of the turkey. Rub the herb butter evenly under the skin of the turkey.
  • Place the turkey directly on the rack of the oven, place a large pan under the turkey with your veg (and spine) if you’re making gravy – the juice of the bird will trickle down into the veg and you’ll have the most amazing sauce!
After 30 minutes
  • Drop your oven temp to 190°C. I think one of the biggest mistakes people make with turkey is cooking it to time! This is what gives you that dry turkey on Christmas day that needs to be drenched in gravy – that’s not the one! Using your Thermapen, probe the turkey all over. If you’re using a KellyBronze, you’re looking for a temp of 60°C before you remove it from the oven. If you’re using a different variation you’re looking for 67°C. Rest your turkey for at least 45 minutes before carving. The turkey will continue cooking, but will also reabsorb a large amount of moisture to guarantee that moist turkey to make this Christmas the one!
Products to help you achieve perfection
"Thermapen is one of those kitchen tools I can't live without – it's something I use every single day from making sauces, to bbq cooking, to private dining and events, it comes with me everywhere! A Thermapen will improve you as a chef and a cook by taking the guess work out of complex cooking."
Mike Tomkins
Masterchef 2021 Runner Up
Blog Search

Sign in


My Wishlist0

Your cart

There are no more items in your cart