Review and giveaway: Copas Traditional Turkeys

Copas Turkey Collage

Normally I try not to start thinking about Christmas until at least the first of December. Yes, I know the decorations are already up in our shopping centres and our social media timelines are chock full of festive cheer, but it just seems wrong to be talking about Christmas until the first door of the Advent calendar has been peeled open.

Which is why it felt very strange to be roasting a turkey in November for this review. But at the end of the day, it’s really only a rather large relative of the chicken, so why consign it to just a couple of days in December? Our friends in the States will be consuming vast amounts of turkey this week after all to celebrate Thanksgiving.

Copas Traditional Turkeys is a small family business that has been producing free range, hand-plucked and game-hung turkeys just for Christmas for the last half a century. Based in the beautiful Berkshire countryside, Copas has a reputation for combining centuries old production methods with state-of-the-art facilities, as well as taking their time for a superior taste.

copas_turkey3

All too often turkeys are deemed ‘ready’ when they reach the popular weight categories, rather than on their age. The industry standard is around two months old, whereas Copas turkeys are five to seven months old when their countryside rambles come to an end. According to Tom and Brenda Copas this is why their turkeys have denser meat and superior fat cover. It also means Copas turkeys don’t need to be basted, buttered or covered with bacon to retain their succulence.

As the turkeys are dry plucked (apparently a very time-consuming and labour intensive affair), they are kept dry and can therefore be hung like other game birds. Copas turkeys are hung for two weeks, which is said to give them a more intense depth of flavour.

Having read all this, you can see why I was up for putting a Copas turkey to the test, even if it is still November! And I can confirm that all the Copas family claims about their turkeys are spot on. Very often I avoid turkey as it can be such a bland, uninteresting meat, but this turkey was absolutely packed full of flavour, quite gamey in taste in fact. I slow-roasted our bird in the Aga overnight, which meant it was beautifully moist and made preparing the rest of the meal the next day nice and easy. Tips on slow-roasting in the Aga are below, along with my recipes for spiced bread sauce, Marsala and redcurrant gravy and Brenda Copas’ turkey stock.

Check out the Copas Turkeys online shop at www.copasturkeys.co.uk – as well as whole turkeys, you’ll also find crowns, stuffed breast rolls and crowns, as well as luxury hampers, cheeses, cooked meats and accompaniments.

Copas’ smallest sized bronze turkey (4kg) kept our family of four in meals for a few days, and at £89 it might sound on the pricey side but I’d say it was worth every penny.

Enter the giveaway

If you’d like to win yourself a delicious 6kg free range bronze turkey from Copas (worth £110) as the centrepiece for a Christmas lunch to remember, simply click on the link below to enter via Rafflecopter and leave a comment below say why you’d like to try a Copas turkey. This giveaway is open to people with a UK postal address only and runs until Tuesday 15 December 2015. The lucky winner’s turkey will be delivered on Tuesday 22 December.

Rafflecopter

And now time for some recipes…

copas_turkey4

Aga slow roast turkey

Season the turkey, before lifting into a large roasting pan. (As Copas turkeys have a higher fat content than most other turkeys, they don’t need to be buttered.) Leave untrussed and cover loosely with foil.

Place the turkey in the Roasting Oven for 20 minutes, then transfer to the Simmering Oven – on the grid shelf on the floor.

Timings

3.6-4.5kg (8-10lb) about 8-10 hours
5-7.25kg (11-16lb) about  9-12 hours
7.5-10kg (17-22lb) about 10-14 hours

To check whether the turkey is cooked, pierce the thickest part of the thigh with a skewer and if the juices run clear, then the turkey is done. If they are tinged with pink, then cook for a little longer. For piece of mind, use a meat thermometer.

You can cook your turkey a little ahead of time; keep it covered in a cool place. Uncover and return to the Roasting Oven for 30 minutes before serving to reheat and crisp up.

Spiced bread sauce

a knob of butter
1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
½ tsp ground allspice
1 star anise
¾ pint milk
splash of double cream
100g white breadcrumbs
salt and pepper

Melt the butter in a saucepan and fry the onion gently for about 10 minutes until soft and golden.

Add the spices and cook for another minute before stirring in the milk and cream. When the milk starts to boil, remove from the heat and stir in the breadcrumbs. Season to taste.

Keep warm until required.

Brenda Copas’ turkey stock

turkey giblets
1 stick of celery, roughly chopped
1 onion, peeled and quartered
1 carrot, peeled and halved
1 bay leaf
a sprig of rosemary
6 peppercorns
salt

Remove the giblets from the bag supplied with your turkey and wash thoroughly under running cold water.

Place all the ingredients in a large pan, cover with water and bring to the boil. Simmer for 2 hours, then strain.

Cool and store in the fridge overnight or use straightaway to make gravy or soup.

Marsala and redcurrant gravy

1 tbsp cornflour
a decent glug of Marsala wine (port or red wine are also good)
500ml turkey stock
1 tbsp redcurrant jelly (or cranberry sauce)

Once the turkey is cooked and resting, scoop off the fat from the liquid in the roasting pan and stir the cornflour into the remaining meat juices.

Place the roasting pan on the hob over a medium heat and pour in the Marsala. Stir well to deglaze the pan, then pour in the stock. Simmer for 5 to 10 minutes to thicken, then stir in the redcurrant jelly.

Strain into a gravy boat and keep warm until required.

Disclosure: we were supplied with a complimentary Copas turkey for review purposes. As always all views expressed are mine – and my family’s.

113 thoughts on “Review and giveaway: Copas Traditional Turkeys

  1. I’m just starting my own food blog (about to go live soon) but have worked in print for many years and for that I have to think about Christmas by July at the latest and have done it as early as Easter. Can also vouch for Coppas turkeys fabulous quality.

  2. I have heard of Coppas turkeys before but never been fortunate enough to cook one, This Christmas would be the perfect time to do this as we have family visiting for the first time from Canada and would love to serve the best to them

  3. I’d love to try a Copas turkey as I believe it would taste as fantastic as the ones my Mum used to cook many years ago when turkeys would all be farmed in the way Copas farm.
    Your photos make it look absolutely delicious!

  4. We always have a bronze turkey but normally from Waitrose so would love to compare the flavour from a Coppas turkey 🙂

  5. I would donate it to the local Salvation Army so they can help feed the homeless a nice hot meal on Christmas day 🙂 This turkey would help many and be a tasty treat

  6. Much as I would love to try a Copas turkey and imagine it would be delicious, this would be a bit big for my family so if I won I would like to donate it to a local project offering Christmas meals for those in need.

  7. I envy those many people who walk out of my local high-class butcher every Xmas Eve, carrying their smart Copas Turkey box looking content and happy.

  8. as Copas have got a good reputation, we all love turkey in our household so it would be a great opportunity to try the taste ourselves

  9. It sounds like these turkeys are of very good quality and raised with high exacting standards, which is why I’d like to try one.

  10. We actually haven’t had turkey for many years. There is almost so much leftover, so we usually just have chicken, gammon or duck. However this year we have a big lineup of 15 people coming for dinner, so I think a turkey would be appropriate, so I will try to win one before I buy one!

  11. My friend rosemary swears by these turkeys…I have to admit I have never tried them…but would love to. Thanks for fab comp and blog

  12. I’d love to try Copas turkey as I’ve heard it’s wonderful but had never had a chance to try it. I would feel a spoilt girl if I won one so that I can spoil my family too.

  13. 1) The review above has me drooling.
    2) My son, daughter-in-law and grandsons are with us for Christmas dinner. He, having being under-chef (washing dishes and peeling veg. we reckon!) at Scruffy Murphys in Nottingham while at uni. now considers himself a master chef, and damns my efforts with faint praise. A succulent Copas turkey would shut him up.
    3) I always hope my hubby can win one in his golf club’s turkey trot comp. but alas we’ve drawn a blank yet again so a Copas bird would find a loving home with us.

  14. This would be amazing, every year my Mother In Law defrost a frozen turkey and tells father in law that it’s a fresh one – and he always swears by fresh turkeys as they are so good!!! Would love to try this difference and see for myself this year. Many thanks.

  15. I would love a nice fresh turkey, but alas with the price I’m afraid it’s frozen for us. Unless I’m lucky 🙂

  16. I would love to try a beautiful fresh turkey rather than one that you buy from a supermarket, and as Copas have such a great reputation I would especially love to try one of theirs.

  17. We rarely eat meat and it has to be free-range and from a farm where the standards of animal welfare are high. These Copas turkey sounds just right for us and I hope we will be lucky!

  18. Copas Turkeys are farmed in a responsible and ethical way. I only eat ethically produced meats, so I’d love to try one of these!

  19. I have only ever had a frozen turkey or a turkey crown. Would love to win this as not only does it look the part but Im sure it tastes great as well

  20. I would love to try a Copas Traditional Turkey because when I was young my parents had a friend who had a farm with turkeys – it actually sounds very similar to Copas 🙂 and every year he used to give us an amazing, free-range bird. That no longer happens, so I would love to have a Copas turkey to take me back to my youth and experience that wonderful taste that only comes from the way they produce them!

  21. Would love to try a Copas turkey, because you know that they have been well treated and that would make all the difference with the flavours

  22. We’ve only ever been able to afford cheap turkeys, so to be able to try a top of the range turkery would be a delicious experience.

  23. It’s my first christmas in my new house (that I bought this summer), I am having people over for Christmas and still recovering financially from buying a house alone (still not sure how I did it!! I have been living on beans on toast!) It would be lovely if I could cook a really nice meal for my family to show them how much I appreciate all their help with the move (and assisting me with the deposit etc) this summer. I feel like Christmas is a perfect time to say thank you and a good home cooked meal is always a great way to say thank you!

  24. It’s my first christmas in my new house (that I bought this summer), I am having people over for Christmas and still recovering financially from buying a house alone (still not sure how I did it!! I have been living on beans on toast!) It would be lovely if I could cook a really nice meal for my family to show them how much I appreciate all their help with the move (and assisting me with the deposit etc) this summer. I feel like Christmas is a perfect time to say thank you and a good home cooked meal is always a great way to say thank you!

  25. As a Child we lived down the road from the Copas Farm ( mum even worked there as a teenager in the 1950s – helping out at Christmas and earning pocket money ). I remember dad driving us in our cortina to pick up our turkey just before Christmas and the birds seemed so huge ! They were defiantly yummy even then and i would like to relive that experience with my own family and friends.

  26. I would like to try a Copas turkey this Christmas because I usually get a supermarket one and wonder if my family would notice the difference.

  27. I’ve never heard of a Coppas turkey before but just looking at them they look lovely and so appetising. I would love to try one.

  28. I’ve never heard of Coppas turkey before but it looks lovely and what a proper turkey should look like (what I imagine it would anyway!!) I hope I’m lucky enough to win.

  29. Every Year I say I want to get a turkey and every year we end up with a turkey crown – I have NEVER had a Turkey at Christmas :O Coppas Turkey’s look amazing so would love to start with the best 🙂

  30. Ive heard the turkeys are amazing! also im 23 weeks pregnant so this would be so helpful not having to go out and buy a turkey x

  31. All the reasons you said make me want to try a Copas turkey but I particularly like ‘Copas turkeys are hung for two weeks, which is said to give them a more intense depth of flavour’ as that is what I want from y turkey at Christmas.

  32. I love supporting a small business rather than the big ‘players’. Also a smaller company usually means better quality and more attention has gone into them.

  33. Copas are known for their fantastic quality and service, so I’m chomping at the bit to sample the wonderful produce 🙂

  34. I would like to try a Copas turkey this Christmas because I have read such great reviews of them. Also I like the idea of free range – the way they should be kept.

  35. I would love to win a Copas turkey as that would make a delicious and different Christmas dinner for us as we normally have beef

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