The pre Christmas queue for our turkeys has become a legend in itself! I’ve heard people joke that they don’t want the queue to move too quickly as they want to have time for a chat!
We start taking Christmas orders in November.
Our turkeys come from Patrick Lambert’s farm, near Thame. Patrick has been rearing turkeys for over 30 years – and was recently joined in the business by his son, Mike.
They believe that the secret to success is slow-rearing, the traditional way. Welfare is at the top of their agenda. The birds enjoy a natural vegetable diet – and are constantly monitored to ensure that they are healthy and contented. Before reaching your table, your turkey will have been hung for 10 days, to enhance its flavour, then dry-plucked and hand-finished, ready to pop in the oven. There’s a timer and cooking instructions, too, so it couldn’t be easier! You won’t find a tastier or more succulent turkey anywhere!
The people at the Great Taste Awards clearly agree. Patrick’s Free Range Bronze Turkey and Barn Reared White Turkey have each won the coveted 2 Star Bronze Award (this is the highest accolade ever awarded to a fresh, whole turkey). No wonder our customers keep coming back every year for more of these exceptional Christmas and Thanksgiving turkeys.
As you would imagine, Christmas is an incredibly busy time for us and we love it! We’re open from 7 am until 7 pm for three or four days at Christmas. By 1 pm on Christmas Eve, the last turkey has gone and it gives us the chance to go for a beer. That’s when Christmas really starts for us.
We stock two types of chickens Barn reared from Suffolk and Free range (as the flavour is far superior ) from Pot Ash Farm in Tring Hertfordshire. As with turkeys, we’ve always opted for slower growing breeds for quality and taste. We’re not interested in the fast-growing strains of birds that are intensively reared indoors. Our chickens are reared outdoors in small groups on English pastures. Obviously, they cost more to produce but for us, quality comes first and foremost.
Chicken is such a versatile meat. One top piece of advice – never throw the bones away but use them to make stock. We waste so much food in this country but people are finally waking up to the fact that you can make great meals out of leftovers. If our customers ask us for chicken bones we don’t charge for them but we do ask for a donation to the air ambulance service. We’re proud to have raised thousands over the years thanks to our customers.
‘The guys at Machin’s are all so helpful and knowledgeable. If you are unsure of which types/cuts of meat to use for recipes, they can always recommend the best option.’