IF you want to eat like a king this Christmas you might want a KellyBronze turkey on the table.

The royal family joined the customer list in 1990 and Jamie Oliver describes them as the ‘best of the best’.

Bronze turkeys were brought to Europe from Mexico in the 16th century but were phased out in the 1950s and 60s when the bird’s black feather stubs were deemed unsightly.

But they saw a resurgence in the 1980s when the Kelly family gathered together the last remaining bronze breeding stock – just 300 birds.

Now 33,000 award-winning KellyBronze turkeys are sold in the UK in the festive season and you can buy them from Crouchley Hall Farm in Lymm.

The birds are all free-range, reared slowly to maturity, then dry plucked and hung to give an old-fashioned turkey taste.

Paul McAvoy, Crouchley Hall Farm, offered the following tips for how to create the perfect Christmas dinner with a KellyBronze.

THERE is a tendency for people to be afraid of cooking a turkey.

They have memories of mother getting up in the middle of the night to start roasting the beast, and hours and hours later being presented with something dry and tasteless by stressed and frazzled parents.

It doesn’t have to be like that. Here at Crouchley Hall Farm in Lymm we rear KellyBronze turkeys that will give you a tremendous head start in your quest for the perfect Christmas Dinner.

Our turkeys have been selected and bred to grow slowly outdoors and to have excellent flavour.

It will have lived free range for six months until it’s mature and ready for the table.

Then it will have been hand plucked and hung for a fortnight to ensure it’s ready to be the centre piece of your Christmas feast.

Once you get the bird home from the farm, remove your turkey and giblets out of the box, place them on a tray and put everything in the fridge.

If you don’t have space to refrigerate it all, keep the giblets in the fridge and store the turkey, in its box, in the coolest place possible – usually the garage.

Take it out of the fridge first thing on Christmas morning or at least two hours before you're going to cook it.

Remember to pre-heat your oven to 180C (fan 160C). Then place it breast down in a large roasting tin.

Cooking it upside down like this will keep the breast meat moist because the fat on the back of the bird trickles through to the breast.

Add salt and pepper to the back of the turkey and half a litre of water in the roasting tin.

Don't stuff the bird – it slows down the cooking time – so cook your stuffing separately. Put the turkey in the oven without covering it in foil, as adding foil at any stage will steam the skin and poach the meat.

Turn the turkey over half way through by holding the drumsticks with oven gloves. Then season the breast with salt and pepper before putting it back in the oven.

Check its temperature 30 minutes before the end of the cooking time (using meat thermometer supplied) half way through the thickest part of the breast.

When the needle hits 65C it's done. If it's not up to temperature, place back in the oven and check every 10 mins until it’s ready, then take it out of the oven and leave for at least 30 minutes before you carve it.

This resting time is really important as it allows the juices to settle back into the meat. Don't be tempted to cover it either, as the heat in the bird would steam it.

While the bird’s resting, there’s plenty of time to finish off the vegetables and make the gravy. Just skim any excess fat from the top of the stock and scrape in all the delicious sticky bits off the bottom of the roasting tin. Then re-heat the stock in a pan.

-You can order a KellyBronze turkey until Wednesday, December 17, for collection on December 23 or 24. Visit crouchleyhallfarm.com or call Paul on 07729 609800.