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How to Pluck A Turkey

[Editor’s note: Not sure where your supermarket turkey has come from? Want to go really organic? If you want to ensure your Christmas dinner is really fresh, then what better way than to rear your own turkey? Obviously you’ve left it a bit late now to rear a turkey for next week, but assuming you’re staying on or near a farm, and suspect bird plucking duties might fall to you, here’s how. Our top tips this week come from our fashion editor Alice’s mum, who’s grew up on a farm and kindly agreed to be the turkey oracle. Many thanks Mrs Cuffe!]

“First you need two people to catch the turkey, which is fairly straightforward, as they’re quite stupid creatures. One of you needs to hold the turkey by the legs, while the other should grab the wings - that’s happened to me before, and believe me, you don’t want to get caught on the wrong end of a turkey’s wing.

"While one of you is holding the wings tightly, one of you needs to wring the bird’s neck, or cut its throat (I used to go for the former as it’s cleaner!).

"And then you can start plucking. Cut the wings off first – we used to keep them to use in nativity plays or as dusters. Then you can scold the turkey first in hot water, which makes it easier to pluck (some people prefer to pluck the turkey dry, which is what I used to do, simply because that’s what my mother used to do). Once you're ready you need to sit down with a chair, preferably in a barn, and a sack to catch the feathers in, and start to pluck! The larger feathers are the hardest ones to get off – you sometimes need feathers, or I used to just scorch them off!”

Erm, so there we have it – possibly the most useful advice you will receive all Christmas - non? Once you've got your feather-free turkey ready for Christmas dinner, what will you wear to be a domestic goddess in the kitchen? Here's our suggestion below. WARNING: do not wear to pluck actual turkey.

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