Turkey Crackling and Plucking

Everybody talks of pork crackling but what about turkey crackling?

I think this is one of my favourite parts of a roasted Barra Bronze. I think the crispy skin complements the rich gravy and meat beautifully.

But how do we achieve this?

Well, we take the extra effort to hand pluck each of our turkeys. This ensures that the outer skin is kept intact and it holds the juices in when you come to cook the bird. However, this outer skin is delightfully rich and crispy.

Turkeys are usually wet plucked with a chemical to remove the feathers. This is a really efficient process and the carcass looks immaculate. However, the outer skin is removed, therefore when the bird is cooked it will dry out and you do not get that crispy skin.

Turkey plucking is a really tough job. It drives me a little bit mad throughout November and December. I can confess that when I shut my eyes at night I can see the little bronze feathers everywhere. I continually dream of turkey feathers throughout November and December. Nevertheless, I have never run down the main street of our town gobbling throughout the night in a fit of madness.

Turkey plucking is really repetitive and physically tiring but I think it is well worth the extra effort!


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Craig Michie

Based at Lochend of Barra, Inverurie, Craig Michie left a job as a town planner in 2009 and travelled around South America where he met his Columbian wife Maria. The couple returned to Scotland and the century-old family farm to create Barra Bronzes which was named winner in the ‘Judge’s Choice category, runner-up for ‘Best New Retail Product (businesses with up to 25 employees),’ and was named as highly commended in the ‘Best Young Business’ category at the Grampian Food Forum Innovation Awards 2016. In 2021, Craig won the UK Poultry Farmer of the Year award.

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