Always go for a free range, dry hung bird, preferably a Bronze. GO for the smaller sized bird. Avoid things like butterballs, and other frozen nasties! Waitrose seem to be the best value, though surprisingly, some Budgens outlets do free range bronze birds too! Make sure you have giblets, and make stock in advance and freeze it from any roast duck or chicken.
I used to a few years ago by my Turkey from a farm but now I have started to notice that Sainsbury's do a lovely turkey nearly half the price. It is just as good and I really recommend Sainsbury's to buy your Turkey from this Christmas. The Tesco Turkeys are not very nice I noticed at a friends house. Get them soon though becasue the same as last year will happen and they will run out in the shops before you can say hit me with a stick.
I Agree with Snappy these days the bird is consistant in most places. The best is the butterball frozen bird though. The butter feeds the otherwise dry meat leaving a juicy succulent taste. One year I was unable to buy a butterball and ended up stuffing butter just under the skin of the bird, this did work although it was a bit messy. Another tip for buying the Christmas bird is to buy it early, supermarkets tend to sell them at 1/2 price (Sainsbury's have been running this during the last week) prior to the final rush for the Christmas bird. As they keep in the freezer there is no reason not to buy it early and save a few pounds. Above all follow a good cooking recipe, give yourself plenty of time to prepare and cook and all of you will enjoy it.
I love my Christmas Dinner - Turkey, stuffing - pigs in blankets - the whole nine yards. But where to get the best Turkey never really comes into my mind. These days there is such a plentiful variety of birds available and whether you buy it fre range, from the local supermarket, a high class butcher or at the farm door, quality is always good. I've had so many Christmas Dinners out before the 'big day' usually that I can be 'all-turkeyed-out' by the time December 25th comes around, but I can honestly say the amount of poor Turkey diners I've had can be counted on the fingers of one hand. And ALL of them have been in restaurants or at Functions. Often poor, rushed catering will mean that your Turkey will be no more than hastily prepared 'turkey roll slices' ugghh. If you are doing it yourselves, as families the length and breast (and wing and parsons nose?) of the land will be doing, there is so much to do, to think about and to look forward too, there is universal priase for the Xmas Dinner by all at the table - if only to get back to the telly or the presents! So take my advice, don't pay over the odds for your Turkey, buy it with confidence at your local supermarket - it will be excellent. And for those of you 'organic freaks' out there.....why - can you REALLY taste the difference? The main difference will be in your pocket, not on your tastebuds!