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Method1. Remove the turkey from the fridge 2-3 hours before you want to cook it, to allow it to reach room temperature.
2. Preheat the oven to 180C/gas 4 (if oven is fan assisted, use 160C).
3. Place the onion and herbs into the body cavity. Squeeze the juice of lemon or orange over the bird and put the fruit into the cavity. Season the cavity with salt and pepper.
4. Smear the turkey skin with butter and then season with salt and pepper, starting with breast side up. Then flip the turkey and repeat on the underside.
5. In a large roasting pan, place the turkey ready to roast breast side down. This allows fat to trickle from the back down to the breast to keep it moist.
6. Roast the turkey upside down for the first 2 hours (or, slightly less for the smaller bird).
7. Remove the turkey from the oven. Now, turn the turkey right side up for the remaining cooking time (30 – 45 minutes). Protect your hands with thick towel or clean Marigolds. (You can wrap these in plastic bags to keep them clean.) Hold the drumsticks to turn the turkey.
8. Return turkey to oven for 30 – 45 minutes or until the juices run clear when a skewer is inserted. If the juices are pink, return the turkey to the oven and check again in 10 minutes. You don’t need to overcook the turkey as the internal temperature of the meat will continue to rise as the turkey rests. A dry turkey is often just overcooked!
9. Remove turkey from the oven. Tent with foil and allow to rest for 30 – 60 minutes so the juices settle into the meat.
10. Carve the turkey into the pan juices to keep moist. Or use the juices to make gravy.
11. For the gravy: To make the stock, boil the giblets, neck, vegetables and bouquet garni.
12. Add enough flour to the roasting pan to absorb the fat and drippings and make a paste. Add a small glass of wine to the pan and make sure to scrape up all the drippings - all the flavour is in the bottom of the pan. Transfer to a saucepan.
13. Add about 500 ml stock to the saucepan with the bouquet garni and bring to the boil, then simmer until the gravy is reduced. You may need to add more stock if the liquid is too thick.
14. Season to taste, remove the bouquet garni and serve alongside the turkey in a gravy boat.
- 1 5 -7 kg turkey
- 1 onion, peeled and halved
- 1 bunch of sage, thyme and rosemary
- 25 g butter, softened
- 1/2 lemon or orange
For the gravy