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Plan ahead so that buy­ing and cook­ing a fes­tive turkey will be a breeze. If you’re ca­ter­ing for a small group, con­sider get­ting a large chicken, a turkey crown or roll rather than a small turkey, which can be dif­fi­cult to find. While frozen birds are gen­er­ally bet­ter value, fresh usu­ally tastes nicer, es­pe­cially if you go for a free-range bird, such as a Kelly­bronze. Your lo­cal butcher should be able to ad­vise. Ask for a bird that’s free range, well-hung and dry-plucked. It will cost more, but will be worth every penny. Or­gan­ise col­lec­tion dates care­fully as a big bird will take up a lot of fridge space. When it comes to turkey weight, de­frost­ing and cook­ing times, visit british­turkey.co.uk for handy on­line charts that do the cal­cu­la­tions for you. How­ever, bear in mind that stuff­ing the bird cav­ity slows down cook­ing times, so con­sider cook­ing it sep­a­rately. Porce­lain plat­ter, £88; roast­ing dishes, from £46 each; all so­phiecon­ran.com. See p52 to get 20 per cent off the col­lec­tion

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