Ten tips for cook­ing the fes­tive tur­key


1 Bring the re­frig­er­ated bird to room tem­per­a­ture for one to two hours be­fore cook­ing it, or overnight, cov­ered, in the garage.

2 Stuff only the neck end, us­ing a good sausage­meat force­meat.

3 Fill the cav­ity loosely with sea­son­ing, chunks of onion, le­mon wedges, fresh bay leaves, herb sprigs and a good slug of white wine be­fore clos­ing both ends with a skewer.

4 Care­fully loosen the breast and leg skin with a wooden spoon and push in

a savoury, spiced le­mon zest and herb but­ter to moisten the flesh as it cooks.

5 Make a trivet of chunky root veg­eta­bles, onions and giblets in the bot­tom of a heavy roast­ing tin to fit the tur­key.

6 Sea­son the bird all over and cover with streaky ba­con be­fore roast­ing.

7 Weigh the bird to de­ter­mine cook­ing time – 35 min­utes per kg in a pre-heated 170°C fan oven, loosely cov­ered with foil.

8 When the time has elapsed, re­move the foil and ba­con, and turn up the oven to full to fin­ish brown­ing for 15 – 20 min­utes.

9 Check the thick­est parts of the leg and the breast are cooked. Ei­ther look for above 72°C on a dig­i­tal ther­mome­ter probe or that the juices run clear when pierced (no pink­ness).

10 Rest the bird, cov­ered, some­where warm for 45 min­utes to keep the meat juicy.

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