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.