- Preheat the oven to 190°C/170°C Fan/Gas 5. Remove the giblets from the turkey and set aside to make the stock for the gravy. Untie the string that trusses the bird – this enables the legs to fall away from the breast and the heat is able to permeate the bird better.
- Weigh the turkey and calculate the cooking time (see box above). A 5kg turkey needs 3 hours 10 minutes. Stuff the turkey with a few wedges of onion, lemon and some parsley and place in a large roasting tin with the remaining onion, lemon, parsley and bay leaves. Pour 500ml water into the roasting tin. Rub the turkey breast with butter and lay the bacon across it. Cover the turkey and the tin loosely with a large sheet of foil. Place in the oven and roast for 2 hours 40 minutes. Remove the foil and cook for a further 30-35 minutes.
- To check if the turkey is cooked, push a sharp knife into the fl esh between the thigh and the breast meat – the juices should run clear. If the juices are pink, return to the oven to cook for another 15-30 minutes.
- Remove the turkey from the oven and cover it in foil, seal well, cover with a tea towel, and rest for up to an hour. It retains its heat and the juices evenly distribute throughout the bird making it tastier and easier to carve. Meanwhile, roast the potatoes – see page 34
for our recipe for The Perfect Roast Potatoes. Around 10 minutes before you want to serve the turkey, place it on a large platter. Keep the juices and the remains of the onion, lemon and parsley in the roasting tin to make the gravy – see our recipe for Wine Gravy. Serve the turkey surrounded by the bacon rolls and roast potatoes, etc.
Whether you’re cooking a whole bird or a turkey crown, the time and method are:
Oven at 190°C/170°C Fan/Gas 5
For turkeys less than 4kg – roast for 20 minutes per kg plus another 70 minutes.
For turkeys over 4kg – roast for 20 minutes per kg plus another 90 minutes.