If you're in charge of the cooking this Christmas, don't worry! This mouth-watering roast turkey recipe will be your family and friend's new Christmas favourite!
Turkey 125g (4oz) butter, softened 250g (8oz) streaky bacon rashers Salt and pepper
Gravy - 30g (1oz) plain flour 600ml (1 pint chicken/turkey stock) Salt and pepper
1. Place some stuffing into the neck cavity and secure the loose skin with skewers. Put the remaining stuffing into an ovenproof dish and cook separately. Never put stuffing into the cavity of the turkey, it slows down the cooking of the bird.
2. Weigh the turkey and calculate the cooking time. Allow 20 minutes per 500g (1 lb) and an extra 30 minutes standing time. So for a 5kg (10 lb) turkey allow 4 hours cooking and standing time. Allow the bird to reach room temperature before cooking.
3. Arrange 2 large sheets of foil across your roasting tin in a cross. Place the turkey on top and spread the butter thickly over the breast and legs. Season with salt and pepper and overlap the bacon slices over the breast and legs. Fold the sheets of foil loosely over the turkey, leaving space between the bird and the foil.
4. Cook the turkey in a preheated oven at 220°C (425°F, Gas 7) for 30 minutes.
5. Reduce the heat to 160°C (325°F, Gas 3) for remaining cooking time.
6. 30 minutes before the end of the cooking time fold back the foil, remove the bacon and keep warm. Baste with the cooking juices and allow the breast to brown.
7. Pierce the thickest part of the thigh with a skewer. The juices will run clear when the turkey is cooked. Lift onto a warm serving plate, cover lightly with foil and allow to stand for at least 30 minutes before carving.
8. While the turkey is standing you can make the gravy. Spoon the fat from the roasting pan leaving behind about 2 tbsp fat and the cooking juices. Stir in the flour. Place the roasting pan over a low heat and cook for a minute, stirring continuously. Add the stock, and cook, stirring, until thickened. Season and strain into a gravy jug. You can substitute some wine or cider for some of the stock.
If you are cooking a turkey crown allow 20 minutes per 500g (1 lb) and resting time. Cover the roasting tin with foil as above and add some stock to the roasting pan instead of covering the bird with butter and bacon. Roast at 190°C (375°F, Gas 5) and fold back the foil after 20 minutes cooking time, baste with the juices and allow the crown to brown.
Make the gravy as above using 1 tsp plain flour and 300ml (½ pint) chicken/turkey stock.