You will have a marvellous turkey feast if you follow our recipe below.
- Remove your turkey from the fridge and take off the packaging at least one hour before cooking.2. Place the turkey – breast facing upwards – into a roasting tin. Put the oven on at gas mark 7/220°C. Slice an onion into four to six pieces and place some into the body cavity. Cut up two to four pieces of orange or clementine and place into the cavity along with some thyme, rosemary and/or bay, and add a couple of cloves of garlic.
3. Dust the turkey with salt and pepper – scatter salt liberally as it makes the skin crispy, then massage it in thoroughly. Place the remaining onion and some rosemary around the turkey. Turn the bird over so its breast is facing down. (The thick layer of fat on its back seeps down and bastes the turkey’s breasts as it heats.) Rub the salt and pepper in again. Any feather stubs on hand-plucked birds burn off when cooked.
4. Roast for 20 minutes to half an hour, until bronzed.
5. Reduce the oven to gas mark 3/170°C and cook as follows: • Four kg: 2 hours • Five kg: 2 ½ hours • Six kg: 3 hours • Seven kg: 3 ½ hours • Eight kg: 4 hours • Nine kg: 4 ½ hours.
6. Trust your good judgement. Ovens can differ. If the turkey appears done before the assigned time, do a pierce test. Stick the tip of a knife into the leg’s fattest part. If the juices are clear, it’s done.
7. Carefully brown the breast by flipping the bird over. Raise the heat back up to gas mark 7/220°C and roast for 20 minutes, or until the breast is golden.
8. Let the turkey (and yourself) rest for at least an hour before you carve it.
You might use a Lincat LMR9 medium duty 6 burner gas range oven from 247cateringsupplies.co.uk/catering-appliances/commercial-ovens-and-ranges/combination-ovens.
For facts and figures about turkeys, see here: http://www.britishturkey.co.uk/facts-and-figures/christmas-stats-and-traditions.html.
What to Accessorise With
For a proper Christmas feast, you need all the trimmings: try roast potatoes, parsnips with a balsamic glaze, fried red cabbage with spices and roasted carrots in honey and mustard. Home-made bread and cranberry sauces are also Christmas treats.