The classic roast turkey


Prepare ahead:
Make your chosen stuffing

To prepare your turkey :
have your chosen stuffing ready
4.5-6.5kg/10-12lb turkey, thawed if frozen, giblets removed
1 lemon, quartered
50g/2oz butter, at room temperature
20 cocktail sausages
10 rashers streaky bacon
sage and parsley sprigs, to garnish


On the day :

1. Preheat the oven to 190/375F/Gas 5. Wash the turkey inside and out and dry well with kitchen paper.

2. Put the lemon quarters into the cavity. If you are stuffing the turkey, put the stuffing in the neck end pushing it upwards towards the breast (dont pull the neck skin too tightly, as the stuffing will expand during cooking). Secure the skin with wooden or metal skewers crossways, then tie the turkey legs together at the top of the drumsticks for a good shape. Weigh the turkey and calculate the cooking time at 18 minutes per 450g/1lb.

3. Grease a large roasting tin with a little of the butter. Smear the rest over the turkey skin and season well, then put in the tin. Loosley cover with foil and roast for the calculated time. Meanwhile, halve the bacon rashers, stretch slightly and wrap half around each sausage

4. Baste the turkey every hour. One hour before the end of cooking, remove the foil and drain off the excess fat. 30 minutes before the end of cooking, put the sausages around the turkey (if room) or in a separate lightly oiled tin.

5. To test whether the turkey is cooked, insert a skewer into the thickest part of the thigh - the juices should run clear. If they are pinkish, cook for 15 minutes more, then test again. Transfer the turkey and sausages and sausages to a platter, tightly cover with foil and allow to rest for up to 30 minutes before carving. Serve surrounded by vegetables and stuffing balls and garnished with sage and parsley.