Best-ever roast turkey
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- Large Extra Special British Free Range Corn Fed Bronze Turkey (typically 6.25kg)
- 100g butter or 100g flavoured butter (right), softened
- 3 large carrots, halved
- 2 celery sticks, halved
- 10 bay leaves, plus extra to garnish
- 25g bunch sage leaves, plus extra to garnish
- 15g bunch thyme
- 15g bunch rosemary sprigs
- 5 red onions, cut into wedges
- 2 bulbs garlic, halved or separated into cloves
- 100ml orange juice
- 50ml maple syrup
Calculate the cooking time for the turkey.
Gently lift the skin around the turkey’s neck so you can get your hands underneath–take care not to tear it. Rub ½ the butter between the skin and meat, then rub the rest all over the skin. Put in the fridge to rest for 30 mins to 1 hr. Take out of the fridge at least 30 mins before roasting to bring back to room temp.
Preheat the oven to 190C/170C Fan/Gas 5.
Arrange the carrots and celery in the centre of a large roasting tin and put the turkey on top. Stuff ½ the green herbs into the cavity and scatter the rest in the tin. Add the onion wedges and the garlic around the turkey. Pour over the orange juice, then cover the bird loosely with foil.
Roast for the calculated cooking time, minus 30 mins. Remove the foil, baste, and brush over the maple syrup.
Turn up the oven to 200C/180C Fan/Gas 6. Roast uncovered for the remaining 30 mins to crisp up the skin.
Test if the turkey is cooked by piercing the thickest part of the thigh with a skewer. If the juices run clear, it’s cooked. If they are pink, return to the oven for 15 mins, then check again. Repeat until cooked. Or test with a meat thermometer: stick the probe into the thickest part of the thigh – it should maintain a temp of 75C for 2 mins.
Once cooked, tilt the turkey to let any juices run out into the tin and reserve to make the gravy. Discard the celery and carrots.
Move the turkey to a platter. Cover with 2 fresh layers of foil and a tea towel, then rest in a warm place for 1 hr to 90 mins.
Garnish with the onion wedges, garlic and extra bay and sage leaves, then carve to serve.