- 1 turkey (about 6kg)
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 onions
- 1 carrot
- 100g unsalted butter (softened)
- Fresh parsley
- Fresh thyme
- 2 lemons
Remove the giblets the day before and put everything except the liver in a pan, along with the bay leaf, 1 onion, the carrot and a few sprigs of parsley and thyme. Add 700ml water and cover the pan. Simmer for 2 hours, skimming the surface occasionally. Strain, cool and refrigerate.
Also the day before, mix the butter with 1 tbsp each chopped parsley and thyme and the finely grated zest and juice of half a lemon. Season. Cover with cling film and chill. Remove from the fridge 1 hour before you prepare the turkey.
On the day, wipe the inside and outside of the turkey with damp kitchen paper. Prick the other lemon with a fork and put in the turkey cavity with a sprig of thyme and the other onion.
Carefully lift the skin around the neck so you can get your hand underneath, then rub half the herb butter between the skin and the flesh. Rub the rest over the skin.
Put the turkey in a roasting tin, breast-side up. Cover loosely with foil. Pre-heat the oven to 190C/170C Fan/Gas 5.
Calculate the cooking time, allowing 20 minutes per kg, plus 90 minutes. For birds up to 4kg cook for 20 minutes per kg, plus 70 minutes. Baste every hour. Remove the foil for the last 30 minutes to crisp the skin.
Test if the turkey is cooked by piercing the thickest part of the thigh and the breast with a skewer. If the juices run clear, it's cooked. If they are pink, return the turkey to the oven for another 20 minutes and keep checking until cooked.
Move the turkey to a platter, tilting the bird so that the juices in the cavity run out into the roasting pan. Cover with a double layer of foil, then with a tea towel wrung out in hot water. Leave to rest in a warm place for 30-60 minutes.
Pour off most of the fat from the roasting tin and make gravy using the giblet stock, or stock made with a stock cube.