Ultimate roast turkey
- Extra Special Free Range Whole Corn Fed Bronze Turkey (Medium), giblets removed (use in gravy, p29)
- 3 lemons, halved
- 75g unsalted butter
- 2 shallots, peeled
- 3 small oranges, halved
- 16 rashers Extra Special Smoked Dry Cured Streaky Bacon
- 3tbsp maple syrup
- 1 red onion, halved, 1 head garlic, thyme sprigs, bay leaves and fresh cranberries, to garnish (optional)
Preheat the oven to 190C/170C Fan/Gas 5. Calculate the cooking time for the turkey (see top tip below).
Juice 1 of the lemons, reserving the juiced halves. Mix the juice with 50g of the butter and set aside. Fry the shallots in the remaining butter for 4 mins.
Put the turkey breast-side up in a roasting tin. Fill the cavity with the shallots, 2 of the lemon halves, 2 of the orange halves and the juiced halves. Secure the skin with a cocktail stick.
Lift the skin at the neck, rub some of the lemon butter on the meat and the rest on the skin and legs.
Arrange the bacon on top and cover loosely with foil.
Roast for the calculated cooking time. About 30 mins before the end, brush the syrup over the turkey. Add the rest of the lemon and orange halves to the tin, with the onion and garlic, if using.
Increase the temperature to 200C/180C Fan/Gas 6. Return the turkey to the oven and roast, uncovered, for the remaining cooking time. To test, pierce the thickest part of the thigh with a skewer – the juices should run clear. If they look pink, roast for another 15 mins and check again. Repeat until done.
Tilt the turkey to let any juices run into the tin and reserve them for the gravy. Transfer the bird to a serving platter, cover with foil and a tea towel, and rest for 30 mins. Garnish the platter, then serve.
TOP TIP: To calculate the cooking time for any turkey over 4kg, allow 20 mins per kg, plus 90 mins.