1. Pre heat the oven to 220 C/425 F/ Gas Mark 7
2. Place two large sheets of foil across the roasting tin, one lengthways and one width ways
3. Place the turkey on its breast in the centre of the foil & loosely wrap the turkey in a parcel, allowing plenty of space between the flesh & foil.
4. Place the turkey in the hot oven and cook for 30 – 60 minutes (depending on size) before reducing the heat to 190 C/375F / Gas Mark 5.
5. About 30 minutes before the end of cooking (see table below) open the foil & carefully turn the bird onto its back to brown the breast.
6. To check if your turkey is fully cooked, pierce the thickest part with a skewer. If the juices run golden & clear it is ready, but if they run pink continue cooking. Pop up timers are a useful guide but you should still use the skewer test.
7. Transfer the turkey to a large plate & allow to rest for 30 – 50 minutes before carving. Don't worry about the turkey going cold; it will retain it's heat and is an important step to help tenderise the meat.
*Remember the oven ready weight refers to the stuffed prepared bird.
To ensure your bird is at its best on Christmas Day please follow these simple steps:
Remove the bird from its packaging.
Take out the giblets & keep these in a covered bowl in the fridge. (Giblets make amazing gravy, try Grandma Lindsells recipe).
Place the turkey on a tray, cover loosely with foil and store in the bottom of your fridge.
If the turkey is too big for your fridge, leave it in the box with the lid open & store in a cool place, out of reach of animals and children.
Remove your turkey from the fridge 2 hours before cooking so it is at room temperature for stuffing.
To stuff your bird, loosen the skin with your hands & pack the stuffing into the neck end, pushing it up between the flesh & the skin towards the breast (not too tightly).
Press it in gently to make a rounded end then tuck the neck flap under the birds back & secure with a skewer.
Any remaining stuffing may to put into the body cavity or a large Bramley apple or peeled onion may be placed in the body cavity.
Rub butter over the turkey, season with salt & pepper & lay streaky bacon over the breast (optional).
Grandma's Giblet Gravy
1 set of giblets
1 small onion
900ml cold water
2 level tbsp. plain flour
Salt and pepper
The giblet stock can be made the day before it is required. Rinse the giblets in cold water. Place in saucepan with the onion & bay leaf, cover with water and bring to simmering point. Remove the scum & simmer the giblets very gently for 2 hours. Strain the stock & when cool, store in the fridge until required.
Drain the fat from the tin in which the turkey has been roasted, carefully saving the dark juices. Sieve the flour into the juices & stir over a low heat. When all the flour has been absorbed, add the giblet stock slowly & whisk until the gravy is smooth. Bring the gravy to boiling point & season with salt and pepper. Simmer the gravy for a couple of minutes & transfer to a warm jug.