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Method

  1. On the day of roasting remove your bird from the packaging, pat dry and bring to room temperature. Make a note of the weight from the label.
  2. Preheat your oven to 210°C for fan assisted or 230°C for ovens without a fan (gas 8).
  3. Choose a large, heavy-based roasting tray, ideally with deep sides and handles for easy movement.
  4. Soften 150g of butter with the zest of a lemon, sea salt, thyme leaves and a splash of olive oil.
  5. Gently lift the skin away from the breast meat, starting at the cavity and then carefully push the softened butter between the skin and flesh.
  6. Next, cut an onion in two and place it with the rindless lemon into the cavity with some fresh sage.
  7. Place the turkey on a wire trivet, then pour 300ml of water onto the base of the tray.
  8. Cover the turkey with foil then place the tray in the oven and roast for 30 minutes, then reduce the heat to 160°C fan assisted or 180°C without a fan (gas 4) and continue to roast for an additional 35 minutes per kilo.
  9. Remove the foil for the final 20 minutes or so to crisp the skin.
  10. To check the turkey is cooked, pierce the skin between the thigh and breast and push a skewer into the flesh close to the bone, the juices should run clear.
  11. Carefully remove the trivet with the turkey onto a large tray and keep warm by covering with a sheet of foil.
  12. For the gravy, pour the roasting juices into a clean pan then sauté the giblets in the roasting tray with the onion & sage from the roasted bird. Add 500ml of light poultry stock plus the roasting juices and deglaze the roasting tray, stirring in all the caramelized juices from the tray, then bring to the boil.
  13. Skim any fat that rises to surface and then thicken with a little corn flour mixed with some cold water.
  14. Pass through a fine sieve ready to serve.