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
Preheat your oven to 210°C for fan assisted or 230°C for ovens
without a fan (gas 8).
Choose a large, heavy-based roasting tray, ideally with deep
sides and handles for easy movement.
Soften 150g of butter with the zest of a lemon, sea salt, thyme
leaves and a splash of olive oil.
Gently lift the skin away from the breast meat, starting at the
cavity and then carefully push the softened butter between the skin
Next, cut an onion in two and place it with the rindless lemon
into the cavity with some fresh sage.
Place the turkey on a wire trivet, then pour 300ml of water
onto the base of the tray.
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.
Remove the foil for the final 20 minutes or so to crisp the
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.
Carefully remove the trivet with the turkey onto a large tray
and keep warm by covering with a sheet of foil.
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.
Skim any fat that rises to surface and then thicken with a
little corn flour mixed with some cold water.