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Foolproof Roast Turkey
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Order your turkey from Waitrose as early as possible, the last day for ordering is Thursday 15 December. You can put in your request at waitrose.com, by telephone on 0800 169 2701 or at the customer order desk in store.
Make sure the turkey will fit in your oven before ordering it. A turkey of up to 7kg will generally fit into a standard main oven.
If the turkey comes with giblets, use them to make stock for the gravy.
If your fridge is too small to fit the turkey in, put it into a cardboard box with a couple of ice packs and keep in a cool, safe place such as a garage or shed.
If you're using a large bird, make sure the legs are not trussed too tightly or the cooking may take longer.
Any leftover turkey should be refrigerated and eaten within 2 days. If you're using it in a cooked dish, such as a curry, make sure it is thoroughly reheated, until piping hot.
Sizes and Times
To calculate cooking time, allow 45 minutes per kg. The following is a good guide to the size of bird you'll need:
2-2.8 kg - 5 servings
3-3.8 kg - 6 servings
4-4.4 kg - 8 servings
4.6-5.8 kg - 12 servings
6-6.8 kg - 14 servings
7-7.8 kg - 20 servings
If you buy a frozen turkey, defrost it completely in a cool room, or the fridge. It is completely defrosted when the cavity is free of ice crystals. The following is a guide to minimum defrosting times in a cool room. Double the time for defrosting in the fridge.
2-4 kg - 20 hours
4-5 kg - 22-24 hours
5-7 kg - 24-28 hours
8-9 kg - 40-48 hours
This recipe was first published in Thu Dec 01 00:00:00 GMT 2005.