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Classic roast turkey
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Serves: 8, with leftovers
1 Waitrose Free Range Fresh Bronze Feathered Turkey (medium), about 4-6kg
2-3 fresh bay leaves
Zest of 1 lemon, then cut into quarters
1 onion, peeled and cut into quarters50g butter, melted
450g pack Waitrose Sausagemeat Stuffing (optional)
1 Preheat the oven to 190ºC, gas mark 5. Remove the turkey giblets. Season inside the turkey, tear the bay leaves in half and place inside the turkey’s main cavity with the lemon and onion quarters.
2 If you are stuffing the turkey, add the stuffing to the small neck cavity, rather than the larger main cavity. Pull the skin back over the neck and use a cocktail stick to secure the skin flap underneath the bird.
3 Transfer the turkey to a large roasting tin, breast-side up. Brush generously with the melted butter, season the skin and sprinkle over the lemon zest. Place a square of foil loosely over the turkey to protect the breast and legs. Roast in the preheated oven, for the calculated cooking time, basting with the juices every hour.
4 About 30-40 minutes before the end of the cooking time, remove the foil then return the turkey to the oven. Check it is thoroughly cooked by inserting a skewer into the thickest part of the breast and thighs – the juices should run clear and there should be no pink meat. If the juices are still pink, return to the oven for a further 15 minutes, then test again with a clean skewer.
5 Transfer the cooked turkey to a warmed serving dish, cover tightly with buttered foil and keep warm. Allow to rest in a warm place for at least 30 minutes (it will stay hot for up to an hour if tightly wrapped). Resting the turkey will allow the meat to relax and become firm, making it easier to carve and the meat more succulent. Serve with roast potatoes, vegetables and all the trimmings and, if you wish, garnish with fresh sprigs of rosemary and bay leaves.
Typical values per serving:
This recipe was first published in November 2017.