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    Nigella Lawson's Roast Turkey

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    Nigella Lawson's Roast Turkey


    • 1 turkey
    • Butter or goose fat


    1. Remove the giblets as soon as you get the bird home. Before you put the bird in the fridge, wash it inside with cold water, drain and blot dry with kitchen towels.
    2. It's important to take the turkey out of the fridge a good hour before you start cooking it, so it's at room temperature when you begin. People have been overcooking turkeys for generations, which is why the dryness of the meat is embedded in folk memory. Don't be alarmed by the shortness of the cooking times here. If you follow them, you will have a perfectly cooked, moist-fleshed bird, provided it's at room temperature when you begin.
    3. Preheat the oven to 200°C, gas mark 6. Rub the turkey breast with a little butter, or brush with goose fat. Put the turkey, breast down, in the roasting tray; the only fat deposits in a turkey are in the back and this allows them to percolate through the breast meat.
    4. Keep the oven at 200°C, gas mark 6 for the first 30 minutes, then turn it down to 180°C, gas mark 4 for the remaining cooking time, basting at least once. Turn the bird the right way up for the last half hour to brown, basting again first. I tend to go for a bird of about 7kg, so the oven is occupied for under 3 hours, which makes all the vegetable stuff much easier.
    5. To see if the turkey is ready, poke a skewer where the meat is at its thickest - behind the knee joint of the thigh. The juices should run clear.
    6. It makes life easier if you have the turkey sitting somewhere to rest while you fiddle with everything else. I tend to leave it in its tin, tented with foil, for anything up to an hour; it won't get cold (as long as it's not in a draught), it'll be easier to carve and, while it sits, it will ooze lovely juices which you can add to your gravy.

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