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How to roast a turkey?

There is nothing like a Christmas or Thanksgiving turkey as a centre piece to a memorable family meal. In this article, we will teach you how to prepare a turkey and cook it to perfection. This is the last turkey roast recipe you'll ever need!

You'll need...

1 Turkey (500g on the bone for each person, so for 6-8 people, buy a 4 Kg bird)
200g Salted butter
12 Streaky bacon rashers
Salt & Pepper
Pork Stuffing (This can be bought in advance from a quality butcher) Equipment
1 large roast pan
1 turkey rack
Optional turkey baster
Optional meat thermometer

Prepare the bird

If you already know how to cook chicken, you will find the process very familiar. With these turkey cooking tips, roasting bags will be a thing of the past! - First, allow the stuffing and turkey to come to room temperature. Remove them from the fridge at least two hours before cooking. It is best to cook a fresh bird, but if you have bought frozen turkey, allow it to defrost for 2 hours for each 450g and leave to stand for a further two hours. - If you cook a cold bird then you risk under-cooking it, which can lead to food poisoning. - Smear the bird with with the butter, season generously with salt, pepper and your favourite herbs and layer with streaky bacon. - Lay the turkey in the roasting pan and cover with two layers of foil.

Preheat the oven

- Arrange the racks in the oven so that the large bird will comfortably fit in without touching the top of the oven. - Preheat to 220C.

Cooking Times

Turkey cooking time varies by weight. Calculate this by cooking for 20 minutes per kilo and for a further 1hr30m after this.

Place the turkey in the oven

Roast for 40 minutes at 220C before reducing the temperature to 170C for the remainder of the cooking time.

Baste the turkey

Using a large spoon or the baster, pour the turkey juices over the bird halfway through cooking and again, 45 minutes before the end of cooking time. Remove the foil for the final 45 minutes.

Stand and serve

- First check that the turkey is cooked with a meat thermometer, or by skewering the meat and checking that the juices run clear. - Next, leave it to stand at room temperate for 40 minutes, covered with foil. This will allow the bird to finish cooking and will make carving much easier. This is a perfect chance to use the turkey juices to make a delicious gravy. - When this is done, serve up your vegetables, carve the turkey and sit down to a perfect roast turkey dinner.

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