Countdown to Christmas
Turkey requires long slow roasting to ensure that the meat is thoroughly cooked. This is particularly important if the body cavity is stuffed. The following times are for cooking at 180C/350F/ gas 4.
2.5 kg 2 1/2 - 3 hours
2.75 kg 3 - 3 1/2 hours
3.5 kg 3 1/2 - 4 1/2 hours
5.5kg - 11.4kg 20 minutes per 450g plus 20 minutes
Set the oven temperature. Trim the turkey and set aside the giblets for making the gravy, wash it inside and out in cold water.
Pat dry with kitchen paper and season inside with salt and freshly ground pepper.
Fill the neck end of the bird with stuffing, then place the remainder in the body along with 2 oz butter.
Rub the skin of the turkey with 2 oz softened butter and place the turkey, breast side down, into a large heavy roasting tin. Turn the bird halfway through cooking and put rashers of streaky bacon over the breast. Remove the bacon towards the end of cooking to brown the skin.
Remove from the oven and push a skewer into the thickest part of the bird, if the juices run clear the turkey is ready. Rest the bird for 30-40 minutes, under foil while you roast your potatoes.