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The world’s best turkey
main courses | serves 10-14
“The perfect bird weighs 6–8 kilos: it’s easy to handle, feeds 10–14 and has better flavour than bigger birds,” says Jamie. “You can truss the legs but I say let the bird chill out. The hot air will circulate around the legs and cook it evenly.”
1. Pop the clementines in the turkey cavity with the herbs, reserving a sprig of rosemary. The fruit steams and flavours the bird in a lovely way.
2. Take a sprig of fresh rosemary, pull off the leaves at the bottom and spear it through the loose skin around the cavity to hold it together and keep it from shrinking back as the bird cooks.
3. Open up the neck cavity and pack in as much stuffing as possible, then pull the skin over the cavity and tuck it under the bird.
4. If you’ve already made your gravy, you won’t need a vegetable trivet. If not, do that now by placing the carrot, onion and celery in a tray. Preheat your oven to full whack and get the turkey in the roasting tray and cover it with foil.
5. As soon as the turkey goes in the oven, turn the heat down to 180C/gas 4. As a rough guide, you want to cook it for 35–40 minutes per kilo, so a 7kg turkey will want 4–4˝ hours in the oven.
6. Check on your turkey every 30 minutes or so and keep it from drying out by basting it with the juices from the bottom of the pan.
7. After 3˝ hours, remove the foil so the skin gets crispy. To test if it’s done, stick a meat thermometer in the thickest part of the breast. When the internal temperature is 65C for a good-quality bird, and about 82C for a cheaper bird, it’s ready.
8. Lift and angle the bird over the tray so the juices run out. Move it to a platter then cover it with a double layer of foil and 2 tea towels to keep it warm while it rests for at least 30 minutes.
Recipe Jamie Oliver
Photo David Loftus
from Issue 7
ingredients• 2–4 clementines, halved
• 6–8kg turkey
• A few sprigs of fresh herbs such as bay, thyme and rosemary
• Jamie’s classic stuffing, (see recipe in this issue) or another recipe of your choice
• 2–3 carrots, chopped
• 3 onions, peeled
• 2 celery sticks