It’s really best to buy your turkey at least three days before you plan to serve it. If frozen, it will take a day to defrost and this is not something you want to be fussing about on Christmas morning!
Prepare and stuff your turkey a day ahead, and simply pop it in the oven to roast on the day.
Olive oil, to fry and drizzle
1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
250g streaky bacon, chopped
250g button mushrooms, finely chopped
Small handful fresh oregano leaves, roughly chopped
Small handful fresh sage leaves, roughly chopped + handful, to serve
Small handful fresh thyme leaves, roughly chopped
Small handful fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, roughly chopped
100g store-bought gingerbread, crumbled
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
4,5kg turkey, fully defrosted and parson’s nose and wingtips removed
30ml (2 tbsp) butter, softened
1 garlic bulb, top cut off
Handful fresh rosemary sprigs
700g baby onions, peeled
1. Preheat the oven to 180º. For the stuffing, heat a glug of olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Fry the onion until soft, 5 minutes, then add the 2 garlic cloves and continue frying, 2 minutes.
2. Add the chopped bacon and fry, 5 minutes, before placing the mushrooms in the pan, a further 5 minutes. Add a small handful of the following: fresh oregano, sage and thyme and fry, 2 minutes.
3. Remove from heat and stir in the fresh flat-leaf parsley and gingerbread crumbs. Season to taste.
4. Place your turkey in a roasting tray and stuff the cavity with the stuffing, then truss the legs. Rub the turkey with butter and drizzle with olive oil. Season the skin, add the garlic bulb to the roasting tray and sprinkle over the fresh rosemary and sage. Roast, 2hr 30min.
5. Arrange the onions around the turkey, drizzle with olive oil and roast, a further hour or until a small incision in the leg of the bird reveals that the juices run clear. Carve and serve with your favourite gravy.
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