- 1 bunch fresh thyme
- 1 onion, quartered
- l lemon quartered
- 2 fresh bay leaves
- 4kg free-range turkey
- 75g butter
- For the gravy:
- 600ml rich turkey stock, or chicken stock
- 300ml amontillado sherry, or white wine
- 2tsp cornflour
Heat the oven to 200C, gas 6. Stuff the thyme, onion, lemon and bay leaves into the turkey cavity. Rub the butter all over the skin, and season well. Place in a roasting tin and roast for 20 minutes.
Turn the oven down to 180C, gas 4, cover loosely with a tent of foil and roast for around another two hours. Check the temperature with a meat thermometer; it should be at a minimum of 75C. Alternatively, the juices should run clear when you pierce the thickest part of the thigh. Remove from the oven, put onto a chopping board, cover and allow to rest for 30 minutes to an hour before carving. Strain off the pan juices into a saucepan.
To make the gravy, bring the stock and sherry up to the boil in a large saucepan, add the pan juices. Let it bubble and reduce for 10 minutes. Mix the cornflour with a little cold water and add to the pan, stirring until thickened.
The very best piece of advice we can give you is to buy the best bird you can afford and invest in a meat thermometer. We recommend the Thermo Chef Measuring Fork from Lakeland, £14.99