- 1 large bunch thyme and rosemary
- 1 lemon, quartered
- 4kg free-range, slow-reared turkey
- 75g butter
- For the stuffing:
- 75g pancetta cubes or smoked bacon lardons
- 2 shallots, finely chopped
- 450g cooking chorizo, skin removed
- 2 sprigs rosemary, finely chopped
- 2tbsp breadcrumbs
- 2tbsp Amontillado sherry
- For the gravy:
- 600ml rich turkey stock or chicken stock
- 300ml Amontillado sherry
- 2tsp cornflour
Heat the oven to 220C, gas 7. Stuff the herbs and the lemon into the turkey’s cavity. Cook the pancetta in a non-stick frying pan until crisp, then remove with a slotted spoon and cook the shallots until softened. When cool enough to handle, mix the stuffng ingredients and put in an ovenproof dish or form into small balls. Cover with buttered parchment paper. You can bake the stuffing while the turkey is resting – it will take around 45 minutes – or put it in towards the end and keep warm.
Rub the butter all over the turkey skin and season well. Put in a roasting tin, cover loosely with a tent of foil and roast for 30 minutes. Turn down the oven to 180C, gas 4, remove the foil and roast for 1 hour 30 minutes. Check the temperature with a meat thermometer. As long as it’s over 72C, it’s fine. You can check it after 90 minutes, as it may be cooked by then.
Remove from the oven and allow to rest for at least 45 minutes. Take it out of the roasting tin (wear strong rubber gloves).
Finish of the gravy while the turkey is roasting by bringing the stock and sherry to the boil, together with any pan juices, and letting it bubble until the alcohol has burned of. Mix the cornflour with a little cold water and add to the gravy to thicken. Reheat it when you’re ready to serve.
When it comes to carving, it’s easier to joint the turkey and then slice the meat than to carve it whole. Take the legs off and slice into thighs and drumsticks. Ease the breasts off with a sharp knife, starting at the breastbone and working down, then slice them too.