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How to cook roast turkey

Don’t panic on Christmas Day, learn how to cook roast turkey with our step-by-step video guide that will show you how to get perfectly tender meat and crisp skin, with tips on cooking time, resting and a simple lemon and sage butter recipe, too.


1. Preheat the oven to gas 5, 190°C, fan 170°C and put the oven rack on the lowest shelf. Let the turkey come to room temperature for 1 hour then pat the turkey dry with kitchen paper and remove the giblets for making gravy later.

2. Mix 125g butter with 2 tbsp chopped sage, 2 chopped garlic cloves and the zest of 5 lemons. Rub the butter all over the turkey then halve your lemons and fill the cavity of your turkey - make sure you never pack the cavity with stuffing, a gap allows the bird to cook evenly. Season with salt and pepper.

3. Put your turkey into a roasting in and pour in 500ml hot stock or water then cover loosely with foil. Roast your turkey, to calculate the correct cooking time for your bird use our cooking calculator.

4. Remove foil from your turkey 30 mins before the end of cooking time to allow the skin to crisp up.The bird is cooked when the juices run clear. Lift your turkey carefully and drain the cavity then set the bird aside and cover to rest for 30 mins.

See more Christmas recipes

For top tips on protecting you and your family when preparing raw meat and poultry, visit Food Safety in the Home.

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