• STEP 1

    Up to 48 hrs or at least 12 hrs before roasting, mix the baking powder with the sea salt, pepper, chopped thyme and lemon zest. Sprinkle this all over the turkey, rubbing it into the skin. Place the turkey breast-side up in a large roasting tin or on a tray, and leave uncovered in the fridge until you’re ready to roast it.

  • STEP 2

    On the day, remove the turkey from the fridge at least 1 hr before roasting. Heat the oven to 240C/220C fan/gas 9. Remove the turkey from the tin or tray to a board, and scatter in the onions, carrots, turkey neck and giblets. If you have a roasting rack, trivet or ovenproof cooling rack, place it in or over the tin and sit the turkey on top. Put the lemon and garlic halves and some thyme sprigs into the turkey cavity, then drizzle over two-thirds of the oil, massaging it into the skin so the whole turkey is completely coated, including the legs and wings. Tie the turkey legs together using butcher’s string to keep a neat shape, if you like.

  • STEP 3

    Put the turkey in the oven and immediately turn the temperature down to 190C/170C fan/gas 5. Roast for 1 hr, then remove from the oven and brush with some of the remaining oil. Turn the tin around and return to the oven for 30 mins, then brush with more oil and roast for a further 30 mins. After the turkey has been roasting for 2 hrs, check the temperature with a probe thermometer. The thickest part of the breast should read 65C and the thickest part of the thigh 75C. If it is lower, return it to the oven for another 15 mins and check again until the correct temperature is reached. Leave to cool for 10 mins in the tin, then remove to a board to rest for 20 mins, uncovered (it will stay warm for up to an hour).

  • STEP 4

    While the turkey rests, remove the lemon halves and garlic from the cavity and put them in the tin with the veg, turkey neck and giblets. Roughly squish everything with a wooden spoon or potato masher. If the roasting tin is flameproof, put it directly on the hob over a medium heat. If not, scrape the contents into a large, shallow pan first. Pour over as much of the gravy base as you can (that is, reserving as much as you need for any vegans or vegetarians first). Bring to the boil and simmer for 5 mins, adding a splash of water or stock if it’s too thick. Strain the gravy into a jug if serving straightaway or another saucepan to reheat when needed. Carve the turkey and serve with the gravy.

Recipe from Good Food magazine, November 2021

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