turkey with herb butter

Norfolk bronze or black turkeys are the best-flavoured birds. A meat thermometer is a worthwhile investment for peace of mind, and you'll need kitchen string and extra-wide foil. It's also very important to cook the turkey from room temperature.

200g butter, at room temperature
20g mixed fresh rosemary, sage and thyme, finely chopped
1 x 5kg turkey, at room temperature
10-12 rashers of streaky bacon
3 white onions, halved
1 bulb of garlic, halved
1-2 tbsp plain flour

Heat the oven to 220C (non-fan 240C). Whip the butter with a fork and stir in the herbs. Loosen the turkey skin at the neck end with your hand, then spread the butter between the flesh and skin, covering the breasts evenly. If you have any butter left over, place it in the cavity, which then needs to be heavily seasoned.

Lay the rashers of bacon over the breast, either in strips or a lattice shape, and secure them using kitchen string.

Place the onions and garlic in a roasting tray and perch the turkey on top. Pour 175m1 water into the tray and cover it all loosely with a tent of tinfoil. Put in the oven for 40 minutes, then reduce the heat to 170C (non-fan 190C) for 2 ½ hours.

Stick a meat probe into the thickest part of the thigh. The temperature should be 75C-80C and the juices running clear. Remove the foil, raise the oven to 200C (non-fan 220C) and cook for 30 minutes.

Remove the turkey from the oven, replace the foil and leave to rest for 30 minutes before eating. While it's resting, make the most of the cooking juices by whisking in a little flour to thicken it into gravy.