Up to two days before, salt the turkey.
If you have a spice grinder or minichopper,
tip in all the ingredients for the
salt mix and grind to make a wet salt.
If you are using a pestle and mortar,
grind the herbs and pepper together,
then add the salt and orange zest, and
grind well again. Set aside. Carefully
rinse the turkey and pat dry with kitchen
paper. Sit the turkey in its roasting tin
and use the salt mix to season the turkey
generously all over. Put the turkey
breast-side up in the tin, cover with
cling film and leave in the fridge for
up to 2 days. (This can be done a day
ahead but the longer you leave it, the
more the flavour of the salt rub will
permeate the bird.)
To make the clementine & bay butter,
mash all the ingredients together in a
bowl with some seasoning and set aside.
Can be made 2 days ahead or frozen for
up to a month.
Remove the turkey from the fridge 1 hr
before you want to cook it and rinse off all the
salt really well. Pat it dry, rinse out the
roasting tin, then sit the turkey back in
the tin and leave at room temperature
for about 1 hr, uncovered.
Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4.
Calculate a cooking time of 40 mins
per kg for the first 4kg of the turkey,
then 45 mins for every kg after that.
Rub the turkey all over with most
of the butter – no need to season.
If you haven’t used the neck for the
Make-ahead gravy (see 'goes well with'), then add
the neck to the tin with the onion.
Cover the tin loosely with foil and roast
for the calculated cooking time. For the
final 30 mins, remove the foil, baste
the turkey, scatter with the reserved
thyme and orange zest, and increase
the oven temp to 200C/180C fan/gas 6.
(Now is the time to pop in the stuffings
and roast potatoes, if you are doing
them.) When the turkey is beautifully
brown and cooked through, remove
from the oven and leave to rest on a
warm platter covered loosely with foil
and a tea towel.
If you've made our Make-ahead gravy
(see 'goes well with'), you can add the roasting juices to
that. To make your gravy fresh, pour off
most of the fat but leave the juices in the
tin and put it on a low heat. Stir in the
flour to a paste. Pour in the sherry and
sizzle for 1 min, then gradually add 850ml
water and simmer until you have a thick
gravy – make sure to scrape up the sides
of the tin to release any bits. Sieve the
gravy into a saucepan and reheat to
serve – the gravy probably won’t need
extra seasoning as the turkey juices will
be salty enough.