Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4.
Remove giblets, then wash and dry the
turkey, removing any remaining feathers.
Mix half the butter with the orange zest
and plenty of seasoning. Lift up the skin
at the neck end of the turkey and use
your fingers to ease the skin away from
the breasts. Gently smear some of the
zesty butter over the breasts and under
the skin. Pack the stuffing into the neck
opening and secure the skin closed with
skewers or cocktail sticks. Weigh the
turkey at this point and write it down so
you can work out your timings, then rub
the rest of the zesty butter all over.
Stuff the 2 whole oranges into the
cavity with some bay leaves. Pile the
sliced shallots and a few more bay leaves
into a large roasting tin and sit the turkey
on top. Pour 500ml of the stock around,
cover with foil to make a tent over the
turkey, then roast for 20 mins per 450g/1lb.
Meanwhile, bubble the remaining
butter, orange juice and sugar together
until syrupy. With 30 mins cooking time
to go, remove the foil, brush the turkey
liberally with the syrup, then return to the
oven to brown at 200C/180C fan/gas 6.
Brush once or twice more while roasting.
To test that the turkey is ready, pierce the
thigh in its thickest part and make sure
the juices run clear. Lift the turkey out,
brush again with syrup and leave to rest,
covered loosely with foil, for 20 mins or
so while you make the gravy and finish
cooking the veg.
Pour the tin juices into a jug (keeping
shallots and bay in the tin), then put the
roasting tin over a flame. Stir in the flour,
then gradually stir in the remaining stock
Marmite and reserved turkey juices –
skimmed of any fat. Bubble until a nice
consistency, then strain into a saucepan,
squishing the shallots with a masher
to squeeze out all the flavour. Keep
the gravy warm while you carve the
turkey to serve.