Turkeys were first imported from Mexico in the 1500s by Spice Merchants, known to the English as Turkey Merchants, and that’s how the bird got its name The large bird was swiftly recognised as ideal for a feast for special occasions.
Order your Christmas turkey in advance from an organic butcher; they sell out very quickly. This year I got mine from The Pure Meat Co in Kentish Town.
6kg free range organic turkey
2x juice of lemon
200 g butter
4 garlic cloves, crushed and chopped
1 bunch parsley, chopped
Heat oven to 180 C.
Mix together the lemon juice, butter, garlic, parsley and salt. Rub all over the turkey and under the skin. Place the turkey on a baking tray, breast side down, and cook in the oven for 3 hours. Turn the turkey over and cook for another hour to crisp up the breast.
A few sprigs of rosemary
A few sprigs of thyme
1 onion, peeled
1 carrot, peeled
1 bay leaf
Dash of red wine
2 tbsp flour
2 tbsp butter
Salt and black pepper
Place the giblets, onion, carrot, thyme, rosemary and bay leaf in a pan. Cover with water and boil for 15 minutes. Drain, reserving the liquid.
In a separate pan melt the butter over a low heat and stir in the flour until it turns into a paste.
Gently add the liquid from the giblets, stirring quickly to avoid any lumps. Add the juices from the turkey and a dash of red wine.
Bring to the boil and season to taste.
If the gravy becomes too thick, add a little water.