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For many of us the festive turkey is the pride and joy of the Christmas table, but how many of us agonise over the best to buy, how big do I buy? the roasting of this nemesis and for how long? stuff or not to stuff? Etc etc!

Well panic not folks, to ease the pressure I'm going to share my methods for getting the most out of your Christmas bird! Just follow these few simple steps and take the pressure off your Christmas Day

So firstly, which turkey??

Ask your butcher for a turkey for the exact number of people you're cooking for, There's always too much food on Christmas Day, going large on the turkey really isn't necessary, large turkeys take a long time to cook and if you're not careful you'll end up with a very dry and an extremely unforgettable dinner!

Always try to bring the turkey to room temperature before roasting, an hour or so should be plenty, remove the neck and giblets from the cavity and use these to roast your turkey on.

To stuff or not to stuff??

Definitely stuff! But stuff the neck cavity only as any stuffing inside the turkey will dramatically increase the cooking time and cause the breast to dry out.

Roast up or down??

The breast meat will dry out really quickly, I'd start roasting breast-side down, smear under the skin with butter, or if you just want to roast normally make sure you baste regularly.

Make sure you don't waste the juices and crispy bits left in the tray these will all add fantastic flavour to your delicious gravy.

Rest or not to rest??

Always leave it to stand for at least an hour after cooking

Bacon on the breast meat or not??

Definitely Bacon over the breast meat, cook on a low heat this keeps the turkey as moist as possible. Increase heat for the last 20 minutes of cooking to crisp that bacon.