Whole roast turkey for your Easter main course

What's Easter without turkey? Cranberry sauce and gravy as sidekicks, the roasted turkey will be the perfect Easter dinner you can hope for!

4kg turkey whole, cleaned and dressed
1 lemon juice
Salt as required
Pepper as required
Olive oil or melted butter
200gm yellow onion, peeled and quartered
200gm baby potatoes
200gm celery diced
200gm carrots diced
50gm parsley
1 sprig fresh rosemary
1 sprig thyme
1 sprig sage

For pan gravy

Roasting pan with turkey drippings
60gm all-purpose flour
200ml meat stock
Coarse salt and ground pepper, as required

Preparation of turkey

Preheat the oven to 200 degree Celsius
Remove the giblets from the turkey. Rinse the turkey inside and out with water
Clean any remnants of turkey feathers pull them out. Use paper towels to pat dry the turkey
Slather the inside of the cavity with the juice of half a lemon. Take a tablespoon of salt and rub all over the inside of the turkey
Stuff the turkey with the vegetables, herbs and potatoes 
Close the cavity with a silver foil and skewers to avoid the stuffing falling out
To truss, make sure that the turkey's legs are tied together, held close to the body, and tie a string around the turkey body to hold the wings in close
Rub either softened butter or olive oil all over the outside of the turkey
Sprinkle salt generously on all sides of the outside of the turkey (skip added salt if you are using a brined turkey)
Sprinkle pepper over the turkey as well
Bake the turkey for an hour and half at 200 degree Celsius for the first 15 minutes and later for 1 hour for 160 degree Celcius
Rest the turkey for a while 
Carve and serve the turkey with cranberry sauce

Preparation of pan gravy

While the turkey rests on the cutting board, place roasting pan on stove across two burners
Bring pan juices to a simmer over medium-high
Cook, scraping up browned bits with a wooden spoon, until the liquid thickens and holds a trail for 8 to 10 minutes
Add flour and cook, stirring, until blended for about 1 minute
Gradually whisk in stock, then 1 cup of water 
Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until gravy thickens and no longer tastes floury. It takes about 5 minutes (reduce heat if bottom of pan begins to scorch)
If desired, strain gravy through a fine-mesh sieve
Season with salt and pepper and keep warm
Whisk before serving (thin with water if necessary)

(In arrangement with Hilton Garden Inn, Thiruvananthapuram)

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