How cook the perfect roast turkey

Good preparation will guarantee a juicy bird

feasting backed turkey on...
A cook's biggest worry about roasting a Christmas turkey is probably the fear that the meat will be dry. With a large turkey in particular, it's easy to forget that it's still a lean game bird, so making sure that it's soft and juicy when you serve it is crucial.

The secret is all in the preparation. Give yourself plenty of time for this and it will pay dividends when you serve it. The good news is that it can be done the night before. Gravy can also be made in advance (see the recipes below).

When you're ready to roast your bird, knowing the right temperature is crucial to ensure it's properly cooked but not overdone. Here, Gordon Ramsay gives you all the advice you'll need to ensure it's perfect on the day.

If you want to roast just a breast of turkey, follow these instructions.

And if your turkey is frozen, allow plenty of time for it to defrost slowly, either in the fridge or in cold water. There's more information on defrosting here.

Stuffing recipes:
Pork stuffing
Make your own chestnut stuffing
Apple, chestnut and pistachio stuffing

Tasty gravy options (can be made in advance and either frozen or refrigerated):
Gordon Ramsay's turkey gravy
How to make a delicious turkey gravy
Red wine and clementine gravy

Don't fancy turkey?
Roast duck with clementines
Traditional roast rib of beef
Classic British beef Wellington
Stuffed saddle of lamb with pine nuts
No fuss slow-roasted pork belly
Showstopping venison Wellington

More festive food ideas:
Christmas menus: Festive food for everyone
Festive cocktails, hot drinks and party food
How to have a Scandinavian-style Christmas
Christmas baking and desert recipes

Make Christmas easier on yourself:
The ultimate Christmas countdown
How to decode a whisky label
Quick and easy last-minute Christmas
Take the stress out of Christmas
The best way to carve a turkey