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Roast turkey, chestnut and sausage stuffing, and gravy by Lindsey Bareham

Turkey is most people’s bird of choice for the Christmas meal because they’re big and leftovers are endlessly adaptable. This year, the limit of six round the table means there will be a run on small turkeys. A 5kg bird is the perfect size for six with generous leftovers. For my money, the best choice is a Kelly Bronze (kellybronze.co.uk) for its gamey flavour, moist texture and blessedly short cooking time. These mature birds have more fat than younger birds so produce a self-basting jacket. All you have to do is turn the bird halfway through cooking then leave it to rest (uncovered) for at least 45 minutes and up to 2 hours before carving.

If it’s your first time cooking a turkey with its numerous festive trimmings, the best advice is to get as much done as possible in advance. I’m a great believer in to-do and timing lists, even one of the menu, so nothing is forgotten. I make the stuffing up to a month ahead and freeze it, defrosting 24 hours in advance. I make breadcrumbs for the bread sauce and freeze them too. It’s a good idea to prep the veg, even par-boil the potatoes and parsnips and line them up in their roasting tins (covered with a stretch of clingfilm) the night before. You may well need to juggle the cooking, depending on your oven capacity but with a bronze turkey there is plenty of time to roast the veg and pigs-in-blankets and whatever else you plan to serve with it while it rests.

My best tip is to keep away from the booze until that heavy, unwieldy bird is out of the oven. Cheers!

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