Jamie Oliver's Christmas Turkey with Spiced Christmas rub

For a more intense flavour, rub it on the day before and leave it in the fridge overnight. If you've got other favourite spices, you could also add those to the mix


You can make this Christmas rub a few weeks ahead of time and keep it in an airtight container in your fridge, or make it on the day and it will be just as delicious.

Peel large strips of zest from the clementines with a speed peeler. Using a pestle and mortar, grind the zest with the thyme leaves, red chillies, mixed spice and a pinch of salt until you get a nice rough paste. Mix in 2 tablespoons more salt.

Rinse the turkey and pat it dry with kitchen paper. Take the edge of the skin covering the turkey's breasts and gently peel it back. Carefully, work your fingers, then a rubber spatula, under the skin to free it from the meat, keeping it attached at the sides and without ripping any holes in it. Rub the spice mixture between the skin and the flesh of the turkey, then all over the outside. Place in the fridge overnight or for at least an hour or two.

When you're ready to cook, preheat your oven to full whack. Put the chopped celery, carrots and onions into a large roasting tray and place the turkey on top. Give everything a good drizzle of olive oil, then cover with foil and place in the oven. Immediately turn the heat down to 180°C/gas 4. Cook for approximately 35 to 40 minutes per kilo, basting the turkey with the juices in the tray every hour. The 6kg bird in this recipe should take about 3 1/2 to 4 hours.

After 3 to 3 1/2 hours, remove the foil and pop the bird back into the oven for another 30 minutes to crisp the skin up. To make sure the turkey is properly cooked, poke a metal skewer into the thickest part of the thigh. If the juices run clear, it's done. Serve with all the usual trimmings. Delicious!

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