I come from a long line of turkey cooks and, throughout my life once a year, I have enjoyed the annual ritual of feasting not only on turkey but all the favourites that go with it.

Fashions in cooking turkey have come and gone, but ever since kitchen foil was introduced I have stood firm and stuck to the method which, in our family, has always been a hundred percent successful (which is to say, cooking in foil).  I can honestly say we have never had a turkey that's too dry, so we've never become bored with it cold.  On the contrary, our enthusiasm for turkey lasts down to the jelly and dripping - delicious on toast for breakfast - and to the beautiful soup you can make from the carcass.

Try if possible to get a fresh bird, and remember to order it in plenty of time.  If you can only buy a frozen bird, or it's more convenient, try to buy one that has been frozen without added water, then don't forget to allow plenty of time for it to de-frost slowly and completely.  Always remove the giblets as soon as you can - with a fresh bird immediately you get home, with a frozen one as soon as it has thawed.

If the thoughts of making Christmas lunch is overwhelming for you, see Delia's Last 36 Hours, her timed countdown for the big day

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