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How to prepare your Christmas turkey

Follow these steps to prepare your Christmas turkey to make Marcus Wareing's recipe.

Butchering the turkey is easier than you might think but if you don't feel confident there are fantastic butchery tutorials online.

1. Remove the giblets (check both ends of the turkey) and bindings; pat the turkey dry. If the turkey has long wings (they may have been trimmed already), remove the end sections so that just one bone is left attached to the body.

2. In turn, stretch each turkey leg out to the side and then slice through the skin as far away from the breast as possible, to leave the maximum amount of skin covering the crown. Bend the leg away from the body until you hear the bone pop out of the socket; you should see the knuckle bone. Insert the tip of your knife here and cut through to separate the leg, leaving as little flesh behind on the body as you can.

3. To finish trimming the crown, look for the natural line of fat that runs from the tip of the breastbone down along the base of the ribs towards the wing joints – simply cut along this with a strong knife or sturdy kitchen scissors, on both sides of the breast. Flip the turkey over and cut through the backbone so that you can separate the crown from the back carcass.

4. To bone each leg, use the tip of a small sharp knife to cut the meat away from the thigh bone, working down towards the drumstick. Slice through the joint and remove the thigh bone. At the drumstick end, make a long cut all the way down to the bottom of the drumstick. Cut the meat away from the bone as before to remove the bone completely, then open the drumstick meat out flat and remove the spiky sinews.

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