Begin by making the stuffing. Finely chop the red onions. Heat butter in a frying pan until it is bubbling and then add in the onions and fry for 4 to 5 minutes. Put the toasted oats and breadcrumbs in a bowl with the sage leaves and season with salt and pepper. Add the cooked onions to the oat and breadcrumb mix and stir well to combine. Allow to cool before using to stuff your turkey.
Take a roasting dish and half-fill it with hot water. Place it in the bottom of the oven to help create moisture. Preheat the oven to 190C. Dry the outside of the turkey with paper towel. Season the cavity of the turkey with a sprinkle of salt and a couple of grounds of pepper. Pack the neck end of the turkey with the stuffing, then fold the skin underneath and secure with a toothpick or skewer.
Next place the herbs, lemon halves and onion in the body cavity of the turkey. Put the turkey into another roasting tin and tie the legs together with kitchen twine. Spread some softened butter over the turkey and season with salt and pepper. Cover with foil and cook for 2 ½ hours, basting twice during this time. Remove the foil and baste again before pouring over the lemon juice and continuing to cook for 40 to 50 minutes or until the turkey is golden brown and cooked through.
Top tips –
Do not put the stuffing into the turkey until just before you are about to cook it.
If any parts of the turkey are browning too quickly, cover them with foil.
To ensure a moist turkey, allow it to rest before serving.
Keep the juices from cooking your turkey to use to make a delicious gravy.