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The perfect roast turkey

Guaranteed to impress at the Christmas table

Preparation10 Mins
Cooking Time90 Mins

Turkey wasn't always the star of the Christmas feast in the UK, or France for that matter. Originally it was boar and, through the 16th and 17th centuries, it was goose for the average family and peacock or swan for the rich! But for most of the time since the 16th century and the days of King Henry VIII, it's been all about the turkey.

If this is your first time cooking the Christmas turkey, the quality of the bird is crucial. Try to buy the best organic or at least free-range bird that you can afford. Visit your local butcher well in advance to place your order. Ask your butcher to prepare it for you - to remove and chop up the wings and neck into 2cm pieces and to remove the wishbone (this makes the turkey easier to carve). If, however, you are unable to use a fresh turkey, make sure that your frozen turkey is thoroughly defrosted before cooking.

Ingredients Required


Bronze turkey, free range / organic, wishbone remove, thawed to 16’c
Turkey neck, chopped into 3cm pieces
Turkey wings, chopped into 3cm pieces
Rapeseed oil
Butter, unsalted, room temperature
2 pinches
Sea salt
2 pinches
White pepper, freshly ground
1 tsp
Arrowroot, diluted in 15ml cold water

Cooking Method

Chef tips

You may be a little concerned about the cooking time (or lack of it). Believe me, it has been tried, tested and tried again. During the cooking process, the turkey will absorb the heat from the oven and this absorbed heat will continue to cook the bird while it rests. This can increase the internal temperature by up to 10C.

Resting the turkey is an important process which allows the meat to become tender and succulent as the juices inside the meat become more evenly distributed throughout the bird.

Once finished with the turkey pick the meat off the carcass, mix it with some mashed potato, parsley and puréed garlic. Allow to firm up in the fridge and shape into cylinders then dip in flour, then egg and then bread crumbs. These can be deep-fried or pan-fried and finished in the oven and you have some wonderful turkey croquettes.

Make a delicious and nourishing soup by simmering the turkey bones and carcass with water for 45 minutes.


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