Rowley's Roast Turkey, Lombardy Style

  • Christmas


  • 1 Turkey, about 4 kg, preferably with giblets
  • 6 Parma ham slices
  • 1 rosemary sprig
  • 10 sage leaves
  • 150 g butter
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 carrot, roughly chopped
  • 2 celery sticks, roughly chopped
  • 380ml white wine
  • 1 tsp cornflour
  • 150 ml Marsala, madeira or sherry
  • 500ml strong chicken stock (or 1 cube made up with 500ml hot water)
  • stuffing
  • 8 prunes
  • 30 ml brandy
  • 1 lemon, finely grated zest and juice
  • 500 g Italian-style sausages, skinned
  • 100g cooked and peeled chestnuts, chopped
  • 2 eating apples, peeled,cored and chopped
  • 50 g Parmesan cheese, grated
  • ½ tsp grated nutmeg


  1. For the stuffing, pour boiling water over the prunes; steep for 20 minutes. Drain; stone the prunes, then chop them roughly. Macerate with the brandy in a bowl. In a large bowl, combine all the stuffing ingredients, together with the finely chopped turkey liver and heart (if you have). Grind black pepper over and mix well.
  2. Push half this stuffing into the neck cavity of the turkey; secure in place with cocktail sticks or a skewer. Spoon the rest of the stuffing into a buttered baking dish.
  3. Smear the turkey breasts with the soft butter; season. Dot with rosemary and sage leaves, then overlap the slices of parma ham to cover the breasts. Tie with string to keep everything in place. Refrigerate it overnight before cooking.
  4. Preheat the oven to 200C/gas 6. Place the bird in a large roasting tray; surround with the chopped neck and wing tips. Roast blind for 30 minutes initially, then for another 2 hours, basting it occasionally with the fat that runs into the pan. If the meat threatens to burn, cover it with some buttered foil and turn down the heat.
  5. After this, carefully pour away the pan-fat. Arrange the chopped veg around the bird; return to the oven for 30 minutes, with the extra dish of stuffing alongside. Check the bird is done by inserting a skewer between the drumstick and the thigh; the juice should run out clear. Transfer to a serving dish; keep warm in a very low oven, covered loosely in foil.
  6. Pour the wine and the stock over the veg; scrape up the juices from the pan and let them stew gently for 15 minutes. Dissolve the cornflour in the fortified wine; whisk into the gravy. Simmer for 2 minutes more, pour any fresh juices from the turkey into the pan; strain through a sieve. Serve with the turkey, a green vegetable and potatoes.

Drinks recommendation

A balanced red from Piedmont,
is perfect here. Oddero 2004/05
Barolo. Bin 666317

  • Preparation time: 1 hour
  • Cooking time: 2 hours 30 minutes - 3 hours

Serves: 4

Nutritional Info

Typical values per serving:

Energy 2866.04kJ
Fat 36.0g
Saturated Fat 16.0g
Sugars 11.0g
Salt 2.0g

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4 stars

Average user rating Based on 3 ratings

This recipe was first published in Tue Dec 01 00:00:00 GMT 2009.