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    Traditional Roast Turkey

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    Traditional Roast Turkey

    This method of roasting the turkey over vegetables in water gives a succulent result and a delicious and easy-to-make gravy to accompany it. Garnish the turkey with watercress, and serve with roasted vegetables and cranberry sauce.

    • Christmas
    • Cooking time: depends on size of turkey

    Serves: 6 - 8


    • 1 Waitrose fresh turkey, or frozen turkey, defrosted
    • 1 x 454g pack Waitrose Fresh Sausagemeat
    • Melted butter or vegetable oil
    • Streaky bacon rashers
    • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
    • Approximately 425ml (¾ pint) water
    • 1 medium onion
    • 1 carrot, quartered
    • 1 bayleaf
    • 6 black peppercorns
    • 3tbsp plain flour, mixed to a smooth paste with cold water
    • Turkey Bacofoil


    1. Remove the giblets from the turkey.
    2. Loosen the skin at the neck end and remove the wishbone with a small, sharp knife to make carving easier. Spoon the sausagemeat into the neck end, between the skin and breast, then tidy the neck skin by tucking it under the turkey to form a tight seal. Secure with a cocktail stick. Any leftover sausagemeat can be rolled into small balls and cooked separately. Weigh the turkey with the stuffing and calculate the cooking time, based on 45 minutes per kg , plus 20 minutes.
    3. Place the turkey on a wire rack which will fit into a large roasting tin. Brush liberally with melted butter or oil, then cover the breast with the bacon and season well with salt and pepper.
    4. Pour the water into the roasting tin, add the onion, carrot, bayleaf, peppercorns and a little salt. Put the turkey on the rack over the roasting tin, cover loosely with Turkey Bacofoil and then place in a preheated oven 180ºC, gas mark 4, for the calculated time.
    5. Baste the turkey during cooking and add extra water if necessary. Remove the foil for the last 30 minutes of cooking if the turkey has not browned. Check that it is cooked by piercing the thickest part of the thigh with a skewer. When the juices run clear the turkey is ready.
    6. Prepare the gravy by straining the liquid from the roasting tin through a sieve into a saucepan. Stir in the flour paste, bring to a boil and cook for 1 minute stirring continuously until thickened. Taste to check the seasoning, then keep warm until needed.

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    Cook's tips

    To carve, allow the turkey to stand, covered in foil, for 10-15 minutes to ensure the juices have settled so that carving will be easier. Use a large carving fork to hold the bird and carve on to a warm plate.

    Remove the legs by gently pulling away from the body, allowing the joint to snap.

    Remove the wings the same way.

    Slice the breast by carving downwards and across the grain, starting at the leg end and working in towards the cavity. Try to keep the slices as thin as possible.

    Slice the meat from the legs by slicing parallel to the bone.


    As an alternative to sausagemeat, try one of our fresh stuffings:Apricot & Almond; Pork & Cranberry; Lemon, Parsley & Thyme; Farmhouse Pork; Smoked Bacon & Onion; Pork & Chestnut.

    Serving tips

    Carve all leftover meat from the carcass, cool quickly, cover and refrigerate. Use within 2 days.

    Use to make cajun burgers, or a quick balti with fresh green peppers, or add to a tub of Waitrose Fresh Cheese Sauce or Carbonara sauce and serve with fresh pasta.


    Average user rating

    2 stars