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    Classic roast turkey

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    Classic roast turkey

    • Preparation time: 15 minutes + resting
    • Cooking time: 20 minutes per 500g (about 3.5 hours, depending on weight) + 20 minutes
    • Total time: 20 minutes per 500g (about 3.5 hours, depending on weight) + 35 minutes

    Serves: 6-8 with leftovers


    4-6kg medium free range bronze feathered whole turkey with giblets
    2-3 fresh bay leaves, plus extra to garnish
    2-3 sprigs rosemary, plus extra to garnish
    1 lemon, finely grated zest, then quartered
    1 clementine, finely grated zest, then quartered, plus extra to garnish
    1 onion, peeled and quartered
    50g butter, melted
    Figs, to garnish (optional)
    Pomegranate seeds, to garnish (optional)
    Fresh cranberries, to garnish (optional)


    1. Preheat the oven to 190ºC, gas mark 5. Remove the turkey giblets and set aside for gravy, if liked. Tear the bay leaves in half and place inside the turkey cavity with the rosemary, lemon, clementine and onion.

    2. Transfer the turkey to a large roasting tin, breast-side up. Brush generously with the melted butter, season the skin and sprinkle over the citrus zests. Place a square of foil loosely over the turkey to protect the breast and legs. Roast, for the calculated cooking time, basting with
    the juices every hour.

    3. About 30-40 minutes before the end of the cooking time, remove the foil then return the turkey to the oven and continue cooking. Check it is thoroughly cooked by inserting a skewer into the thickest part of the breast and thighs – the juices should run clear and there should be no pink meat. If the juices are still pink, return to the oven for a further 15 minutes, then test again with a clean skewer.

    4. Transfer the cooked turkey to a warmed serving dish (keeping the cooking juices in the tin for gravy, if liked) and cover tightly with buttered foil. Allow to rest in a warm place for at least 30 minutes (it will stay hot for up to an hour if tightly wrapped). Resting the turkey will allow the meat to relax and become firm, making it easier to carve and the meat more succulent. Garnish the whole bird or serve carved
    on a platter, with fresh sprigs of rosemary and bay leaves, halved clementines and figs, pomegranate seeds and cranberries, if liked.

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    Cook’s tip

    Either buy your citrus fruit unwaxed or wash the fruit in hot water and scrub well to remove the wax.


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