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Easy Christmas turkey

Easy Christmas turkey

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(2 ratings)

Prep: 20 mins Cook: 2 hrs

Easy

Serves 6

The turkey is cooked high and fast like a chicken, giving it extra crispy skin. It needs longer to rest so the meat can relax and stay succulent

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal813
  • fat38g
  • saturates16g
  • carbs6g
  • sugars4g
  • fibre4g
  • protein103g
  • salt1.3g
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Ingredients

  • 100g butter, softened
    Butter

    Butter

    butt-err

    Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…

  • 3 rosemary sprigs, leaves picked and finely chopped
    Rosemary

    Rosemary

    rose-mar-ee

    Rosemary's intense, fragrant aroma has traditionally been paired with lamb, chicken and game…

  • 1 turkey (around 4kg, but not more), giblets removed
    Turkey

    Turkey

    terk-ee

    While it's the traditional Christmas bird, turkey is good to eat all year round, though…

  • 1 garlic bulb
  • 1 lemon, halved
    Lemon

    Lemon

    le-mon

    Oval in shape, with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile fruits…

  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 large banana shallots, unpeeled, cut in half lengthways
  • 250ml white wine
  • 1 red cabbage (about 900g), cut into 6 wedges
    Red cabbage on a plate

    Red cabbage

    red cab-idge

    A favourite winter vegetable served hot with roasted game birds but equally good as a colourful…

  • 500ml good-quality chicken stock
  • 1 tsp cornflour (optional)

Method

  1. Take your turkey out of the fridge at least 1 hr before you cook it. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6 and beat the butter with the rosemary. Starting from the neck of the turkey, carefully push your fingers underneath the skin until you can get your whole hand between the skin and the breast meat. Trying not to tear the skin as you go, spread the butter inside the pocket, squishing some into the crevice between the thigh and breast meat.

  2. Put the garlic, lemon and bay leaves inside the turkey, then season liberally all over. Put the shallots in your largest flameproof roasting tin and put the turkey on top, breast-side up. Roast for 1 hr, then give it a good baste, pour in the wine and nestle the cabbage wedges in the tin (or underneath the turkey if they won’t fit). Return to the oven for another 30 mins – covered with foil if the turkey is looking too brown. The juices should run clear when you pierce the thickest part of the thigh, or a thermometer should read 75C. If not done, carry on cooking for a further 5-10 mins.

  3. Set aside the turkey on a board to rest for 1 hr, transferring the garlic and bay to the roasting tin for the gravy. If you want crispy skin, don’t cover the turkey. Wrap the cabbage wedges in two parcels of foil, with a spoonful of the turkey juices, season liberally and return to the bottom of the oven to carry on cooking while the turkey rests.

  4. Spoon away most of the turkey fat, then put the tin on the hob over a medium heat. Mash the veg with the back of a wooden spoon to extract as much flavour as possible , then pour in the stock and reduce the gravy by half. If you want to thicken it, stir in the cornflour mixed with 1 tbsp water. Once happy with the consistency, strain and keep warm until ready to eat.

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Comments, questions and tips

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Richard Frizell's picture
Richard Frizell
28th Nov, 2018
If the turkey is left out on the counter to rest, uncovered, for 1 hour, would it not be cold to serve?
goodfoodteam's picture
goodfoodteam
28th Nov, 2018
Thanks for your question. You can keep it loosely covered in foil. Resting it for an hour allows the juices to be drawn back into the meat and ensures a tender, moist bird. It will retain much of the heat and when served with the gravy, will be just the right temperature.
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