Classic roast turkey on a serving dish with all the trimmings

Classic roast turkey

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(9 ratings)

Prep: 20 mins Cook: 3 hrs - 3 hrs, 30 mins

More effort

Serves 8 - 10

Guarantee a succulent roast turkey on Christmas Day with our simple, traditional recipe. Don't forget the stuffing and all your favourite trimmings

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal476
  • fat19g
  • saturates7g
  • carbs0g
  • sugars0g
  • fibre0g
  • protein74g
  • salt0.69g
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  • 1 onion, quartered



    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • fresh bay leaves, to flavour and serve
  • 4½ -5.6kg/10-12lb Bronze turkey, giblets removed



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

  • 1 quantity of stuffing
  • 85g butter, softened



    Butter is a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

  • 1 whole nutmeg



    One of the most useful of spices for both sweet and savoury

  • 10 rashers streaky bacon
  • glass red wine, such as Merlot

To serve

  • pigs-in-blankets


  1. Heat oven to 190C/fan 170C/gas 5. Put the onion and a large sprig of bay in the cavity between the legs. Now pack half the stuffing into the neck end, pushing it towards the breast. Secure the neck skin in position with skewers and tie the turkey legs together at the top of the drumsticks to give a neat shape.

  2. Weigh the turkey and calculate cooking time at 20 mins per kilo, plus 90 mins. (You may need to use your bathroom scales.)

  3. Put a large sheet of extra-wide foil in a large roasting tin, then put the turkey on top. Smear the breast with the butter, grate over half the nutmeg and season well. Cover the breast with bacon, pour over the wine, then loosely bring up the foil and seal well to make a parcel.

  4. Roast in the oven, then 90 mins before the end of cooking, open the foil, discard the bacon, and drain off excess fat from the tin. Leaving the foil open, return the turkey to the oven to brown, basting with the juices several times. Then 30 mins before the end of cooking, place pigs-in-blankets and stuffing of your choice around the turkey, or cook in a separate lightly oiled tin.

  5. To test whether the turkey is cooked, push a skewer into the thickest part of the thigh – the juices should run clear. If they are pinkish, cook for 15 mins more, then test again.

  6. Transfer the turkey, stuffings and pigs-in-blankets to a platter, cover with foil, then a couple of tea towels and allow to rest for up to 30 mins before carving. This gives the juices time to settle back into the meat, ensuring that the turkey will be juicy. Garnish with sprigs of bay.

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Comments, questions and tips

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29th Dec, 2017
Worked really well
26th Dec, 2017
Turned out perfectly. Threw the cooked bacon in with the sprouts - yum
25th Dec, 2016
Oh my goodness! This was. So delicious that the meat was falling off the bones literally when time came to carve the turkey.
7th Dec, 2012
I have cooked turkey crowns this way last 2 christmas and it always turned out lovely and moist with great christmas aroma in the house. Everyone loved the wine inhanced gravy, will be definately roasting my turket this way this year too, but i'm doing the whole bird this time. Can't wait for christmas to come :-)
1st Feb, 2012
I cooked this for Christmas dinner for 12 this year. It was dead easy, tasted delicious and looked spectacular on the table with surrounding stuffings and bay. I'll use this recipe every year now (although will probably use ground nutmeg to make it even easier).
25th Dec, 2010
I agree with the others here, this recipe is really good. I have tried various different ways and this one produced the most succulent and moist breast meat I have had from a turkey. I will definitelt be using this method next year.
24th Dec, 2010
Great receipe, I used this the last two Christmas's and I don't think I'll ever use another. Produces a really tasty and moist turkey.
17th Jan, 2009
Absolutely perfect - used it this Christmas. I had never cooked turkey and this was perfect. Not dry at all and really tasty. Definately recommended.
30th Dec, 2007
A wonderful recipe. Probably the best turkey I've ever cooked. I'll be doing this one again!
25th Nov, 2007
I made this turkey recipe last Christmas and it was fantastic. My family said it was the best they'd ever had. I'll be using it again this year, I daren't try a different one in case it's awful.
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