Herb-roast turkey

Herb-roast turkey

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(3 ratings)

Prep: 30 mins Cook: 3 hrs, 30 mins


Serves 8 - 0
Whether you're cooking your first or your fifteenth Christmas dinner, this herb-scented turkey is foolproof and has loads of flavour

Nutrition and extra info


  • kcal687
  • fat28g
  • saturates11g
  • carbs14g
  • sugars8g
  • fibre1g
  • protein89g
  • salt1.94g
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  • 5kg turkey, giblets removed and kept



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

  • 250g stuffing of your choice
  • 3 onions, cut into thick rounds with the skins left on



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

  • generous handful thyme and bay leaves, plus more herbs to put around the bird, to serve
  • 50g butter, softened



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

  • 300ml dry white wine
  • 1 ½ tsp flaky sea salt
  • 1 tsp dried green peppercorns, crushed
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped thyme leaves

For the gravy

  • 300ml medium white wine
  • 600ml good stock
  • 2 tsp redcurrant jelly


  1. Heat oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 5. Wash and dry the turkey, removing any feathers. Lift up the skin that covers the neck opening, then push the stuffing up and under the skin, securing it tightly underneath with a skewer or 2 cocktail sticks. Weigh stuffed turkey, then calculate cooking time, allowing 40 mins per kg (20 mins per lb). Put a few pieces of onion and a few herbs into the cavity, then tie the legs together with string.

  2. Put the remaining onions in a single layer in the tin, then add a good bed of herbs. Add the neck and all of the other giblets, except for the liver, to the tin, then sit the turkey on top of the herby onions. Coat the breast all over with butter. Pour the wine into the tin, cover with foil, then roast according to your timings. Keep checking the tin – if it looks a little dry, add a splash of water. While the bird cooks, mix the salt, crushed green peppercorns and thyme leaves.

  3. Thirty mins before the end of cooking, remove the foil. Brush the turkey again with butter, then scatter over and press in the salt, pepper and thyme mix. Roast for the remaining cooking time, uncovered, until golden. To be reassured that the turkey is ready, pierce thigh through its thickest part; the juices should run clear. If not, give it 15 mins more and test again. Remove the turkey from the tin and leave to rest without covering (this will keep skin crisp). The turkey will stay hot for up to an hour, so there’s no need to panic.

  4. Now make the gravy. Drain the fat and juices from the tin into a jug, keeping the onions but discarding the neck and giblets. Place the tin on the hob, then pour in the wine, scraping up the flavour-filled crusty bits with a wooden spoon. Reduce until the wine has almost all disappeared. Spoon the fat from the juices and discard, then add the juices, onions and stock to the tin. Boil down for about 5 mins until reduced and a little syrupy, stir in redcurrant jelly, then season. Strain into a jug; any resting juices should go in now, too. Lift the turkey onto a platter with the Bacon-wrapped sausages (see recipe below), dotting herb sprigs around to decorate. Serve with cranberry and bread sauces.

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Comments, questions and tips

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28th Dec, 2011
As already said - really tender turkey and a lovely flavour - I'll definitely use this method again
23rd Nov, 2011
Made this for my German friends over the weekend, ver successful and easy.
9th Jan, 2011
This was great. Used a bit more of all the ingredients than was called for and rubbed a bit of goose fat into the skin too. The juices from the pan made spectacular gravy.
25th Nov, 2009
We tried this last week as a pre-Christmas run and it was really lovely. The turkey was really tender and not dry and the herbs add something extra. We will definitely be having this one for Christmas dinner :)
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