Festive Roast Turkey

Neil Fletcher
The perfect traditional Christmas feast for the whole family. Serve with a range of festive vegetables and condiments.

  • 1 x 4-6kg turkey
  • 150g room temperature butter
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 x carrot
  • 1 x garlic clove
  • olive oil
  • Sea salt
Cooking instructions:
  • When receiving your turkey remove giblets from cavity and reserve for gravy.
  • Store the turkey below 5° c for up to 5 days.
  • A garage or shed can work this time of year, making sure the box is sealed and ice packs are frozen.
  • On the day of roasting, sit the turkey in your kitchen to gently come to room temperature, this will enable the turkey to roast more evenly.
  • My favourite method is to soften 150gr butter with the zest of a lemon, sea salt, thyme leaves and a splash of olive oil, about 25ml.
  • Gently lift skin away from breast meat starting at the cavity and carefully push softened butter between skin and flesh.
  • Next place a onion cut in 2, the rind-less lemon and a carrot into the cavity with some fresh sage.
  • Place turkey on wire trivet and place in preheated oven 225° c for 20miutes.
  • Next pour 500ml water onto base of tray and cover turkey with tin foil.
  • Reduce heat to 165° c and roast for 30 minutes per kg removing tin foil for the last 30 minutes or so to colour skin.
  • To check the turkey is cooked pierce the skin between thigh and breast and push the skewer in to flesh close to bone ,then draw out,the juices should run clear.
  • Carefully remove trivet with turkey on to large tray and keep warm covering with foil.
  • To make gravy, tip any juices from tray and reserve, add giblets to roasting tray and colour with vegetables from turkey cavity.
  • Add light poultry stock and roasting juices reserved
  • Bring to boil and skim any fat that rises to surface.
  • Pass through a fine sieve and serve .
  • Best accompaniments are homemade bread sauce and cranberry jelly.
  • The stuffing we roast on the side to get a beautiful crisp exterior and soft and unctuous centre.