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Your first turkey

Your first turkey

6-8 Servings
General cooking guideline for roasting a turkey:
35 to 40 mins per 1kg
3 to 3 hrs 20 minutes – 5kg


  • 5kg turkey, at room temperature
  • 1 bulb garlic, halved
  • 2 onions, peeled, roughly chopped
  • 2 sticks celery, roughly chopped
  • 2 carrots, roughly chopped
  • Sprigs of fresh rosemary, sage and thyme (save some for inside cavity and chopped for flavoured butter)
  • 400ml litres chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 lemon, halved (inside cavity)
  • 1 orange, halved (inside cavity) and zest of 1 orange
  • 1 block of butter 250g, at room temperature
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 pinch nutmeg powder
  • Gravy

    • 300ml turkey stock
    • 200ml chicken stock
    • 40g plain flour
    • 125ml water
    • Salt & Pepper to taste


    1. Preheat oven to 220ºC. Tuck the wings underneath the neck. Fold the legs back towards the wings (Figure 1) & tie ends of leg together with string (Figure 2). Pat dry the turkey. Season generously inside cavity with salt & pepper.
    2. Prepare flavoured butter. Cut butter into small pieces. Chop 1 sprig each of sage, thyme & rosemary. Add orange zest, garlic powder, salt & pepper. Mix all these ingredients with the butter.
    3. Place chopped vegetables on the bottom of a roasting pan. Sprinkle salt & pepper & drizzle with olive oil.
    4. Work your fingers and then your hand under the skin, of the breast meat. Take half of the flavoured butter and push it under the skin of the breast & spread evenly. Rub any leftover butter all over the outside of the turkey.
    5. Place the clementine & lemon halves and a few sprigs of rosemary, bay and thyme inside the turkey cavity. Add 400ml chicken/vegetable stock. Place the turkey on top of the vegetables in the roasting tray and cover with foil. Turn the heat down to 180ºC/350ºF/gas 4 once the tray is placed in the oven.
    6. To keep turkey from drying out, keep basting it with the juices from the bottom of the pan every 30 minutes. Thirty minutes before cooking time ends, remove the foil to allow the turkey to brown. Once baking time completes, take turkey out of the oven.
    7. Stick a small sharp knife into the fattest part of the turkey. The turkey is ready if the juices run clear. If not, place back in the oven to cook for a bit longer. Rest the turkey for at least 30 min to 1 hour, covered with aluminium foil and a tea towel. Meanwhile, prepare the gravy.
    8. Transfer the roasted turkey onto a larger platter. Strain the turkey juice and stock from the bottom of the tray, discarding solids and pour the juice into a fat separator if available or remove fat with a spoon after chilling it. Set aside to separate for 5 -10 mins.
    9. Then, pour 300ml of the strained juice & stock into a saucepan. Add chicken stock. Warm over low heat. Make the thickener; mix water with flour. Mix well. Once the liquid boils, slowly add the thickener to the stock. Stir to incorporate.
    10. Cook over medium heat for 10 to 15 minutes to reduce and thickens. Season with salt & pepper. Stir continuously.
    11. Decorate turkey plate and serve with warm gravy.

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