16 December 2021
If you're celebrating Christmas with a turkey this year, try this mouthwatering recipe by avid cook Lisa from My Relationship With Food. There’s a subtle fruity and rosemary hint, which flavours the meat succulently. And there’s no turning over the Turkey - instead, basting the gravy juices throughout the cooking process keeps the meat deliciously moist.
Roast Turkey Recipe
Prep time: 40 mins
Cook time: 5 hours
Resting time: 30 hours
Servings: 10-12 people
- 5 kg Turkey (hen) allow the turkey to come to room temperature before roasting
- 220 g butter or margarine, block room temperature
- 3 carrots cut into ¼ inch thick strips
- 20 g rosemary approx. 6-7 sprigs
- 4 shallots 2 finely chopped – 2 sliced in half lengthways
- 3 red onions 1 finely sliced – 2 cut in half through the center, outer skin removed
- 1 lemon cut into quarters
- 1 orange cut into quarters
- 1 apple cut into quarters
- 1 garlic bulb cut in half through the width (use 2 garlic cloves for the butter mix)
- 1-2 tbsp olive oil light and mild
- 300 ml boiling water
- 2 tbsp honey
- sea salt
- White pepper
- Cracked black pepper
- Roast potatoes, brussels & chestnuts, roast parsnips & carrots, red cabbage and stuffing cranberry sauce
1. Pre-heat the oven to 375°F, gas mark 5, 195°C (175°C fan-assisted).
2. In a medium saucepan add 20g butter and sauté 2 finely chopped shallots until soft and translucent, then add the minced garlic cloves and sauté for a further minute. Season with sea salt and white pepper then take off the heat and add 1 sprig of rosemary finely chopped (discard the stalk of the rosemary). Leave the shallots to cool then blend into 200g butter, (if the butter gets too soft place back in the fridge for a few minutes).
3. Using the same saucepan, add a drop of oil and sauté the sliced red onion until soft and translucent, then set aside to cool.
4. In a large high side oval roasting dish, place the red onions cut through the center, on the base of the roasting dish cut side facing upwards, add the carrots and 2 sliced shallot lengthways, 3 sprigs of rosemary to create a vegetable rack for the turkey to sit on. Season the vegetables with Herbamare, sea salt and cracked black pepper.
5. Then scatter over the sautéed red onions.
6. Season the turkey on all sides and in the cavity with sea salt, Herbamare, white pepper and garlic granules.
7. Place the turkey breast side facing upwards on top of the onions and carrots and stuff the cavity with the cut garlic bulb, sliced lemon, orange, and apple and 2 sprigs of rosemary.
8. To add the shallot butter to the turkey - using your hand, working from the neck end, slide your fingers under the skin gently loosen the skin from the breast (be careful not to tear the skin, so take this process slow), make sure that the skin has separated from the breast. Gently place half of the butter mixture under the skin of the turkey, and massage over the skin so that the butter is smooth and evenly distributed and the breast is covered with the butter mixture. Then rub the remaining butter over the turkey breast, legs and wings.
9. Drizzle the top with a touch of olive oil (approx.1-2 tbsp), sprinkle a touch or sea salt and cracked black pepper over the top of the turkey, legs and wings. Add 300ml boiling water around the base of the dish, cover with foil and roast on 175°C on the fan setting for 5 hours on the bottom shelf rack of the oven, keep basting the juices every hour over the turkey, after 4 ½ hours take the foil off, baste and cook for the last 30 minutes uncovered and then remove from the oven and place on a large serving dish. Cover loosely with foil (there’s two options if you don’t want to seal in the moisture, which will cause the skin to steam and lose whatever level of crispness you’ve achieved if you like the skin crispy, you can leave off the foil, and let it sit uncovered) and leave to rest for 30 minutes, before carving.
10. Whilst the Turkey is resting, strain off all the gravy through a fine mesh sieve into a large saucepan, discard the fat that comes to the top of the gravy, by using a large soon (keep the fat for adding to stuffing or potatoes).
11. Keep the gravy on a medium/high heat to slightly reduce, add 2 tbsp honey, stir and if it bubbles too high turn the heat down to medium.
12. Slice and serve, I find it best to take off both breasts, either side of the breastbone, and then cut against the grain.
13. Serve with the hot gravy, and all the sides and trimmings.
Lisa's Top Tips:
To adjust your cooking time, based on the size of your turkey go by 1 hour per kilo of turkey. Keep basting every hour and keep the turkey tightly covered with foil throughout the cooking process until the last 30 minutes.
If you have leftovers, a simple mix of mayonnaise, curry powder, coriander, red onion and mango chutney is delicious. Or you can make a turkey curry which is equally delicious. But nothing beats a turkey sandwich!
Lisa is an avid cook and published cookbook writer with a passion for eating mindfully. Priding herself on recipes that are gluten free with limited dairy or refined sugars, Lisa enjoys inspiring people to cook nourishing meals from scratch and to develop a positive relationship with food. Discover more about Lisa and lots of delicious recipes on the My Relationship With Food blog: https://www.myrelationshipwithfood.com/