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Whole Roast Turkey
Whole Roast Turkey

Simple Classic Roast Turkey

Roast turkey is the centrepiece for festive celebrations all over the world. From Christmas to Thanksgiving dinners, roast turkey is a firm favourite as a bird that can feed a large number of people at once.

Not everyone enjoys the delicate flavour but its a tradition that evokes nostalgia. Sure, there is a tendency for many of us to overcook the turkey into dryness. But with the right technique, you can proudly serve up a deliciously succulent and moist meat.

The key to moist turkey is to baste the turkey regularly throughout its cooking time, and do not cook longer than necessary.

Ideally, you want to buy the highest quality turkey you can afford to get that depth of flavour in the meat. Bring the turkey to room temperature for 2 hours before cooking to ensure an evenness when roasting. Allow the turkey to rest for 30-45 minutes before carving to allow the juices to soak back into the meat.

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Classic Roast Turkey
Classic Roast Turkey

What ingredients are used for classic roast turkey?

We try to keep a classic roast turkey as simple as possible. Turkey meat has a delicate flavour so we just want to enhance that with seasoning and fresh herbs.

We use a whole onion or lemon stuffed inside the cavity to infuse the meat and help with cooking the breast meat evenly.

We use softened butter smoothed all over the outside of the turkey to help keep the meat succulent and to give a lovely colour to the skin.

And we add some stock to the pan to give flavour and moisture to the cooking process.

We love to use rosemary or thyme as our fresh herbs for classic roast turkey. We sometimes stuff it inside the cavity. Or we carefully lift up the skin and poke some sprigs between the skin and meat.

Plus, of course, we use delicious Maldon sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper for seasoning to bring out the delicious turkey flavour.

Roast Turkey at Christmas
Roast Turkey at Christmas
Roast Turkey
Roast Turkey

How to serve classic roast turkey?

We serve classic roast turkey on Christmas day with lots of crispy roast potatoes, sausage stuffing, and our favourite vegetable sides.

How long does it take to roast turkey?

Calculate turkey cooking time by allowing 20 minutes per kilo plus 90 minutes. If you are stuffing the cavity of your turkey you will need to weigh it again to calculate the cooking time. If it’s a large bird you may have to use bathroom scales.

Whole Roast Turkey
Whole Roast Turkey

Should I baste my turkey?

As turkey breast meat tends to be on the drier side it is good practice to regularly baste the turkey every 30-45 minutes.

Should I cover the turkey in foil?

Yes, we recommend covering the turkey with foil to begin with. Then remove the foil for the last 60-90 minutes to get some colour and crisp to the skin.


Simple Classic Roast Turkey
Simple Classic Roast Turkey
Roast Turkey Recipe
Roast Turkey Recipe



  • 4-5KG Turkey
  • 1 Onion or 1 Lemon
  • 3 Bay Leaves
  • Fresh Rosemary / Thyme / Sage / Tarragon (optional, to taste)
  • 100g Butter (approx.), softened
  • Maldon Sea Salt
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • 150ml Chicken Stock


  1. Preheat the oven to 190C. Line a large baking tray with strong foil that overflows on both ends enough that it can be joined up over the turkey.
  2. Meanwhile prepare the turkey by removing the giblets and placing the onion (or lemon), bay leaves, and any other herbs of your choosing inside the cavity. Rub the entire turkey with the softened butter followed by a generous sprinkling of sea salt flakes and ground black pepper.
  3. Place the turkey onto the foil-prepared tin and pour the chicken stock into the bottom of the pan. Roll up the sides of the foil to form a tent around the turkey.
  4. Roast in the oven for 20 minutes per kilo.
  5. Take the roast turkey out of the oven and roll down the ends of the foil. Baste the turkey with the juices in the bottom of the pan and return to the oven for a further 90 minutes.
  6. Test the turkey is cooked by inserting a skewer into the thickest part of the joint, the leg, and check the juices run clear.
  7. Move the turkey to a carving tray, cover with foil and a few tea towels and allow to rest for 30 minutes before carving.

Roast Turkey

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