Roast Turkey

Roast Turkey

Cooking a turkey, whether its for the first time or you are an old hand, doesn't need to be complicated. This recipe is really easy and your turkey is cooked perfectly.
ServesPrep / Cooking TimeDifficulty
8 2hr 30 minutes plus resting 1

The butter baste will ensure that you get a lovely crispy skin but still leave the meat juicy and succulent.


Before you buy your turkey, make sure it is going to fit into your oven! I have heard of many people who have prepared the bird beautifully only to try and get it into their oven and it wont fit!! Measure up first!!!



1 turkey, (usually around 4kg to feed 8), giblets removed
125g butter, at room temperature
1 lemon, zested
2 tbsp of live oil
Maldon sea salt
3 onions, halved, skins removed


  • Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  • In a small bowl, mix the butter and lemon zest together until well blended together.
  • Using your fingers, gently spread the mix evenly under all the skin of the bird.
  • Drizzle some oil over the turkey then rub all over with your hands
  • Lightly sprinkle some sea salt all over the bird.
  • Place the halved onions in the bottom of a large roasting tin and sit the turkey on the top.
  • Cover well with foil then cook the turkey for 25 minutes per kilo (1hr 40 mins for a 4kg bird but calculate according to the weight of the bird).
  • Remove the turkey from the oven and remove the foil.
  • Turn up the oven to 220°C and put the bird back into the oven for a further 30 minutes until the skin is turning golden.
  • It is very important the poultry is cooked thoroughly and the easiest way to do it is to use a skewer.
  • Piece the skewer into the fattest part of the thigh and if the juices run clear, the bird is cooked. If the juices are still a little pink, pop the bird back into the oven for a further 15 mins, then test again.
  • When you are happy the turkey is cooked through, remove it from the oven and cover loosely with the foil and allow to rest for 45 minutes before serving.
  • Whilst still warm, pour out all those lovely cooking juices to use in the gravy.
  • The onions can be served on the plate with the turkey as they will be soaked with all the goodness from the bird - absolutely delicious!
  • Important: For hygiene reasons, the Food Hygiene & Standards Agency tell us NOT wash raw poultry as a food bug called campylobacter is the most common cause of food poisoning in the UK and can be very serious.
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