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Classic Christmas roast turkey recipe

botchway December 21, 2018



For the turkey

5kg Tesco fresh turkey

50g butter, at room temperature

1 lemon, quartered

5 rosemary sprigs

3 large onions, finely sliced

Sea salt

For the stuffing

2tbsp olive oil

2 red onions peeled and chopped

250g breadcrumbs

125g macadamia nuts, roughly chopped in a food processor

100g dried cranberries

Rind of 2 oranges and juice of 1 orange

2 eggs


Freshly ground black pepper

For the gravy

250g (8oz) onions, peeled and coarsely sliced

Pinch cumin seeds

1tbsp organic cocoa powder

2tbsp clear honey

1tbsp plain flour 250ml (8fl oz)

Red wine, preferably Merlot

300ml (½ pint) turkey stock


For the turkey

Preheat the oven to gas 5, 190°C, fan 170°C. Rub the turkey all over with butter and sprinkle with sea salt. Place the lemon pieces and rosemary inside the cavity.

Place the onion halves in a large roasting tin and sit the turkey on top. Cover with kitchen foil, tucking under the tin to create a foil tent. Roast according to the instructions, but remove the foil 30 minutes before the end until golden.

To test the meat is cooked, pierce the fattest part of the thigh with a skewer. The juices should run clear. Rest the turkey, covered loosely with foil, for at least 30 minutes.

Cook’s tip

Leftover meat will stay juicer if you keep it on the bone. Wrap the turkey carcass in a clean damp tea towel and cling film then store in the fridge.

For the stuffing

Preheat the oven to gas 5, 190°C, 375°F.

Heat the oil in a frying pan and fry the onions for 4 to 5 minutes until transparent. Place in a bowl and add all the remaining ingredients. Mix and season well. Place in a shallow, ovenproof dish and cook for 35-40 minutes until golden.

For the gravy

Remove the cooked bird from the oven. Set bird aside to rest, skim excess fat off the juices in the roasting pan, then add the onions and cumin seeds.

Fry gently until the onions are tender. Add the cocoa powder, honey and enough flour to absorb the juices and remaining fat. Cook for 1-2 minutes.

Gradually stir in the wine and stock and bring to a simmer. Adjust seasoning to taste, cook gravy for 5-10 minutes, then serve with the turkey.

Top Tip:

It may sound unusual, but adding cocoa to the chunky onion gravy really works, offsetting the tangy wine.

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