Whole Bird Cooking Instructions


Preheat oven to 190°C (170°C fan) 375°F, Gas Mark 5.

Remove giblets if necessary. (Use giblets to make stock for gravy).

Weigh the turkey after stuffing to calculate cooking time and remember oven temperatures vary. Fan assisted ovens cook at a higher temperature - consult the manufacturers handbook.

Take the bird out of the fridge to bring it up to room temperature an hour before the start of your cooking time. Preheat your oven. As a guide, if the bird is under 4kg allow 20 minutes per kg + 70 minutes. If the bird is over 4kg allow 20 minutes per kg + 90 minutes.

For a deliciously succulent turkey, rub room temperature unsalted butter under the skin to baste and enrichen the juices. In the cavity place a handful of whole peeled shallots a sprig of rosemary and a few sage leaves. In a large roasting tin spread a layer of whole peeled shallots, whole carrots and root veg of your choice, and rest your turkey on top, add half a glass of white wine, season well with salt and pepper and cover the turkey breast with bacon if you wish. Cover loosely with foil and cook in the preheated oven for the calculated time.

Baste occasionally with the turkey juices until cooked and the juices run clear when the thigh is pierced with a skewer or sharp thin knife. If the juices run clear the turkey is cooked, if they run pinkish, return to the oven and cook for a little longer. Alternatively, test with a temperature probe, which must be 72 degrees C or above in the thickest part of the breast for 2 mins. Try to avoid opening the oven door too often during cooking.

Add a little of the pan juices to the gravy.

Transfer your turkey to a platter, cover loosely with foil or a clean tea towel and leave to rest in a warm place for at least 20 minutes before carving. Resting ensures the juices are absorbed into the meat making it juicier to eat and easier to carve.


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