How we cook our Turkey

Please remember that this is the way we cook our turkeys, there is plenty of other advice that can be found on the internet or in cookery books and we are not in any way saying that this is the only way or the best way, it is just our preferred method. 

How we like to cook our turkeys.

I place our turkey into the roasting tray and make sure it is at room temperature before it goes into the oven. I have an electric fan oven and I pre heat this to 180c and as soon as I put the turkey in, I turn the oven down to 160c. We cook our turkeys for 15-25mins/kg, checking with a digital thermometer after 15mins /kg and at regular intervals thereafter until the temperature at the thickest part of the meat reaches 65c.

Once the turkey has reached 65c, I remove it from the oven and leave it to rest for at least 30mins before carving.

I put the giblets into a separate pan cover them with water and add pepper corns sage thyme and rosemary along with chopped carrot and parsnip. I bring this to the boil and leave to simmer while the turkey is cooking. I use the strained liquid to make the gravy along with the meat juices from the roasting tray and a little red wine! Taste and season as necessary.

We normally do not stuff our turkeys as the heat cannot get through the bird as well when the cavity is packed with stuffing, and a lot of us like the stuffing separately but Roger has requested chestnut stuffing and sausage meat stuffing in his turkey this year and after all his hard work at Christmas how can we refuse. 

This is the way I like to cook a turkey if we have it stuffed.


2 medium-large onions finally chopped

150g bread crumbs

2-3tsp chopped fresh sage 

2-3tsp chopped fresh thyme

600g chestnut, I use a mix of puree and whole chopped

Salt and pepper to season

Fry the onions in oil, I use olive oil, until soft. Add to bread crumbs and mix. Add sage, thyme and salt and pepper, amounts depending on personal preference, mix well and add the chestnut. Mix everything together and if necessary, add an egg to bind. 

I use this to stuff under the skin covering the breast of the turkey.