In Dairy Free, Dinner, Egg Free, Gluten Free, Grain Free, Lunch, Nut Free, Recipes

Roast Turkey

Roast Turkey

Whether you’re celebrating Christmas or Thanksgiving, let this recipe take center stage of the table. There’s a subtle fruity and rosemary hint, which flavours the meat succulently. There’s no turning over the Turkey, instead basting the gravy juices throughout the cooking process keeps it moist.
Prep Time 40 mins
Cook Time 5 hrs
Resting time 30 mins
Total Time 6 hrs 10 mins
Servings 10 -12 people


  • 5 kg Turkey (hen) allow the turkey to come to room temperature before roasting
  • 220 g butter or margarine, block room temperature
  • 3 carrots cut into ¼ inch thick strips
  • 20 g rosemary approx. 6-7 sprigs
  • 4 shallots 2 finely chopped – 2 sliced in half lengthways
  • 3 red onions 1 finely sliced – 2 cut in half through the center, outer skin removed
  • 1 lemon cut into quarters
  • 1 orange cut into quarters
  • 1 apple cut into quarters
  • 1 garlic bulb cut in half through the width (use 2 garlic cloves for the butter mix)
  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil light and mild
  • 300 ml boiling water
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • sea salt
  • herbarme
  • white pepper
  • cracked black pepper

Serving suggestion

  • roast potatoes, Brussels & chestnuts, roast parsnips & carrots, red cabbage and stuffing cranberry sauce


  • Pre-heat the oven to 375°F, gas mark 5, 195°C (175°C fan-assisted).
  • In a medium saucepan add 20g butter and sauté 2 finely chopped shallots until soft and translucent, then add the minced garlic cloves and sauté for a further minute. Season with sea salt and white pepper then take off the heat and add 1 sprig of rosemary finely chopped (discard the stalk of the rosemary). Leave the shallots to cool then blend into 200g butter, (if the butter gets too soft place back in the fridge for a few minutes).
  • Using the same saucepan, add a drop of oil and sauté the sliced red onion until soft and translucent, then set aside to cool. 
  • In a large high side oval roasting dish, place the red onions cut through the center, on the base of the roasting dish cut side facing upwards, add the carrots and 2 sliced shallot lengthways, 3 sprigs of rosemary to create a vegetable rack for the turkey to sit on. Season the vegetables with herbamare, sea salt and cracked black pepper.
  • Then scatter over the sautéed red onions.
  • Season the turkey on all sides and in the cavity with sea salt, Herbamare, white pepper and garlic granules.
  • Place the turkey breast side facing upwards on top of the onions and carrots and stuff the cavity with the cut garlic bulb, sliced lemon, orange, and apple and 2 sprigs of rosemary.
  • To add the shallot butter to the turkey - Using your hand, working from the neck end, slide your fingers under the skin gently loosen the skin from the breast (be careful not to tear the skin, so take this process slow), make sure that the skin has separated from the breast. Gently place half of the butter mixture under the skin of the turkey, and massage over the skin so that the butter is smooth and evenly distributed and the breast is covered with the butter mixture. Then rub the remaining butter over the turkey breast, legs and wings.
  • Drizzle the top with a touch of olive oil (approx.1-2 tbsp), sprinkle a touch or sea salt and cracked black pepper over the top of the turkey, legs and wings. Add 300ml boiling water around the base of the dish, cover with foil and roast on 175oC on the fan setting for 5 hours on the bottom shelf  rack of the oven, keep basting the juices every hour over the turkey, after 4 ½ hours take the foil off, baste and cook for the last 30 minutes uncovered and then remove from the oven and place on a large serving dish. Cover loosely with foil (there’s two options if you don’t want to seal in the moisture, which will cause the skin to steam and lose whatever level of crispness you’ve achieved if you like the skin crispy, you can leave off the foil, and let it sit uncovered) and leave to rest for 30 minutes, before carving.
  • Whilst the Turkey is resting, strain off all the gravy through a fine mesh sieve into a large saucepan, discard the fat that comes to the top of the gravy, by using a large soon (keep the fat for adding to stuffing or potatoes).
  • Keep the gravy on a medium/high heat to slightly reduce, add 2 tbsp honey, stir and if it bubbles too high turn the heat down to medium.
  • Slice and serve, I find it best to take off both breasts, either side of the breastbone, and then cut against the grain.
  • Serve with the hot gravy, and all the sides and trimmings. Check out for my red cabbage and brussels sprout recipes.
  • Enjoy!
    If you make this recipe, I’d LOVE to see how you get on so please either send me a photo to or post a picture to Instagram using the #myrelationshipwithfood and tag@myrelationshipwithfood


LISA’S TIP – To adjust your cooking time, based on the size of your turkey I tend to go for 1 hour per kilo turkey. I tend to always go for 5 kilo turkey as it fits perfectly in my oven and roasting tin. Keep basting every hour and keep the turkey tightly covered with foil throughout the cooking process until the last 30 minutes.
If you have leftovers, a simple mix of mayonnaise, curry powder, coriander, red onion and mango chutney is delicious. Or you can make a turkey curry which is equally delicious. But nothing beats a turkey sandwich!
When it comes to carving, make sure you have a sharp knife and a good chopping board, preferably one with grooves to collect and gravy juices. When it’s time to carve, I would suggest doing it in the kitchen, without too many people around – it can become overwhelming, so make sure your guests are occupied with a drink and canapes whilst you carve in peace. Remove the legs, thighs and wings, then remove the breast from the breastbone in the center. Always remember when cutting the breast to cut against the grain on the diagonal.
Brining turkey has gotten a lot more popular, there’s plenty recipes online. Although if you’re using a kosher turkey, I would skip this stage as you may find your turkey too salty. Let your turkey sit overnight in a brine of water, oranges, lemons, brown sugar, bay leaves, peppercorns, salt and seasonings to give the turkey meat a big boost of flavour. This stage isn’t essential (I haven’t brined my turkey, but feel free to research brining recipes online).
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