Perfect turkey



  • 5kg turkey, with giblets and the wish bone removed
  • 4 large carrots, peeled
  • 2 onions, peeled
  • 4 sticks of celery
  • ½ bottle dry white wine
  • 2 pints chicken stock
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 50g butter, really soft
  • 40g plain flour

For the stuffing:

  • 500g sausage meat
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh sage
  • 30g dried apricots, chopped
  • Salt and pepper


1. Preheat the oven to 200°c

2. Make sure you have removed the wish bone and the giblets from the bird (you can get your butcher to do this for you). This will really help with the carving later.

3. Make the stuffing by mixing together the sausage meat, sage and dried apricots. Season with salt and pepper.

4. Stuff the neck end of the turkey (where you have just removed the wish bone) with your stuffing; this is a much better way of doing it rather than stuffing the cavity which slows down cooking. Use a cocktail stick to secure the skin of the neck underneath the bird as this will help keep the stuffing in.

5. Season the turkey with salt and pepper both in the cavity and the skin.

6. Cut the veg into large chunks and place in the bottom of a large baking tray that is just slightly bigger than your turkey. Place the turkey on top.

7. Pour in the white wine and chicken stock. Cover the tray in two layers of tin foil, then place it into the oven. Cook the bird for about 2 hours, approximately.

8. To check if the bird is cooked, remove from the oven. Do this carefully as there are lots of juices for your gravy in the pan. Remove the foil, taking care of all the steam. Run a knife along where the leg attaches itself to the body and if the juices run clear the bird is cooked. If not, replace the foil and cook for a further 20 minutes.

9. When the turkey is cooked, turn the oven up to 230°c. Remove the foil, pour over the olive oil and place the turkey back into the oven for about 15 minutes until golden brown.

10. When beautifully golden, remove the turkey from the oven and carefully take the bird out of the tray and leave to rest for 20 minutes. You can lightly cover it with foil to keep it warm.

11. Place the tray on the hob and bring the stock back to a simmer. Mash together the softened butter and flour then whisk the paste into the gravy. Boil for 2 minutes until thickened adding more stock or water to get the right gravy consistency.

12. Carve the turkey and serve it along side the stuffing from the neck of the bird and your gravy.

Here's what you'll need:

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