Best way to roast a Turkey

My favourite way to roast a turkey is loosely based on tips and advice from Mum-Mum-in Law-Jamie Oliver and Delia so this is a bit of a mish mash of all of ‘em. Best of British if you like! I’m normally in charge of feeding about 7-8 of my clan on Christmas day so a 4 kilo turkey gives me plenty for dinner and lots of left overs for other frugal meals.


4 kg (9 lb ish) fresh turkey or completely defrosted if frozen
8 oz or 225 gm of pancetta or streaky bacon
6 oz of softened butter
5-6 sprigs of fresh thyme with leaves picked off
Maldon Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup of chicken stock

Mix the thyme leaves into the butter and spread all over the bird. Place pancetta/bacon strips evenly over the bird. Season with salt and pepper.
Place the bird into a large roasting tin and cover with tin foil. Pour stock in bottom of pan.
Rule of thumb for cooking time is about 20 minutes per 500g/1lb 2oz or until the juices run clear from the thigh. Each bird is different so please ensure it is fully cooked before serving.

Place the turkey into a preheated oven Gas mark 7, 425F, 220C for around 30 minutes. Then reduce oven temperature Gas mark 4, 350F, 180C for the calculated cooking time. Remove the foil for the last 45 minutes of cooking time to brown the turkey.

Carefully remove the bird from the pan and place onto a large carving platter and cover with foil to allow it to rest before serving.
I like to serve my turkey dinner with roasted sweet potatoes, garlic and rosemary spuds, carrots, cauliflower, sprouts and a few lashings of gravy. Add a dash of fresh cranberry sauce and the meal is complete!
Cooking a turkey is very economical as there’s normally loads left over. I whip up turkey pot pie, turkey curry, spicy turkey soup and there’s always a moist turkey sarnie to be had.