Christmas turkey

Tom Norrington-Davies sets us on the right track with his step-by-step guide to roasting your Christmas turkey
By Tom Norrington-Davies
Christmas turkey
  • Rating:
  • Serves: a 4.5-5kg turkey will serve about 8
  • Cook Time: 3 hours 20 minutes for a 4.5-5kg bird
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes plus 1 hr out of the fridge and 40 mins resting
  • Effort: easy


  • 1 turkey
  • goose fat, duck fat, or butter
  • salt

Tips and Suggestions

The shopping bit is important. If you can avoid it don't try and guess how many people you can feed from a frozen bird in the supermarket. Go to a butcher and tell him how many people are coming for Christmas, and he'll advice on the size of bird to suit your needs. Remember to allow for leftovers on Boxing Day.


1. Note the weight of your turkey so you can calculate the cooking time, and pull it out of the fridge at least an hour before roasting to take off the chill.

2. Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Rub the turkey with a generous palm full of duck or goose fat (or butter) and sprinkle lightly with salt.

3. Cook for 20 minutes per 500g, basting the turkey, every half hour with the fat and juices that form in the roasting tin.

4. Check the bird to see if the juices run clear by plunging a knife into the area where the thigh meets the breast. If the juices are still pink, continue cooking a while longer.

5. When done, remove the turkey from the oven, cover loosely with foil and let it rest it for 40 minutes before carving it won't go cold as long as it sits in a draft-free place.

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