Roast turkey with parsley, thyme and bacon stuffing

Antony Worrall Thompson's roast turkey recipe cuts a few corners by using a packet stuffing enhanced with lots of tasty additions
By Antony Worrall Thompson
Roast turkey with parsley, thyme and bacon stuffing
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Effort: medium



  • 1x 4kg turkey
  • 4 smoked bacon
  • 25 g butter, melted
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 600 ml chicken stock

For the stuffing:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 115 g smoked bacon or pancetta
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 1 stick of celery, finely sliced
  • 55 g melted butter
  • 2 tsp grated lemon zest

For the gravy:

  • 4 tbsp red wine
  • 1 tbsp redcurrant jelly
  • 1 tbsp cornflour
  • black pepper


1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas 6.

2. Carefully loosen the skin over the breast and tops of the legs of the turkey, using your fingers or the handle of a wooden spoon. Cut the bacon into 2.5cm pieces and push down under the skin of the turkey.

3. For the stuffing, heat the olive oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the bacon and cook for 2 minutes. Next add the onions and celery and cook for a further 3 minutes, stirring the pan. Take off the heat and set aside. Make the parsley and thyme stuffing following the instructions on the packet and add the melted butter and lemon rind to it. Then add the bacon mixture to the bowl and mix well.

4. Fill the neck cavity (that's the rounded end!) with the stuffing.

5. Place the onion, bay leaves and stock in the bottom of a roasting tray, place a rack over this mixture and put the turkey on the rack (if you don?t have a rack, no problem, just put the turkey on top of the onions). Brush the turkey with the melted butter and season with salt and pepper. Place in the oven and cook for 2 hours.
After 1 hour cover the breast and end of the drumsticks with foil if they appear too brown. Pour extra stock into the roasting tray from time to time.

6. Reduce the oven temperature to 150°C/gas 2 and return the turkey to the oven on another oven proof dish for 15 minutes while you make the gravy.

7. To make the gravy, remove the rack from the roasting tray and place the tray over a medium heat on the stove. Remove as much fat from the juices in the pan as possible (either with a metal spoon or pipette) but don't worry if a little remains. Add the red wine and redcurrant jelly to the pan and with a wooden spoon scrape the bottom of the pan to loosen any bits that have stuck to the bottom and simmer gently until the jelly melts. Mix the corn flour with a little water to pouring consistency and stir into the sauce, continue stirring until it gently thickens. Season to taste. Strain the sauce into a jug and keep warm.

8. Return the turkey to its original roasting tray and leave to stand for 15 minutes. Remove the foil and carve the turkey. Serve with the stuffing spooned out of the bird and the gravy.

Rate This Recipe