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How to Cook a Roast Turkey Dinner With All the Trimmings

Gabriel loves to cook all kinds of foods, from baking to a full roast dinner and, of course, burgers.

Roast Turkey with all the Trimmings

My Sunday Dinner :)

My Sunday Dinner :)

Roast and Rate

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

20 min

4 hours

4 hours 20 min

8 to 10 people


  • 5kg (11 lbs) turkey, oven ready
  • 100g butter, softend
  • 2 medium onions, skinned and finely diced
  • 3 celery stalks, washed and finely chopped
  • 200g white breadcrumbs
  • 1 tbsp fresh flat leaf parsley, washed and finely chopped
  • 1/2 tbsp fresh rosemary, washed and finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp orange zest
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest
  • 1 egg, well beaten
  • sea salt
  • ground black pepper
  • 8 back bacon rashers, smoked
  • 1 orange, in slices
  • 3 rosemary, sprigs

Non-Stick Roasting Tin: tried and tested with great results many times, the rack makes for easy gravy making and being non-stick makes for easy cleaning...

Create a Pocket Between The Skin and The Body of The Bird

Stuffing Under The Skin

Stuffing Under The Skin


  1. Heat half the butter in a frying pan over a medium heat (making sure not to burn the butter) and fry the onions and the celery till soft and translucent. Leave to one side to cool.
  2. Put the breadcrumbs, parsley, rosemary, orange and lemon zest in a deep bowl, add the cooled cooked onion and celery. Stir to mix well. Pour in the beaten egg and combine to mix.
  3. Season with the sea salt and ground black pepper.
  4. Before you begin stuffing your turkey remove the neck and giblets (they should be in the body of the bird). Wash the turkey inside and out and pat dry with a kitchen towel.
  5. Using your hands, lift the skin (about an inch) gently away from the body of the bird working your way across the body so that skin is separeted rather like a pocket of skin. Stuff your stuffing between the skin and the body of the turkey making sure not to pack it in too tightly. Use your hands to pat the stuffing down and around the body of the bird. Stuff the neck of the bird too. Covering the stuffing with the neck skin.
  6. With the turkey breast side up, carefully fold the wing tips underneath the body of the turkey, into the neck skin. Tie the legs together making the body as even and plump as possible.
  7. Place the orange slices and rosemary sprigs in the roasting tin and place the stuffed bird on top. Rub the remaining butter into the skin, sprinkle over sea salt and ground black pepper. Lay the bacon in slices over the breast and cover the complete bird with foil.
  8. Place the stuffed turkey in a non stick roasting tin with a rack into a preheated oven at 180°C (350°F) and roast for calculated cooking time of 4 hours (based on 20 minutes per lb plus 20 mintues). Remove the foil covering the turkey 30 minutes before it's cooked to crisp the bacon. Remove the bacon when crisp (10 minutes) and continue roasting the turkey to brown the skin.
  9. Remove the turkey and check it's cooked. The easiest way is to use a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the bird. It should read 71°C. You can also insert a skewer into the thickest part, the juices should run clear.
  10. Remove the turkey from the roasting tin. Cover with a double layer of foil and leave to rest for up to an hour. Now you can get on with the gravy.

Roast Stuffed Turkey

Roast Stuffed Turkey

Roast Stuffed Turkey

Giblet Stock

Place the giblets in a large pot and add a litre of water, 2 onions, 2 carrots, 3 celery sticks, 3 bay leaves, a sprig of rosemary, 6 whole pepper corns and a sprinkle of sea salt. Bring to the boil and simmer for at least an hour with the lid on, not to reduce the stock too much. This stock will keep for up to three days: once cold store in a plastic container and keep in the fridge.

Giblet Gravy


  • 2 tbsp cornflour mixed with a splash of water
  • giblet stock (see above)
  • 150ml of red wine
  • sprig of rosemary
  • a bayleaf
  • tbsp of cranberry sauce
  • sea salt
  • ground black pepper
  • knob of butter


  1. Remove excess fat from the roasting tray.
  2. Place tin on the hob over a high heat and add the wine (deglazing). Using a wooden spoon scrape all the sediment from the bottom of the tin mixing into the wine (squash the orange slices with a wooden spoon to intensify flavour). Add in the stock and bring to the boil.
  3. Add the sprig of rosemary, the bayleaf and cranberry sauce. Stir in the cornflour and simmer for 3 to 5 minutes, till the gravy thickens. Sieve the gravy and pour into a pot, add the butter and stir to obtain a lovely, smooth, rich glossy gravy.
  4. Season and serve in a warm gravy boat.

The Vegetables

Prepare your vegetables while your turkey is roasting in the oven.

Crisp and Crunchy Roast Potatoes


  • 3kg of good quality potatoes
  • 150g of goose fat or duck fat
  • sea salt


  1. Bring the potatoes to the boil in salted water, boiling lightly for 3 minutes.
  2. Drain the water off and leave to steam, when cool enough to handle run a fork over the potato creating lines all around.
  3. When you remove the turkey from the oven, turn the oven up to 200°C (400°F) and melt the goose fat in a roasting tin.
  4. When the fat is sizzling tip the potatoes in (be careful of the hot spitting fat) and sprinkle over the sea salt.
  5. Cook for about 40 minutes or until crisp, crunchy to touch and golden in colour.

Potatoes roasted in goose fat are deliciously soft on the inside and wickedly crispy on the outside, I adore this pure goose fat and use it every time I roast p

Honey Roasted Parsnips


  • 2kg of parsnips cut in two length ways
  • 3 tbsp vegetale oil
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • cracked black pepper
  • sea salt
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  1. Bring a pot of salted water to the boil and simmer your parsnips for 5 to 10 minutes till just tender, drain and leave to steam.
  2. 20 minutes before your potatoes are ready, heat the oil in a roasting tin till sizzling, toss the parsnips in the hot oil and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Place the parsnips in the oven and roast for 15 to 20 minutes till starting to turn golden, remove from the oven and drizzle over the honey.
  4. Return to the oven (reducing the heat to 180°C/ 350°F) and continue to roast for another 10 minutes or till golden in colour and caramelising at the edges.

Brussels Sprouts and Smoked Bacon


  • 1kg of brussels sprouts
  • 200g of smoked bacon finely diced
  • 50g of butter
  • sea salt
  • ground black pepper


  1. Blanch the sprouts in seasoned boiling water for 10 minutes till just tender, drain and run under a cold tap (this will hold their lovely green colour). Leave to one side until your almost ready to serve dinner.
  2. Heat a frying pan and add the bacon, fry till lovely and crispy. Add the sprouts back in to the pot.
  3. Cook for a minute adding the butter just as you take the sprouts off the heat to obtain a lovely glossy shine.

Orange and Carrot Mash


  • 2kg of baby carrots sliced and diced
  • I bay leaf
  • 2 slices of orange
  • 100 ml or fresh orange juice
  • 50g of butter
  • snipped chives
  • sea salt
  • groung black pepper


  1. Bring a pot of seasoned water to the boil, add the bay leaf, orange slices and orange juice. Toss in the carrots and simmer till tender.
  2. Drain, remove the orange slices and steam. Add in the butter and season. Mash to a fine mash and sprinkle over the chives to serve. If your tight for space or time, this dish can be made earlier in the day and reheated in the microwave when ready to serve.

Cook's Tip

There are lots of great vegetable dishes to choose from: there are no rules. I love mushy peas and always have them with my roast dinner, they make a good alternative for those who don't favor other greens like Brussel sprouts, runner beans or broccoli. If you love your mashed potatoes add a little horseradish sauce or whole grain mustard to give an extra kick. Add a sweet potato to the mix for extra texture. Cauliflower cheese is also another great side vegetable dish, while roasted pumpkin sprinkled with sesame seeds offers an alternative and sauté leeks in butter are a winner. Looking for something a bit different: opt for red cabbage with prunes or courguette ribbons. The most important thing to remember whatever you chose: give yourself plenty of time and be organised, oh! and don't forget the cranberry sauce.

Bread Sauce: this packet sauce is so easy to make and makes a tasty accompaniment to turkey, chicken or pork, we love it...

Don't Wait to Celebrate

Christmas is one of my favorite times of year, if not the favorite. Festive foods are always an important part of the celebrations surrounding all the Christmas cheer and fun, from putting up the Christmas tree and all the decorations, wrapping gifts, cheesy music and family movies. I begin with making mince pies and mulled wine up to the main event on the big day: a big roast turkey with all the trimmings.

I like to keep things organised, that way I don't panic and things run smooth. I love the smell of food wafting through the house, especially the turkey: the wonderful aromas of roasted meat; crispy bacon; herb stuffing; roast potatoes in goose fat; bubbling bread sauce and simmering cranberries. That is the reason why I don't keep turkey just for a Christmas occasion. In my house roast turkey with all the trimmings is a regular visitor to our table. Sunday lunch is a main event with all the family and a plump roast turkey with succulent gravy is often the star. Leftover turkey and stuffing sandwiches are a firm favorite too :)

© 2013 Gabriel Wilson


Gabriel Wilson (author) from Madeira, Portugal on December 25, 2013:

Tanx for reading, and Happy Christmas xxx

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on December 25, 2013:


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