Roast turkey

This turkey recipe is for roast turkey and shows how to cook a turkey.


  • Turkey: 1
  • Mirepoix of root vegetables: (onion,carrot, celery and leek)
  • Vegetable oil: for basting
  • Sea salt / pepper: to taste

Getting everything ready

  •  If you are using a frozen turkey, follow the instructions on the packaging and ensure that your turkey is thoroughly defrosted.  This could take many hours – often 40 minutes per kilogram.
  • Prepare the mirepoix of root vegetables.
  • Pre-heat the oven to 190°C-200°C (Gas Mark 5–6).


  1. Spread the vegetables over the base of the roasting tray.  Place the turkey on top of the vegetables, drizzle over a touch of oil and season with a little salt and milled pepper.  Put the turkey into the pre-heated oven.
  2. After about 30 minutes, the skin of the breast of the turkey should begin to colour.  Then, carefully remove the turkey from the oven and turn the turkey upside down in the roasting tin.  Baste well and return to the oven until fully cooked.  Remember to baste the turkey from time to time.
  3. When your roast turkey is fully cooked, remove it carefully from the oven.  Then, very carefully, move it from the roasting tin onto a clean dish or tray.  Cover it with foil and leave to rest somewhere warm for around 25 minutes before carving.

Roast turkey – hints and tips

  1. Roasting the turkey upside down in this way should allow the juices from the turkey to seep into the breast, keeping it moist.  This will add a touch more flavour to the meat.
  2. To check if the bird is cooked, insert a skewer or point of a knife through the thickest part of the thigh into the turkey.  When the juices run clear, the turkey should be cooked.
  3. If you intend to do a lot of roasting, it would be worthwhile buying a very strong, good-quality roasting tray that doesn’t buckle in the heat.  It will cost you a few pounds, but well looked after should last a lifetime.

Cooking tips for main course recipes

Main course recipes come in all shapes and sizes to suit different tastes and appetites. Click here for some great suggestions for cooking tips for mains recipes.