Classic Roast Turkey

{Serves 6-8 | Preparation Time: 15 mins | Cooking Time: Roast for 40 min (per kg)}

The main event, the va va voom of any celebratory feast. Some people are hesitant when cooking turkey for the first time, but honestly if you follow a few basic principles the results will be incredibly pleasing. I like to keep my turkey quite classic as I have done so here. Just make sure you give yourself enough time for the bird to thaw fully before cooking it.


  • 5kg Humza Turkey (defrosted to room temperature) giblets removed
  • 150 grams unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons flaky sea salt
  • Coarse black pepper
  • 3 lemons, quartered


  • Preheat the oven to 160 degrees fan, 180 degrees non fan/ gas mark 4.
  • Pat the skin of the turkey dry with plenty of kitchen towel.
  • Remove the wishbone by gently pulling back the neck skin until the wishbone is located, then using a sharp knife cut underneath the bone just deep enough to ease it out.
  • Place the turkey on a deep roasting tray.
  • Stuff the lemons into the cavity of the bird and rub the butter over all surfaces. Season liberally with salt and pepper and wrap the bird with plenty of extra wide foil paper before transferring to the oven.
  • Roast for 40 minutes per kg.
  • For the last 20 minutes of cooking remove the foil paper and baste the bird with the residual juices in the pan. Increase the oven temperature by 20 degrees to allow the skin to take on some colour.
  • Remove from the oven and cover loosely with foil, allowing the bird to rest for at least 30 minutes before serving. If you have a kitchen thermometer you can make sure the turkey is cooked through by checking the internal temperature is 70 degrees.
  • You can use the juices at the bottom to make gravy if you wish.


Dry the skin of your turkey before basting liberally with butter for crisp skin and moist flesh.

Make sure you wrap the bird with plenty of extra wide tin foil to prevent moisture escaping as the bird cooks.

Ensure you know how much the bird weighs. You can use the weight to calculate the cooking time using some really handy online calculators. I generally say 40 minutes cooking time per kg as a rule of thumb.