Roast Turkey Preparation & Cooking Instructions

a_turkey2  Anita’s Traditional  Roast Turkey Method

Get it home, unwrap it, remove the giblets, put turkey into a roasting tin – BREAST SIDE DOWN, cover loosely with tin foil, keep in bottom of fridge until you’re ready to cook it.


No stuffing, no lemons, no bacon, no basting, no anything, just turkey. We haven’t added anything, so why should you? Make the stuffing and cook it separately. Boil the giblets for the gravy.

The timing and cooking heat varies according to the type of oven.  Low could be below 180 deg C.  You know your oven.

Leave the bird breast side down throughout the whole cooking and resting process.

Do the first 15-20 minutes in a very hot oven and then turn the oven down to low. About 15 mins per lb/30 mins per Kg, so an 8Kg bird will take about 4 hours. Check it after three hours, just in case the oven temperature is too low or too high. Our turkeys have an amazing amount of “juice” on their backs which will slowly permeate down through into the tray.

Once the juices run freely and clearly from the inner thigh, the turkey is cooked. If you have a food thermometer, stick it in between the thigh and breast and it should be over 75 degrees C.
When cooked take out of the oven and leave on the side to rest, still breast side down, for at least an hour. It will still stay hot, whilst you cook all the vegetables and make the giblet gravy. Warm the crockery.

Whilst the turkey is resting it will slowly absorb all the juices. The breast will have been browned. When you eventually turn it up the right way, it will not only taste fantastic it will look fantastic and what’s more, it will taste of turkey, without any lemon flavour or stuffing flavour disguising it.

The reason why so many chefs, cookbooks, etc. give such complicated and fussy things to do with a turkey is because mass produced ones, tend to be grown quickly and not hung, making them tasteless and dry. Hanging them for a period of 10 days or more, matures the meat, giving it that delicious turkey flavour.