The Perfect Half-Bird Roast Turkey

  • Free-range bronze half-bird turkey available from our Borough Market, Chelsea and Chiswick stores.
  1. Tip 1 – Prep Like A Chef
    For a super succulent bird, remove the turkey from the fridge at least 30 minutes before cooking and allow it to reach room temperature which will stop your turkey from shrinking too much while in the oven. If your turkey is trussed, remove the string, take out the giblets and put to one side so you can use them to make a beautiful gravy later.
  2. Tip 2 – To Stuff Or Not To Stuff?
    It’s a personal choice, but for flavour that permeates every juicy bite, stuff the neck of your bird loosely with fresh herbs, a large peeled onion or Bramley apple.
    Finally, before popping into the oven, drizzle some oil across the skin and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Tip 3 – Time To Roast
    It’s time to get that bird in the oven. Turning on your oven 20-30 minutes before you start cooking will ensure that your oven is up to the correct temperature before you put in your turkey. We always recommend you follow the guidelines on cooking times for the weight of your turkey, but a general rule of thumb is to allow 35 minutes of cooking time per kilo of bird in a standard oven at 190C/fan 170C/gas 5.

    Place your turkey breast side down and cover loosely with tin foil sealing around your roasting tin, and place in the oven. About 30 minutes before the end of the cooking time, remove the tin foil, turn your turkey over, baste in those flavoursome juices, and return to the oven to allow that skin to turn crisp and golden. The best way to check your turkey is cooked to perfection is by piercing a skewer or knife into the thickest part of the turkey leg, if the juices run clear you’re done – any hint of pink, pop back into the oven for a further 15 minutes and check again.

  4. Tip 4 – Let It Rest
    Always leave your turkey to rest for as long as possible once cooked, but leave at least 30 minutes before carving. Cover your bird with tin foil and a warm tea towel and let those juices reabsorb for the most delicious, succulent turkey you’ve ever tasted.
  5. Tip 5 – Flavoursome Turkey Gravy
    While the turkey is resting, it’s time to grab those giblets and whip up a delicious, rich gravy. Place the giblets in a saucepan and cover with 2 pints/1 litre of water. Add a little seasoning with peppercorns, chopped onion, celery and a bay leaf. Bring the stock to the boil, skim off the top layer, reduce the heat, and simmer for 45 minutes.
    Once cooked, strain the stock and set aside.
    Take your turkey roasting tin and strain off the fat to leave only those flavoursome turkey juices, add in approx 1 oz/25g plain flour, and heat gently until you have a smooth, golden brown mixture. Pour in your stock, return to the heat and boil for 3-4 minutes constantly stirring until your gravy thickens.