Top tips for the perfect roast turkey this Christmas

So you’ve chosen your Christmas turkey, you’ve invited the family for a Covid-compliant lunch, and you want to lay on a spectacular festive feast.

Things might be a little different this year, but one thing remains the same – tried and tested ways of serving up a perfect turkey roast.

Here, we combine some of our own recommendations with top tips from our friends at BBC Good Food to explain how to cook and serve the perfect Christmas turkey feast.


Your G.N Badley & Sons festive turkey, with giblets removed

One onion, cut into quarters

Fresh bay leaves

Your favourite stuffing

85g of butter, softened

1 whole nutmeg (or ground nutmeg if you want to make it easier)

10 rashers of streaky bacon

1 glass of red wine, such as Merlot

Pigs in blankets


  • Heat oven to 190C (or 170C for a fan oven), gas mark 5. Insert the onion and a large sprig of bay in the cavity between the legs. Pack half the stuffing into the neck end, pushing it towards the breast. Secure the neck skin in position with skewers and tie the turkey legs together at the top of the drumsticks to give a neat shape.
  • Weigh the turkey and calculate cooking time – as a rough guide, it’s 20 minutes per kilogramme, plus an extra 90 minutes. See rough guide chart below. 
  • Put a large sheet of extra-wide foil in a large roasting tin, then put the turkey on top. Smear the breast with the butter, grate over half the nutmeg and season well. Cover the breast with bacon, pour over the wine, then loosely bring up the foil and seal well to make a parcel.
  • Roast in the oven, then 90 minutes before the end of cooking, open the foil, discard the bacon, and drain off excess fat from the tin. Leaving the foil open, return the turkey to the oven to brown, basting with the juices several times. Then 30 minutes before the end of cooking, place pigs-in-blankets and stuffing of your choice around the turkey, or cook in a separate lightly oiled tin.
  • To test whether the turkey is cooked, push a skewer into the thickest part of the thigh – the juices should run clear. If they are pinkish, cook for 15 minutes more, then test again.
  • Transfer the turkey, stuffing and pigs-in-blankets to a platter, cover with foil, then a couple of tea towels and allow to rest for up to 30 minutes before carving. This gives the juices time to settle back into the meat, ensuring that the turkey will be juicy. And as a final flourish, garnish with sprigs of bay.
  • When you come to carve the meat, it should be falling off the bone – and the aroma which the roasting creates around the home is simply magical.