How To Cook The Ultimate Christmas Turkey

How To Cook The Ultimate Christmas Turkey

Cooking a safe and succulent Christmas turkey can be a daunting task, but at Thermapen we believe it can be a simple and stress-free experience. As part of our #JuicyBird campaign against dry turkey, we have created an ASMR video that aims to show just how relaxing cooking Christmas dinner can be with a Thermapen, plus this easy but impressive recipe so you can try it out yourself.

This turkey recipe is brilliant because the gravy and stuffing can be prepped in advance so that’s two less things to worry about on the day. The turkey is also extremely buttery and cooked to temperature with the Thermapen, so there’s absolutely no chance of it being overdone and dry. 


To make this recipe stress-free, monitor the temperature of the turkey with a leave-in probe such as our DOT Digital Oven Thermometer, meaning you can relax and wait to be notified as soon as the turkey reaches its safe temperature of 74°C.


5/6kg Turkey serves 8-10

For the gravy
  • 100g salted butter
  • 1 carrot, roughly chopped
  • 1 stick of celery, roughly chopped
  • 1 brown onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 bouquet garni
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • Ground black pepper
  • Good pinch of salt
  • 1 tbsp corn flour
For the stuffing
  • 500g pork sausage meat
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • Livers from the turkey, finely chopped
  • 200g whole chestnuts
  • ½ cup parsley, chopped
  • 4 sage leaves
  • 1 egg
  • Seasoning

If you are using a frozen turkey you need to start the defrosting process in the fridge at least four days before, 12 hours per kilo. This way you can rest assured it will be completely defrosted. Leave it on a tray using greaseproof paper to keep it covered. Take the turkey out of the fridge at least 1 ½ hours before cooking. If you have the space, leave it in a cool part of your kitchen. If not, then try not to have too much direct heat near it. Our chef Laura likes to start her preparation 24 hrs ahead, making the gravy and stuffing on Christmas eve.

To make the gravy stock
  • Remove the wings with a small, pointed knife and remove the wishbone, keeping both for the gravy. Removing the wishbone aids the carving and it is a family tradition to pull the wishbone at the table.
  • Fry the turkey neck, wishbone and wings with the chopped carrot, onion, bouquet garni, and celery stalk in a little oil until golden brown. Add water, bring to the boil and simmer for 2-3 hours. Strain, cool and refrigerate.
To make the stuffing
  • Sweat the onion in some butter, transfer to a bowl and combine with the rest of the stuffing ingredients.
  • Lift the neck flap of the turkey and push the stuffing into the cavity. Fold the neck flap underneath the bird.
  • Leave the readily prepared bird in the fridge overnight.
To make roast the turkey
  • Preheat the oven to 220°C/ 200°C fan/ gas 7.
  • Smear the turkey with soft butter and seasoning.
  • Place onto a roasting tray and roast for 20-30 mins.
  • Remove from the oven and close the door. Turn the temperature down to 180°C/ 160°C fan/ gas 3 and add the gravy stock to the tray.
  • Return to the oven and continue to cook, basting frequently, until it reaches a core temperature of 74°C. This will take around 1 ½ hours, depending on your oven and the size of your bird. To test if it is cooked insert your Thermapen into the thickest part of the bird (between the breast and the thigh). When doing this try not to puncture the breast as this releases all of the lovely cooking juices.
  • Rest for up to 1 hour under foil paper.
  • To finish lightly thicken the meat juices with cornflour.
Products to help you achieve perfection
" I love my Thermapen, it really helps me cook with confidence. As a caterer the health and safety of everyone you cook for is paramount, but that doesn't mean you have to compromise with your cooking. A simple reassuring check with the Thermapen throughout the process is all that's needed to allow you to enjoy, and confidently serve what you've made"
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