Roast Turkey with Parsley and Lemon Stuffing

The trick when roasting a turkey is to keep the breast meat moist while the darker meat on the legs, which takes longer to cook, is finishing off. To do this, cover the breast with streaky bacon rashers, baste well from time to time and protect it with foil if it shows signs of becoming too brown.


3.6-5 kg (8 - 11 lb) Serves 10 - 15

5 - 6.8 kg (11 1/4 - 15 lb) Serves 15-20;

6.8 - 9 kg (15 - 20 1/4 lb) Serves 20-30

25 g (1 oz) butter
2 medium onions, skinned and finely chopped
2 celery sticks, finely chopped
225 g (8 oz) fresh wholemeal breadcrumbs
60 ml (4 tbsp) chopped fresh parsley
finely grated rind of 2 lemons
salt and pepper
1 egg, beaten
1 oven-ready turkey, thawed if frozen
streaky bacon rashers


1. To make the stuffing, melt the butter in a large saucepan, add the onions and celery, cover and cook gently for about 10 minutes, until really soft, stirring occasionally.

2. Remove from the heat and add the breadcrumbs, parsley and lemon rind. Season and stir in the egg.

3. Wash the inside of the bird and stuff at the neck end before folding the neck skin over. Make the turkey plump and as even in shape as possible, then truss it with the wings folded under the body and the legs tied together.

4. Weigh the turkey and calculate the cooking time, allowing 20 minutes per 450 g (1 lb) plus 20 minutes.

5. Place the turkey in a roasting tin, then sprinkle with salt and pepper.

6. Place the streaky bacon rashers over the breast to prevent it from becoming dry. Roast at 180°C (350°F) mark 4, basting occasionally. Put a piece of foil over the bird if it shows signs of becoming too brown.

7. Leave the turkey to rest for 10 minutes, then carve as illustrated. Serve the roast turkey with the traditional accompaniments of thin gravy, bread sauce, small sausages and bacon rolls.

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