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Phil's Perfect Roast Turkey

3.0/5 rating (668 votes)
  • Serves: 8-10
  • Prep Time: 25 mins
  • Ready in: 2½ hours, approx.
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Phil's Perfect Roast Turkey

This is a really tasty and easy roast recipe that won't let you down on the big day!

My method is different from traditional methods and has a unique set of steps for preparation and cooking. If you follow these simple steps closely you will get a perfectly cooked succulent turkey in just a couple of hours.

Ingredients

  • 1 x 5 kg just under 12lb, Bronze turkey, with giblets and the wish bone removed.
  • 2 large carrots, peeled
  • 2 large onion, peeled
  • 6 sticks of celery
  • leek
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 chicken stock cubes (optionally Gluten-Free stock cubes)
  • ½ bottle dry white wine
  • 2 pints cold water
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 55g melted butter
  • 2 tbsp roughly cornflour
  • 4-6 tbsp cold water

Method

Before we start I want to draw your attention to a few really important points. These are my thoughts and should not be confused with a traditional turkey recipe. My method will ensure a juicy well cooked turkey in just a couple of hours depending on the size. If you need information for traditional cooking, then I would steer you towards the British Turkey website.

  • For my method, the oven needs to be set to Gas 6 / 400 °F / 200 °C / 180 °C Fan
  • The tray needs to be filled with the right amount of liquid and brought to a rapid boil.
  • Once REALLY well sealed with foil (very important) the tray needs to boil rapidly for 5 minutes, before transferring to the preheated oven.
  • Ovens vary so much, heat control, thermostats, fan assisted etc. so keep an eye on the cooking. I can only give you information based on my oven and experience, so be prepared for fluctuations in cooking and timings. But to the best of my ability I will be as precise as possible.
  1. Preheat the oven to Gas 6 / 400 °F / 200 °C / 180 °C Fan.
  2. First job is to remove the giblets from the bird, and if you are using a frozen bird then make sure that it is fully defrosted.
  3. Season the bird well inside and out well with salt and pepper and pack the stuffing into the body cavity.(some suggested recipes at the bottom of this page)
  4. Tie the legs and the Parsons nose together with a piece of string and secure well, so the stuffing is held inside the bird.
  5. Chop all the vegetables into large chunks and place in the bottom of a large baking tray place the turkey on top, the tray should be large enough so the bird has at least 2 inch (5cm) gap all around.
  6. Pour in the white wine, cold water and chicken stock cube, and place the whole tray on to the stove.
  7. Bring to the boil and cover tightly with two layers of foil and pop into a preheated oven.

    THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT POINT Simmer for 5 minutes, covered to get the steam and heat going!

  8. Cook the bird for about 2 hours, approximately. (See table below for your turkey size)
  9. To check if the bird is cooked, remove from the oven carefully as there will be a lot of stock, wine and turkey juices.
  10. Remove the foil and insert a knife where the thigh attaches itself to the body of the bird, the juices should run clear. If not, then cover again with foil and cook for a further 20 minutes.
  11. When the bird is cooked, remove from the oven, turn the oven up to Gas 8 / 450 °F / 230 °C / 210 °C Fan.
  12. Tip off the juices for the gravy, then brush the bird well with melted butter or oil and return to the oven to brown beautifully (See table below for your turkey size).
  13. Once browned, remove from oven and wrap in a double layer of foil then 2 clean tea towels, this should keep warm for up to 1 hour.

 

To serve:

  1. Re boil the stock and juices, you may need to add a little more water in a saucepan and skim well.
  2. Mix the cornflour and water together and thicken the bubbling stock, don’t go mad.
  3. Carve the bird the flesh will be soft and juicy, and serve the gravy and stuffing separately.

 

Stuffed Turkey Cooking Times

Weight Kg (lbs) Steam for Brown for Resting Time
  to 1kg  (to 2lbs) 45-50 mins 20 mins 1 hr
1 to 3kg  (2 to 6½lbs) 1 hr 15-30 mins 20 mins 1 hr
3 to 4kg  (6½ to 9lbs) 1 hr 30 mins
maybe slightly more
20 mins 1 hr
4 to 5kg  (9 to 11lbs) 2 hrs
possibly 15 mins more
20 mins 1 hr
5 to 7.5kg  (11 to 16½lbs) 2 hrs 30 mins
possibly 15 mins more
20-30 mins 1 hr
7.5 to 10kg  (16½ to 22lbs) 3 hrs 15 mins
possibly 15 mins more
20-30 mins 1 hr
10 to 15kg  (22 to 33lbs) 3 hrs 45 mins
possibly 15 mins more
20-30 mins 1 hr

These times are approximate, so be aware.

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Phil's Tips

If you don't need a whole turkey then a Turkey Crown will cook in a fraction of the time and no bones to deal with.

Turkey Crown

 

Turkey Crown Cooking Times

Weight KG (lbs) Steam for Brown for Resting Time
  to 1kg  (to 2lbs) 45-50 mins 20 mins 1 hr
1 to 3kg  (2 to 6½lbs) 1 hr 15 mins
maybe slightly more
20 mins 1 hr
3 to 4kg  (6½ to 9lbs) 1 hr 30 mins
maybe slightly more
20 mins 1 hr
4 to 6kg  (9 to 13lbs) 2 hrs
possibly 15 mins more
20 mins 1 hr

These times are approximate, so be aware.

You might also like

Chestnut Thyme Bramley Apple Cherry Stuffing
Chestnut Thyme Cherry Stuffing
Christmas Pudding Stuffing
Christmas Pudding Stuffing
Fruity Fragrant (Non Meat) Stuffing
Fragrant (Non Meat) Stuffing

Comments (58)

  • Dianne

    Dianne

    20 December 2013 at 12:30 |
    Hi Phil,
    I've got a turkey crown this year am I able to cook my turkey the same way as you do your whole turkey ?
    Many thanks
    Dianne

    reply

  • kathleen

    kathleen

    21 December 2013 at 12:52 |
    Hi Phil.
    I used your turkey recipe last year & it was a great success & go loads of compliments, I will be doing the same this year . the turkey was so moist & the gravy was fantastic, I also used those lovely veg from the roasting pan in my home made soup. thank you for this fantastic recipe and Happy Xmas

    reply

  • Sarah

    Sarah

    21 December 2013 at 13:05 |
    how long would it take to cook a 10kg bird?

    reply

  • Bex

    Bex

    22 December 2013 at 11:23 |
    How long to cook a 17lb turkey?

    reply

  • Sue

    Sue

    24 December 2013 at 06:51 |
    I have used this method and it's brilliant but I now have a 7.5kg Turkey to cook , what cooking time would you suggest?

    reply

  • Lee Harrison

    Lee Harrison

    24 December 2013 at 06:53 |
    I have cooked my turkey Phil's way for 2 years and it's turned out moist and delicious. This year I have a 3kg crown and no idea how long to steam it for! Help!

    reply

  • Brian Weaver

    Brian Weaver

    24 December 2013 at 19:33 |
    Have used your method successfully before, but now want to use for a mere 7.5lb turkey - how long in the oven is the problem. My guess is about 1.5 hrs. Any advice ?

    reply

  • Keith

    Keith

    25 December 2013 at 00:33 |
    I use this method every year. Fantastic and just the best gravy

    reply

  • Gillian Symon

    Gillian Symon

    25 December 2013 at 10:13 |
    I have a 3.25 kg turkey. Do I still cook it for 2 1/2 hours or less?

    reply

  • Wendy Ovenell

    Wendy Ovenell

    26 December 2013 at 11:02 |
    Hi. Have been using your Turkey recipe for a few years now and it always turns out good. Yesterday was no exception despite standing for about 2 hours due to a last minute mercy dash to the hospital with my Mum! Instead of dinner at 3.30 we ate at 5.00! Blitzed the stock and vegetables together in a soup maker, added some cranberry sauce and thickened with instant chicken gravy and it was delicious. Thanks for the recipe.

    reply

  • Get china Details at wikipedia

    Get china Details at wikipedia

    07 August 2014 at 04:41 |
    I used to be recommended thjis website through my cousin. I'm nott certain whether or nnot this publish is written by
    way of hiim as no one else understand such specified ahout my difficulty.

    You aree incredible! Thanks!

    reply

  • Graham

    Graham

    17 December 2014 at 12:06 |
    I have used this for the last two years and it's great. How long would you suggest for a 9.8 kilo Turkey . Thank you G.

    reply

  • Steve

    Steve

    17 December 2014 at 12:37 |
    Loved the recipe and how the turkey looked, I have an 8 kilo turkey and need to know the cooking times please, so looking forward to trying this , thank you

    reply

  • Sue

    Sue

    17 December 2014 at 16:47 |
    I have a turkey crown weighs 4 kg how long to cook this. Also could I defrost in garage instead of fridge.

    reply

  • Jac

    Jac

    19 December 2014 at 08:19 |
    Phil

    Please could you provide timings for other turkey sizes? Thanks.

    reply

  • andrea kerr

    andrea kerr

    19 December 2014 at 10:35 |
    How long will it take for a 10kg bird

    reply

  • Jason wescott

    Jason wescott

    19 December 2014 at 13:03 |
    We are thinking about doing this recipe for our turkey this Christmas ,but we have a larger one then 5kilos /12 pound , Per pound how much longer would you need to cook the turkey for?

    reply

  • Graham Marsden

    Graham Marsden

    20 December 2014 at 09:48 |
    Hi I have used Phils Turkey method for the last 3 years and it's great.can you please advise the cooking time for a 10kilo bird. Thank you G Marsden

    reply

  • malcolm

    malcolm

    20 December 2014 at 12:27 |
    Please could you tell me how long I should do a Turkey Crown 2 - 3 kg

    reply

  • malcolm

    malcolm

    20 December 2014 at 12:31 |
    Please could you tell me How long should I cook a Crown for 2- 3kg

    reply

  • liz

    liz

    21 December 2014 at 12:51 |
    where is the reply ?

    reply

  • Sally

    Sally

    21 December 2014 at 15:01 |
    I have a 3.4kg crown and want to use your method for first time, after marvelling over it every year on This Morning!

    I have an induction hob which means I can't put the turkey tray onto the hob, is there an alternative way to get that initial heat?

    Many thanks and Merry Christmas

    reply

  • John

    John

    21 December 2014 at 20:44 |
    Hi Phil

    Going to do your recipe this year and it's my first time doing Xmas dinner. Could give me some guidance on how long to cook a 13lb turkey please?

    Many thanks
    John

    reply

  • Cath Macalister

    Cath Macalister

    21 December 2014 at 22:53 |
    Phil, I am so looking forward to trying your turkey recipe this year. As there are only 3 of us, I have a turkey crown which is just over 2kgs. You say it will take a fraction of the time, but could you give me an indication as to how long please.
    Thank you for all the lovely recipes you have provided us with in the past. I would like to wish you, Fern and the kids a very happy Christmas.

    reply

  • Tim

    Tim

    23 December 2014 at 13:06 |
    Hi Cath, for a Turkey Crown of 2kg I suggest 1 hrs and 50 mins at 180°C (Fan) / 375°F / Gas Mark 5.

    reply

  • Tim

    Tim

    23 December 2014 at 13:12 |
    That's a nice size Turkey! 13lb in new money is 5.9 kg so roast for 3 hrs and 27 mins at 180°C (Fan) / 375°F / Gas Mark 5 - Merry Christmas

    reply

  • Tim

    Tim

    23 December 2014 at 13:15 |
    Hi Sue, Defrosting in teh garage is OK if you can control the temperature (below 17.5 C) and should take around 16 hrs from frozen. As for cooking a 4 kg Crown I would roast for 2 hrs and 50 mins at 180°C (Fan) / 375°F / Gas Mark 5 - Merry Christmas

    reply

  • Tim

    Tim

    23 December 2014 at 13:19 |
    Hi Sally, Induction hobs will work fine as long as your tray in solid (NOT FOIL) . If you are using a foil tray then whack up the temperature on the oven for the first 10 minutes then turn it back to 180°C (Fan) / 375°F / Gas Mark 5. - Merry Christmas

    reply

  • Tim

    Tim

    23 December 2014 at 13:21 |
    Hi Malcolm, is it 2 or 3 Kg? best advice is 1 hrs and 50 mins to 2 hrs and 10 mins depending on the actual size. Once you have the weight try this link http://www.britishturkey.co.uk/cooking/crowns-other-cuts.html

    Merry Christmas

    reply

  • Tim

    Tim

    23 December 2014 at 13:24 |
    Try this calculator from the British Turkey website http://www.britishturkey.co.uk/cooking/crowns-other-cuts.html

    reply

  • Tim

    Tim

    23 December 2014 at 13:28 |
    That's a beast of a bird! For 10 kg roast for 4 hrs and 50 mins at 180°C (Fan) / 375°F / Gas Mark 5 - Merry Christmas

    reply

  • Tim

    Tim

    23 December 2014 at 13:29 |
    For a 5 kg bird roast for 3 hrs and 10 mins at 180°C (Fan) / 375°F / Gas Mark 5 - Merry Christmas

    reply

  • Tim

    Tim

    23 December 2014 at 14:03 |
    9.8 kg woill take 4 hrs and 46 mins at 180°C (Fan) / 375°F / Gas Mark 5 - Merry Christmas

    reply

  • Tim

    Tim

    23 December 2014 at 14:19 |
    For a 10 kg bird roast for 4hrs and 50 mins at 180°C (Fan) / 375°F / Gas Mark 5 - Merry Christmas

    reply

  • Tim

    Tim

    23 December 2014 at 14:25 |
    For an 8 kg bird roast for 4 hrs and 10 mins at 180°C (Fan) / 375°F / Gas Mark 5 - Merry Christmas

    reply

  • keri

    keri

    23 December 2014 at 14:27 |
    Hi,

    I have a 6.4 kilo turkey, how long would you roast this for? Would you still simmer it for the same amount of time?

    Also, where would i find the wishbone to remove it?

    Thankyou
    x

    reply

  • Tim

    Tim

    23 December 2014 at 14:29 |
    Sorry Liz, what was your question I cannot find any trace of it.

    reply

  • Tim

    Tim

    23 December 2014 at 14:31 |
    For a 6.4 kg bird roast for 3 hrs and 38 mins at 180°C (Fan) / 375°F / Gas Mark 5 - Merry Christmas

    reply

  • keri

    keri

    23 December 2014 at 14:31 |
    Sorry, i also forgot to mention, could i cook it the day before, then carve off i shall be using to reheat on the day?

    Thankyou xx

    reply

  • Tim

    Tim

    23 December 2014 at 14:36 |
    It will be much nicer if you cook it on the same day. Take a look at the Christmas Timetable ( http://vickery.tv/christmas/christmas-timetable) to help you with timings

    reply

  • Laura

    Laura

    23 December 2014 at 14:39 |
    Hi, I have a 10Lb turkey crown.How long will it take to cook using this method? Thanks

    reply

  • Tim

    Tim

    23 December 2014 at 14:50 |
    That's a nice size Turkey! 10lb in new money is 4.5 kg, so roast for 3 hrs exactly at 180°C (Fan) / 375°F / Gas Mark 5 - Merry Christmas

    reply

  • adam

    adam

    23 December 2014 at 15:07 |
    Hi Phil,

    I'm going to try this way of cooking the turkey this year. But my only concern is simmering the turkey. We have a gas stove and i'm not sure about putting the baking tray on top of it. Is this safe?

    Thanks

    reply

  • Laura

    Laura

    23 December 2014 at 15:10 |
    Thanks!!

    reply

  • Jo

    Jo

    24 December 2014 at 07:42 |
    Hi there,I cooked a full Turkey last year and loved this recipe. I'd like the timing for a 3 kg Turkey crown the Phil Vickery way please. I'm thinking 1 &1/2 hours as he suggests reducing the time for a crown and it's smaller than his. Would this be right? Thanks, Jo

    reply

  • Tim

    Tim

    24 December 2014 at 09:27 |
    2 hrs 10min should do the trick

    reply

  • Tim

    Tim

    24 December 2014 at 09:44 |
    As long as its not a foil tray you should be ok.

    reply

  • Linda

    Linda

    26 November 2015 at 17:40 |
    Dear phill, can you help me I have an induction hob and cannot put a roasting tray on it. How can I let it boil for the time you mentioned. Is there any other way?
    Many thanks

    reply

    • Tim

      Tim

      17 December 2015 at 16:07 |
      Hi Linda, if the roasting tin is ferrous-metal (i.e. magnetic) then it should work on an induction hob, and a lot of induction hobs have clever settings for large pans so they can use two 'rings' together.

      reply

  • Samantha

    Samantha

    09 December 2015 at 12:22 |
    Hi Phil!
    I am really looking forward to trying your recipe this year however I am wondering do I need to use a proper turkey tray or can I use a foil tray?
    Thanks

    reply

    • Tim

      Tim

      17 December 2015 at 16:23 |
      You need to get the Turkey hot on the hob before it goes into the oven and a foil tray just is NOT strong enough, so a proper metal tray is required.

      reply

  • Nikki

    Nikki

    14 December 2015 at 13:09 |
    My first time using this method to cook my turkey this yr, but im not too keen on stuffing my turkey. Do you have to have it stuffed???? TIA

    reply

  • Susan Taylor

    Susan Taylor

    16 December 2015 at 19:20 |
    I am cooking a 5Kgs turkey just like the recipe but I don't stuff my turkey. What is the difference in timings for that? Thanks

    reply

    • Tim

      Tim

      17 December 2015 at 16:15 |
      If you are using this method, just use the same timings as the steaming process will keep everything juicy.

      reply

  • Suzie

    Suzie

    20 December 2015 at 11:12 |
    Hi! I only have a foil tray that can't go on the hob - is it possible to use this method any other way? Or shall I invest in a proper tray?

    reply

    • Phil Vickery

      Phil Vickery

      21 December 2015 at 11:18 |
      My method is designed to take the stress out of cooking your Turkey and a good roasting tray is essential to this. It makes the whole process quick and simple, and especially on Christmas Day simple is what you want.

      Besides it will be useful all year round for roast dinners, vegetable bakes, drip catching and a whole heap of thing so treat yourself you won’t regret it and you will never need to buy another foil tray again.

      Merry Christmas

      reply

  • Lee

    Lee

    22 December 2015 at 23:30 |
    Greetings.
    When filling the bottom of the tray with water, should the water level touch the bottom of the turkey of not?
    Merry Christmas,
    Lee

    reply

    • Phil Vickery

      Phil Vickery

      23 December 2015 at 11:18 |
      Hi Lee, Try keeping the water just below the bottom of the turkey.

      Merry Chrsitmas

      reply

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