Baked Christmas turkey


  • 4kg turkey (neck removed), rinsed, dried
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup (250mL) white wine
  • 1 cup (250mL) chicken stock
  • Prosciutto and cranberry stuffing (try this recipe)


Allow the turkey to come to room temperature before cooking. Preheat oven to 200C.

Press stuffing loosely into turkey cavity – it will swell with cooking so don’t pack it in too tightly. Use a toothpick to close the opening and tie turkey legs with kitchen string.

Pour oil into roasting pan. Place the turkey into the pan. Rub turkey with oil, then add wine and stock.

Cover with foil and roast – allow 20 minutes per 500g, a total of 2 hours 40 minutes. Every 30 minutes remove foil and baste turkey with cooking juices, then replace oil. Remove foil for last 30 minutes to brown the breast.

The turkey breast is cooked when juices run clear (not pink) after inserting a skewer into the thickest part. Carve off the legs, wrap the rest of the turkey in two layers of foil and set aside while finishing cooking the legs.

Increase the oven temperature to 200½C and cook the legs for another 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, scoop out the stuffing, prepare the gravy and finish other vegetables.

To make gravy, scoop away excess fat from the pan juices, add 2 tablespoons plain flour and stir to combine, working off all those yummy crunchy bits on the bottom of the pan.

Add any juices that have seeped from the resting turkey, more wine and chicken stock if necessary, stir over medium to hot cook top until thickened slightly.

Carve turkey and serve with gravy, stuffing and other vegetables.


  • Don’t forget to thaw the bird – a whole bird may take up to 2 days to thaw in the refrigerator.
  • To make your own cranberry sauce, place 175g craisins in a bowl, cover with boiling water and leave for 30 minutes. Drain, and place craisins in a saucepan with 1/2 cup port, zest and juice of one orange and 1/2 cup redcurrant jelly. Simmer for 6-8 minutes over low heat, and then set aside to cool.
  • Leftover turkey should be sliced, placed in a container with a lid and refrigerated. Make sure you do this as soon as the turkey is cold. Turkey will keep in the fridge for 3-4 days or freeze for up to 2 months.
  • Use leftovers in pasta (add to carbonara, make turkey macaroni balls), turkey curry, turkey and mushroom risotto, stir fry and salads.
  • This recipe was created by Melissa Hughes for Kidspot, New Zealand’s best recipe finder.

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