Roasted Turkey

Roasted Turkey
For all your Christmas and friendsgiving needs... My absolute favourite protein to eat on Christmas day (and after).


For the dry brine:

  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • ½ cup salt flakes
  • 2 tbsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp nutmeg, finely grated
  • 1 x 7kg turkey, defrosted (this can take days, so double check with your butcher when ordering that it will come defrosted)

For the roast:

  • 14 shallots, halved
  • 3 heads garlic, halved
  • 3 lemons, halved
  • 1 bunch thyme
  • 200g butter

For the turkey stock:

  • Reserved turkey neck, heart and liver
  • 750ml chicken stock
  • 1 onion, halved
  • 1 carrot, roughly chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, roughly chopped

For the gravy:

  • 50g butter
  • 3 tbsp plain flour
  • 500ml turkey stock
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp chopped thyme
  • Turkey drippings


  • Baking tray
  • Wire rack
  • Basting brush
  • Meat thermometer


  1. 8-24 hours before you plan to cook your turkey (the longer = the better), we dry brine. Remove the insides - what you get will depend on your supplier but what you need to reserve for the turkey stock/gravy includes the neck, heart and liver.
  2. In a bowl, stir to combine dry brine ingredients.
  3. Place turkey on a wire rack on a baking sheet, gently pat dry brine over all the surface area of the turkey, and refrigerate uncovered for 8-24 hours.
  4. Do ahead: To make the turkey stock, preheat oven to 200°C. Place neck, heart and liver on a lined baking tray and roast until golden brown. Transfer to a pot, add chicken stock, onion, carrot and celery and simmer for 30 mins - 1 hour.
  5. The day of roasting, remove turkey from the fridge 2-3 hours before cooking to allow it to come to room temperature. Pat the skin until dry.
  6. Preheat oven to 160°C. Place turkey on a baking or roasting tray lined with a wire rack. Toss shallots, garlic, lemon and thyme in some olive oil, then stuff the turkey with some, scattering the remainder around it on the wire rack.
  7. Melt butter and drizzle/brush half over the turkey and vegetables. Season all with salt and cracked black pepper.
  8. Place turkey in the oven to bake, basting with remaining melted butter every 30 mins - 1 hour. Rotate the baking tray every hour. If the bottom of the pan is looking a little dry, add ½ cup of water when required to maintain moisture. The turkey will take around 4 hours to cook. 
  9. If the turkey isn’t looking golden brown in the last hour of cooking, be prepared to increase the oven temp to 200°C for the last 5 minutes. The goal is to have a meat thermometer read 74°C or slightly above when inserted into the thigh/thickest part of the leg, and at this point, simultaneously have a golden brown bird that can be removed from the oven.
  10. Once out of the oven, place a sheet of alfoil loosely over the top to help retain heat, and allow to rest for at least 30 minutes.
  11. For the gravy, melt butter in a saucepan.
  12. Add flour and cook, whisking often, until the flour goes golden, toasty brown.
  13. Bit by bit, whisk in turkey stock to achieve a smooth sauce.
  14. Stir through chopped thyme and simmer until it reaches your desired consistency (I like it a little thicker just coating the back of a spoon). If it gets too thick, add water or stock.
  15. Stir through soy sauce and red wine vinegar, taste and season, carve ya bird and serve!

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