Jamie Oliver’s juicy turkey is ‘perfect’ and ‘easy’ to make – recipe

Celebrate Thanksgiving with the ultimate American dish – a big, juicy turkey with all the trimmings. The dish is also perfect for Christmas or “in fact, done right, it rocks for Sunday roast,” Jamie said.

Bring family and friends together to savour the feast that is about to be put in front of them.

And as Jamie Oliver’s recipe is so deliciously simple, you should have all the ingredients you need already stocked in the kitchen cupboards or pantry.


Serves: 12
Cooks in: three hours


  • One x 6kg higher-welfare turkey, with giblets
  • 125g unsalted butter
  • One clementine
  • Half a bunch of fresh woody herbs, such as bay, sage, rosemary (15g)
  • Two onions
  • Two sticks of celery
  • Two carrots

READ MORE… Jamie Oliver: Chef shares ‘flavoursome’ roast dinner gravy recipe


Method (part I):

  1. Get your turkey out of the fridge one to two hours in advance, depending on its size, so it can come up to room temperature.
  2. Check the main cavity for the bag of giblets, and if they’re in there, remove them and tip into your roasting tray.
  3. Warm the butter in your clean hands then rub and massage it all over the bird, getting into all the nooks and crannies, then sprinkle from a height with sea salt and black pepper.
  4. Halve the clementine and place in the main cavity with the fresh herbs – you don’t want to pack it full as you want to allow hot air to circulate.

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Method (part II):

  1. Use a handful (200g) of your favourite stuffing to fill the neck cavity, but don’t stuff it in too tightly, then pull the skin back over it and tuck it under the bird.
  2. Roughly chop the veg – there’s no need to peel them – and chuck them into the tray with the giblets to make your trivet, then sit the turkey on top and cover the tray with tin foil.
  3. Remember now to wash your hands, plus any kitchen kit the raw turkey has touched, before moving on.
  4. Cook – preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/gas four.


Method (part III):

  1. As a guide, you want to cook a higher-welfare bird for 25 to 30 minutes per kilo, and a standard bird for 35 to 40 minutes per kilo. If you’ve got a 6kg bird, do it for two hours 42 minutes.
  2. Remove the tin foil about 45 minutes before the end of cooking, to allow the turkey to get nice and golden.
  3. To check it’s cooked, the simplest way is to stick a knife into the thickest part of the thigh – if the juices run clear, it’s done. If you’re worried, you could also use a meat thermometer. You want to reach an internal temperature of 65ºC for a top-quality bird, such as Paul Kelly’s turkeys, or 70ºC for a supermarket higher-welfare or standard bird
  4. Use heavy-duty tongs to lift up your bird so all the juices run from the cavity into the tray, then transfer the turkey to a platter, cover it with a double layer of tin foil and a clean tea towel, and leave to rest for up to two hours while you crack on with everything else.

How to carve the turkey:

  1. Remove the wing, slice the skin beside the leg, then pull out and chop the legs off. You can either slice or pull this brown meat – it’s so tasty. Keep it warm while you move on to the breast meat. Use the full length of the knife in a nice smooth action to slice through the breast meat, transferring it to a platter as you go.
  2. Remove the leg as above, then feel where the backbone is and cut with the length of your knife all the way down beside it until you hit the carcass. You can then lift the whole breast off the bone. Remove to a board and slice.

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