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This roast Turkey recipe comes with the most delicious Christmas twist

The perfect roast turkey recipe

This roast Turkey recipe comes with the most delicious Christmas twist

The main event! This recipe from The Watercress Company sure is a delicious one. The watercress and orange stuffing will add a fresh flavour and the turkey will be succulent and perfectly cooked. Turkeys vary in weight but you need to allow 20 minutes per 500g/1lb 2oz weight, plus 20 minutes. The perfect twist to a classic turkey this Christmas!

MORE: Simon Rimmer's genius top tips for Christmas dinner leftovers


Serves 6, Preparation time 20 minutes, Cooking time 3 hours


• 1 x 4kg/9lb oven-ready turkey, giblets removed

• 1 onion, halved

• 1 lemon, halved

• 75g/3oz butter, softened

• 100g/4oz watercress, picked over and rinsed 

For the stuffing

• 50g/2oz butter

• 1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped

• 2 sticks celery, trimmed and finely chopped

• 1 clove garlic, crushed

• 100g/4oz watercress, chopped

• 50g/2oz blanched toasted hazelnuts, roughly chopped

• Zest and juice 1 large orange

• 200g/7oz fresh white breadcrumbs

• Generous pinch of dried thyme

• Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the gravy

• 500ml/18fl oz chicken stock

• 100ml/4fl oz sherry or dry white wine

• 2 tbsp cornflour



Step 1

First make the stuffing. Melt the butter in a medium-sized saucepan, add the onion and celery and cook over a medium heat until soft and pale golden. Add the crushed garlic and watercress and cook for a further 2 minutes until the watercress has wilted.

Step 2

Remove from the heat and tip into a large bowl. Add the hazelnuts, orange zest and juice, breadcrumbs, thyme and plenty of freshly ground black pepper and a little salt to taste. Mix well and leave until cold.

Step 3

Preheat the oven to 190°C, 375°F, Gas 5. 

Step 4

Wash the turkey inside and out and dry with kitchen paper. Place the onion and lemon inside the cavity of the bird. Spoon the stuffing into the neck flap of the turkey, packing it in tightly, then secure the flap with cocktail sticks, or sew together. 

Step 5

Line a large roasting tray with 2 pieces of wide foil laid like a cross. Place the turkey in the centre of the foil, rub the breast and legs with the butter and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Pull the foil up and around the turkey to ‘tent’ the bird, sealing it at the edges. Place in the centre of the preheated oven and roast for 3 hours. 

Step 6

Half way through the cooking time, remove the bird from the oven, loosen the foil and spoon the cooking juices over the bird to baste, reseal the foil and continue to roast. Forty minutes before the end of cooking, remove from the oven, fold back the foil, baste the bird with the juices again then roast uncovered until the turkey is a lovely golden brown. Remove the bird from the oven, transfer to a board, cover with foil and leave to rest for 10 minutes – this makes carving easier.

Step 7

To make the gravy, pour the hot stock into the roasting tin and use a wooden spoon to scrape away all the cooking juices that have collected on the foil and in the tin. Then pour the liquid through a sieve into a medium saucepan. Place on the hob, add the sherry and bring to the boil and simmer to reduce for 10 minutes. Mix the cornflour to a smooth paste with a little cold water then add to the gravy stirring until the gravy boils and thickens. Transfer to a warm gravy boat and keep warm.

Step 8

To present the turkey for the table, take a large warm serving platter, scatter the watercress all over the plate. Lift the turkey from the board and arrange in the centre of the leaves. The leaves will wilt and soak up the juices from the bird as it is carved. Serve the turkey and stuffing in slices with a good portion of the wilted watercress. 

This recipe is from The Watercress Company for more recipes like this go to

OTHER: Mary Berry's traditional Christmas cake recipe

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