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- Rosemary and Bacon Butter-Roast Turkey
Rosemary and Bacon Butter-Roast Turkey
A slow-grown, dry-plucked bird like a Kelly Bronze doesn’t take long to cook. This removes a little stress from the day, and creates more space and time in the oven for all the trimmings. This turkey comes stuffed with an irresistible blend of smoked streaky bacon, woody rosemary sprigs and a little orange zest.
- 6½ kg Kelly Bronze turkey (including giblets), defrosted
- 125g unsalted butter, cubed
- 100g smoked streaky bacon
- 20g rosemary sprigs, leaves finely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 orange, zest grated and fruit halved
- 2 onions, peeled and quartered
Recipe tips / Prepare ahead
Remove the turkey from the fridge 2-3 hrs before cooking.
1 hr before cooking, put the butter in a mixing bowl and leave for 20 mins or so to warm to room temperature. Cut the bacon into thin matchsticks, then finely dice. Add the bacon, rosemary, garlic, orange zest and ½tsp black pepper to the butter. Mix thoroughly using a fork or your hands. (You could do this in advance, but the butter must be soft for the next stage.)
Preheat oven to 220°C/200°C fan/gas 7. Use your fingers to separate the skin of the turkey from the breast to create 2 pockets to stuff the butter into. Do this from the neck end, where the skin will be more robust. Take care towards the leg end as the skin is more likely to tear here.
Divide the butter mixture in two, pushing half into the pocket above each breast. Now, from the skin side, push each mound of butter up and around the crown of the bird to evenly distribute it.
Put the onions, giblets and 400ml water in a roasting tray, then place the turkey on top. Give the orange halves a slight squeeze and put them in the cavity of the bird. Slide the tray into the oven.
Immediately reduce the oven to 170°C/150°C fan/gas 3.5, and cook for the following times:4-5kg turkey – 1 hr 45 mins5-6kg turkey – 2 hrs6-7kg turkey – 2 hrs 20 mins.
Baste the turkey after 40 mins and every 15-20 mins thereafter. Around the end of the cooking time, pierce the thickest part of the breast and where the legs meet the crown to check the juices run clear. If not, cook for 15-20 mins more. (If you have a meat thermometer, start checking the breast and leg 30 mins before the end of the cooking time. Do this every 10 mins, until the breast is 60-62°C and the leg is above 80°C.)
When cooked, remove the bird from the tray and rest for 45-60 mins. Remove the giblets and onions from the tray, skim off the fat and reduce the juices by half to make or add to your gravy.
To carve, cut the legs away from the bird first, then the breasts, each in one piece, and slice across their width.
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