Christmas Turkey with Leek and Chestnut Stuffing

Mains food, mains, recipes, tastey recipes, recipe ingredients

Serves: 6 - 8
Preparation: 45 minutes
Cooking Time: 3 hours


  • The Co-operative British free range turkey (4–5kg/9–11lb)
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • 100g (3½oz) butter, melted
  • 6 rashers The Co-operative smoked streaky bacon
  • Ground black pepper (freshly milled)For the cavity:1 onion
  • 2 fresh lemons
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp whole peppercorns


Before you begin:
Make sure to remove any giblets and the neck, which you can use to make turkey stock for the gravy.

  1. For added flavour, fill the cavity – the parson’s nose end – with onion, fresh lemon, celery, garlic and whole peppercorns. Finish by tying the legs with string.
  2. To give the skin extra colour and crispiness, mix the dried herbs with the melted butter and brush thoroughly all over the turkey.
  3. Now season the turkey with a generous topping of freshly milled pepper.
  4. For even more flavour, wrap the legs with smoked streaky bacon.
  5. It’s best to cook a turkey raised off the tray. This will allow the juices to run free for the gravy and ensure that there is an even heat all round the turkey. If you don’t have an inner tray, you can do this by placing it on a bed of sliced onion and carrots.
  6. Ready to roast:
  7. Cook for 3 hours at gas mark 6/200ºC/180ºC fan. As a rule, cook for 30 minutes per kilo plus an extra hour, basting as required.
  8. Cover the turkey in tin foil for the first 2 hours of cooking to prevent it from becoming dry. Remove the tin foil for the final stages of cooking and baste some of the juices over the bird. Repeat this three or four times at 15 minute intervals.
  9. Let the turkey rest for 20 minutes before carving, covered with tin foil to maintain the heat.

Leek & Chestnut stuffing:

Finely chop one onion, a leek and two garlic cloves in a food processor.

  1. Slowly pan fry four rashers of streaky bacon in a little butter and add the leek mixture to the pan for a couple of minutes. Remove from the heat.Add a generous handful of breadcrumbs, one packet of chopped chestnuts, the juice and zest of one lemon and some chopped parsley. Mix together and keep in fridge until needed.
  2. Press into an ovenproof serving dish or roll into stuffing balls. Put stuffing in the oven 30 minutes before the final Turkey cooking time.
  3. Accompaniments:

For a lovely hassle-free meal, why not serve your turkey with The co-operative British sprouts, The co-operative British parsnips, The co-operative Truly Irresistible ready-to-roast British potatoes with goose fat, and The co-operative Truly Irresistible cocktail sausages wrapped in drycure streaky bacon.

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