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Perfect Christmas turkey

Everything you need to prepare, cook and carve your roast.

LidlIreland / YouTube

1. Preparing your fresh turkey

  • Preheat your oven to 220°c. Allow the turkey to come to room temperature for up to an hour.
  • Season your turkey liberally with salt & pepper & remove the giblets.
  • Slide your fingers under the skin of the breast, starting at the neck cavity, and push your fingers forward gently until you have created a space under the skin. Push butter into the space and press down from the outside to flatten it. Rub lots of butter around the outside of the bird also.
  • Add some herbs & onion quarters to the turkey body for flavour and cook the stuffing in a separate dish or in just the neck of the bird – don’t stuff the body.
  • Transfer the bird to a roasting tin, cover loosely with foil and place in the middle of the oven.

2. Cooking to perfection

  • Cook for 20 mins at 220°c, then reduce the temperature to 180°c for the rest of the cooking time, leaving the oven door shut as much as possible to prevent the turkey from drying out.
  • Cooking times depend on the weight but a general rule is to cook the bird for 40 minutes per kilo, plus an extra 25 minutes at the end if needed.
  • Remove the foil for the last 20 minutes of cooking
  • To be completely certain that the turkey is cooked, always use a meat thermometer. The temperature should read at a minimum of 82˚c in the thigh. Always double-check by sticking the probe in several different spots to find the lowest reading. If returning to the oven, allow 10-15 minutes, then test again until the correct temperature is reached.
  • The best way to achieve a succulent & juicy turkey is to rest it for around 35 mins after roasting. To rest it, simply lightly tent it with lots of our turkey foil.

3. Carving the turkey

  • After resting, remove any string
  • Remove the legs & thighs by cutting down through the skin. Working on a chopping board, remove the meat from the bone using a sharp knife.
  • Find the wishbone at the front of the breast & remove as this will make carving the breast easier
  • Find the breastbone down the length of the body. Position a long, flexible knife on one side of it, and slice downward, as close to the bone as possible. As you slice, use your other hand to pull the meat away from the breastbone, until you’ve cut the breast off the carcase in one piece. Transfer to the cutting board & slice, starting from the shorter end so that you get more slices.
  • Remove the wings using a sharp knife. Repeat on the other side of the turkey.