Phil Vickery's perfect roast turkey

Published Friday, 20 December 2013
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All week, Phil Vickery has been showing how to make the perfect Christmas lunch and now, it’s time for his famous turkey – and it can be cooked in just two-and-a-half hours.

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Preparation time
Cooking time
2½ hours, approx


  • 1 x 5 kg just under 12lb Bronze turkey, with giblets and the wish bone removed.
  • 2 large carrots, peeled
  • 2 large onion, peeled
  • 6 sticks of celery
  • 1 leek
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 chicken stock cubes
  • ½ bottle dry white wine
  • 2 pints cold water
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 55g melted butter
  • 2 tbsp roughly cornflour
  • 4-6 tbsp cold water


  • Pre-heat the oven to 200°C gas 6.
  • First job is to remove the giblets from the bird and if you are using a frozen bird, then make sure that it is fully defrosted.
  • Season the bird well inside and out well with salt and pepper and pack the stuffing into the body cavity.
  • Tie the legs and the Parsons nose together with a piece of string and secure well, so the stuffing is held inside the bird.
  • Chop all the vegetables into large chunks and place in the bottom of a large baking tray - place the turkey on top. The tray should be large enough so the bird has at least 2 inches gap around.
  • Pour in the white wine, cold water and chicken stock cube, and place the whole tray on to the stove.
  • Bring to the boil and cover tightly with two layers of foil and pop into a preheated oven. Cook the bird for about 2 hours, approximately.
  • To check if the bird is cooked, remove from the oven carefully as there will be a lot of stock, wine and turkey juices.
  • Remove the foil and insert a knife where the thigh attaches itself to the body of the bird, the juices should run clear. If not, then cover again with foil and cook for a further 20 minutes.
  • When the bird is cooked, remove from the oven, turn the oven up to 230 degrees C, Gas 8, brush with the melted butter and cook until browned, about 15 minutes.
    When nicely browned, remove from the oven and carefully, tip off all the stock and keep warm.
  • Wrap the turkey in foil to keep warm, it will keep perfectly wrapped for 1 hour.
  • Re-boil the stock and juices - you may need to add a little more water in a saucepan - and skim well.
  • Mix the cornflour and water together and thicken the bubbling stock - don't go mad.
  • Carve the bird - the flesh will be soft and juicy, and serve the gravy and stuffing separately.
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