NZ Woman's Weekly

Traditional roast turkey and gravy

  • Total time

    5+ hours
  • Servings

  • Courses

  • Occasion


Ready in 5-6 hours, serves 12.

  • A 5-5.5kg fresh turkey
  • Stuffing (see recipe here)
  • 400g butter, softened
  • 4 or 5 rashes smoked streaky bacon
  • Tin foil
  • 500ml water


  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 125ml dry white wine
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 500ml chicken stock
  • 200ml cream
  • 500ml juices from roasting tray
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste

Turkey preparation
1. Preheat oven to 220C. Create a double-layered sheet of tin foil to wrap turkey in.

2. Place the turkey onto the foil in the roasting pan and fill the cavity with stuffing.

3. Cover breast and legs with a butter and overlap the strips of bacon over breasts and thighs. Bring sides of the foil together, creating a kind of envelope.

4. Finally add 500ml of water into the bottom of the roasting pan and cook turkey for 40 minutes. Then turn down oven to 155C to continue cooking a further 3 hours and 45 minutes.*

5. Baste turkey with butter and roasting juices, cook for a further 40 minutes. Baste every 10 minutes in the last 40-50 minutes.

6. Remove turkey from the oven and transfer it to a platter. Wrap with tin foil to keep warm. Chop the cooked wings into smaller pieces, place the pieces back into the roasting tray.

* The turkey should be cooked for 1 hour per kg, so adjust the time if you have a smaller turkey.

Gravy preparation
1. Pour butter from roasting pan into a bowl, then add 1 litre of water to pan. Return to oven for 15 minutes.

2. Fry onion in the oil until golden, add wine and reduce. Add stock and reduce by half, then add cream, pan juices, bay leaf and thyme. Simmer for 10 minutes then season. Strain, then serve.

About Annabelle White

Annabelle was born and raised in New Zealand and while she does not have formal chef’s training her love of “great honest cooking” came from watching her mother cook every day after school.

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