How to Make a Christmas Turkey Dinner

A traditional Christmas dinner is always incomplete without a stuffed, roasted bird and what could be a better choice than turkey. It is really simple and you can make it even days before the big holiday. However make sure you freeze the carved turkey, stuffing and gravy separately, wrapped in heavy aluminium foils.

Prep time: 15 to 20 min
Bake time: 3 to 4 hours
Total time: About 4 hours and 20 min
Yield: 4 to 5 servings
Utensils: Oven, oven bag, baking dish, measuring cups, measuring spoons

Turkey – uncooked, frozen or fresh, with or without neck and giblets
Thyme: 1 teaspoon
Sage: 1 teaspoon
Marjoram: ½ teaspoon
Paprika: ¼ teaspoon
Dry Rosemary: ½ teaspoon
Onions or one large onion: 2 medium
Turkey cooking bag
Meat thermometer
Large oven cooking pan (must be oven-proof)
Sage leaves, finely chopped: 6
A handful of coarsely chopped parsley
Coarse, fresh white breadcrumbs: 250g


  • 1

    Thaw the turkey

    If you have bought a frozen turkey or are using one that has been in your freezer for more than 24 hours, you need to thaw it before preparing it for cooking. You can defrost it in the fridge (if you have enough time) or by submerging in cold water for three to six hours.

  • 2

    Empty and clean the turkey

    If you have bought a turkey with neck and giblets, remove both before thoroughly washing your bird inside out with cold water. Set the turkey aside to allow it to drain properly.

  • 3

    Prepare the stuffing

    Sauté one large finely chopped onion in a sauce pan. Once the onion is transparent, remove it from the heat and stir in finely chopped sage leaves, coarsely chopped parsley, and fresh white breadcrumbs. Season the stuffing generously with salt and pepper and add one large beaten egg to bind the mixture together.

  • 4

    Stuff your turkey

    Undo the plastic straps holding the legs of your turkey and loosely stuff the cavities. Tie the legs again with the straps.

  • 5

    Season the stuffed turkey

    Brush melted butter over the skin of the bird to keep it from drying and burning and to help it get a nice golden brown colour in the end. Generously sprinkle salt and pepper over the turkey and season it with thyme, sage, marjoram, paprika and rosemary.

  • 6

    Bake the turkey

    Place the stuffed, seasoned turkey in the oven bag, put it in an oven preheated to 325 degrees Fahrenheit and bake for 3 to 4 hours or until the turkey is tender and golden brown. Remove the turkey from the oven and let it stand for 15 to 20 minutes before carving.

  • 7


    You can serve the baked turkey as it is or by cooking the carved meat in the gravy.

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