How to cook the perfect Christmas Turkey

This week I got to spend time in the kitchen of Marco Pierre White whilst he told me how to cook the perfect turkey ahead of Christmas Day, thanks to the #leanonturkey campaign. This meant eating Christmas lunch in September. Just to check that it was indeed excellent turkey. Who was I to say no?

It turns out that Marco recommends the domestic cook buy a Turkey Crown. He demonstrated in a very caveman fashion how to cut up the bird to get the crown and two fat thighs, but says that if you speak to your local butcher, you can get him to do all that for you. I tried very hard not to ask if he would do it for me….

Marco Pierre white gets his glasses off

Back to the bird. Get a 10-12lb bird, from which you keep the crown and thighs. Hack up the rest of the carcass, including drumsticks, and toss into a large roasting pan, then roast for 30 minutes or so with some onion and garlic. Then cover with boiling water, add some bouillon and simmer for an hour and a half, before straining and thickening with cornflour to make a very tasty gravy. Again, he reluctantly turned down my invitation to come to my house and make it for me.

Marco Pierre White #leanonturkey

To stuff the crown, you take half Paxo (I know, right? World tilted on axis, that’s for sure: you should have heard the collective gasp. which is made up with only 2/3rd of the recommended water, mix thoroughly with half sausagemeat, whack in a good quantity of chopped fresh sage and stuff between the skin and the meat. Fold skin ‘flaps’ over the end of the crown to make a neat parcel- smooth the stuffing gently with wetted hands over the top of the skin. You can also stuff the stuffing in the same way under the skin of the thighs. Then whack them in the oven for 60- 90 minutes, dependent on your oven. Birds should be served at 66C, so removed from the oven at 63C, covered in foil and allowed to rest.

the perfect Christmas lunch #leanonturkey

Then carve and serve and enjoy, enjoy, enjoy. He makes it sound so easy.

Nip over to Mummy Barrow’s blog for the delicious Cranberry Sauce Recipe.

*Disclosure: I applied, and was subsequently invited to this event by Lean on Turkey and BritMums. I was compensated for my time.*


  1. says

    Oooh I’m going to remember that – I have very rarely managed to cook a turkey that’s not dry, yet my mother in law can do it perfectly. Shame she has to eat mine these days 😉

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