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Traditional Roast Turkey With Flavoured Butter

Traditional Roast Turkey With Flavoured Butter

  • Serves 10
  • Prep time 35 minutes
  • Inactive 15 minutes
  • Cook time 3 hours

Nutrition facts

Per serving: Calories 589; Protein 70 g; Fat 29 g; Carbohydrates 10 g; Fibre 1 g; Iron 2 mg; Calcium 50 mg; Sodium 641 mg
Turkey is the most essential dish at holiday gatherings. Here’s a simple recipe for traditional roast turkey to serve for Christmas dinner.


  • Freshly ground salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 turkey, 5 kg (11 lb.)
  • 3 sprigs thyme
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 6 whole garlic cloves, crushed
  • 30 ml (2 tbsp) tomato paste
  • 375 ml (1½ cups) chicken stock

For the flavoured butter:

  • 125 ml (½ cup) butter, softened
  • 30 ml (2 tbsp) parsley, chopped
  • 15 ml (1 tbsp) paprika
  • 15 ml (1 tbsp) thyme, chopped
  • 15 ml (1 tbsp) sage, chopped
  • 5 ml (1 tsp) rosemary, chopped
  • Freshly ground salt and pepper to taste

For the sauce:

  • 500 ml (2 cups) chicken stock
  • 30 ml (2 tbsp) Worcestershire sauce
  • 30 ml (2 tbsp) maple syrup
  • 30 ml (2 tbsp) cornstarch


  1. Preheat the oven to 162°C (325°F).
  2. Mix the flavoured butter ingredients in a bowl.
  3. Season the turkey cavity with salt and pepper. Add the sprigs of thyme and rosemary and the bay leaf to the cavity.
  4. Place the turkey in a roasting pan. Generously brush the turkey with flavoured butter.
  5. Place the carrot, onion and garlic cloves around the turkey. Add the tomato paste and chicken stock.
  6. Bake for 3 to 4 hours, regularly basting the turkey with the pan juices during the last hour of cook time, until a thermometer inserted into the centre of a thigh (without touching the bone) reads 82°C (180°F). If the skin is browning too quickly, cover with aluminum foil. Remove the turkey from the oven and place it on a large plate.
  7. Transfer the pan juices to a high, narrow container. Let rest for 15 to 20 minutes. Use a small ladle to remove the fat that has risen to the surface.
  8. Transfer the pan juices to a pot. Add the chicken stock for the sauce, Worcestershire sauce and maple syrup. Bring to a boil, and let simmer for 4 to 5 minutes over medium‑low heat.
  9. Dilute the cornstarch in a little cold water, pour into the pot and stir until the sauce thickens.
  10. Use a fine strainer to filter the butter. Serve with the turkey.

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