christmas turkey

Expert tips for the perfect Christmas turkey and gravy

Expert tips for the perfect Christmas turkey and gravy

Local premium butcher, Parson’s Nose, shares their invaluable tips to roast the very best Christmas turkey and make perfect gravy.


  1. Your turkey should be at room temperature before cooking, so make sure to take it out of the refrigerator at least 1 hour before you’re planning on sticking it in the oven.
  2. Preheat your oven to 220°C. This is the temperature you will start to cook your turkey at.
  3. To prepare your turkey, cover the skin with a rub of butter and place slices of bacon over turkey breasts. This will crisp up nicely giving that extra kick of flavour to your roast! Cover the turkey with tin foil.
  4. Place your turkey in the oven and allow to cook for 40 minutes before lowering to 170°C and leaving for another 4.5 hours if your bird is large. For a small bird leave to cook for another 3 hours, or 3.5 hours for a medium bird.
  5. With 30 minutes to go of your required cooking time, remove the foil to allow the skin and the bacon to properly crisp up.
  6. To check your turkey is ready use a skewer to poke the turkey. If the juices run clear, then your turkey is done.
  7. Allow to sit for half an hour before serving to allow the flavour to settle. Enjoy with plenty of sides and gravy


  1. Place the turkey giblets together with chopped carrot and onion in a large pot and bring 1.5 litres to the boil on the stove. Add parsley, bay and peppercorns for more flavour, or other herbs of your choice. Lower heat and allow to simmer.
  2. Leave simmering for an hour and a half. Then, strain through a sieve to catch solids. These can then be discarded.
  3. Place liquid back on heat. After the liquid has reduced by half, remove turkey from tray (after cooking) and use liquid to deglaze the roasting tray. Place tray on the heat and cook for 5 minutes making sure to stir.

Shop local! Parson’s Nose is a premium London butcher and grocer with stores in Fulham, South Kensington and Putney and offering 7 day/week delivery across South West London. Nationwide delivery is available through the jam-packed online shop. Click here for their Christmas range!