Local, gourmet Thanksgiving recipe: Roast turkey

All you need to know to jazz up your turkey this year with Lemon and Roasted chestnut stuffing!

Credit: Flickr / wEnDaLicious


Celebrate Thanksgiving this year by sourcing ingredients from nearby farms and selecting organic options whenever possible

Preparation time: 15 minutes, plus at least 30 minutes resting once cooked

Cooking time: 2.5-3 hours

Serves 6


4 kilogram free-range, non-medicated turkey (local option: Rossdown Natural Foods Farm)

1 local yellow onion, peeled and cut into quarters (local option: Southlands Farms)

1 lemon, peeled and cut lengthways

25 grams local butter, melted (local option: Avalon Dairy)

¾ cup white wine

More recipes!

Local, gourmet Thanksgiving menu
Chestnut stuffing

Cranberry sauce

Roasted potatoes and parsnips

Brussel sprouts

MAP of local suppliers

Preheat oven to 190° C/ 375° F. Rinse the turkey under cold water, then pat dry with a paper towel (or tea towel). Place the onion and lemon inside the main cavity. Stuff the neck with the Roasted Chestnut Stuffing (click for recipe). Pull the skin back over the stuffed neck and secure under the bird with a cocktail stick. Then weigh the bird to calculate the cooking time, allowing 45 minutes per kg.

Transfer to a large roasting tin. Brush with the melted butter and season. Cover loosely with tin foil. Roast, basting regularly, removing the foil for the last 45 minutes.

Approximately 1 hour before the turkey is done, pouring white wine all over the turkey. This will make the gravy extra tasty.

Check the turkey is cooked with a meat thermometer. The dark meat in the thigh should be about 79° C / 175° F. The white meat in the breast should be 74° C /160-165° F. Try not to let the thermometer touch the bone, as that will affect the temperature reading. If you don’t have a meat thermometer, check the turkey by inserting a skewer into the thickest part of the thigh. The juices should run clear; if they have any signs of pink, cook the bird for a further 15 minutes then test again.

Transfer the cooked turkey to a warmed serving dish, cover with tin foil and allow to rest in a warm place for at least 30 minutes. The resting will make the meat more succulent and easier to carve.