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  • Writer's pictureCampbell Whitman

Christmas Turkey

A roasted turkey on a table symbolizes the coming together of family and/or friends. This feeling of celebration gives people instant joy and this simple turkey recipe will help you entertain with ease.

Christmas Turkey

1 whole turkey -this turkey was about 3,6 kg or 8 pounds

bunches of herbs of choice (sage, rosemary thyme, oregano as examples)

5-6 Carrots

5-6 Onions

5-6 Celery stalks

1 beer (preferably IPA or medium to full-bodied)


115 g butter - room temperature

1 t Garlic powder

1 t Onion powder

1 T Dried thyme

1/2 t cracked black pepper

1 head of garlic – cut in half

2 pieces of butcher’s twine - about ½-1 meter long (depending on size of turkey)

Dry Brine

¼ c salt

1 T Baking powder

As a chef de cuisine myself, I can confirm that the best quality turkey is important for making a delicious bird. Also, it is best to get your turkey a whole 24 hours before you intend on cooking it so you can set it in a dry brine. This is a salt mixture which will help make a more tasty, cooked bird. Mix the two ingredients together and rub it all over the outside of your bird. Don’t forget to season the inside of the cavity with only salt as well. Let it sit in the fridge overnight and remove 2 hours before placing into the oven.

A whole turkey gets cooked 35-40 min per kilogram or 20 min per pound. But to be sure you can also cook your bird with a thermometer stuck into the thickest part of its thigh until the temperature reaches 75 degrees Celsius. The turkey pictured above cooked for a little over 2.5 hours.

In a large roasting pan, add some halved carrots, onions, and celery stalks. Lay two pieces of butcher’s twine on top of the veggies in the middle of the pan about 10 cm away from each other. The idea is that you can set the bird on top of the twine and tie a bow above it. This will help you remove it easier from the roasting pan once it is cooked and begins to fall apart. Plus, it will be HOT! Set the turkey on top of the twine. I now mix the room temperature butter with the onion & garlic powder and the dried thyme and pepper. Spread most of it under and over the breast meat’s skin as best as possible to help it cook and stay moist. The rest of the butter can be spread around the drumsticks. Then I stuff the bird with many handfuls of fresh herbs and a whole head of garlic. Make sure to tie the twine with about 5 cm (2 inches) space from the top of the bird. Lastly for a great tasting gravy and to help keep the bird moist, I sacrifice a good quality beer and pour it into the bottom of the pan. I tend to cook the bird for the first half with a lid or aluminum foil then the last half I remove it to brown the skin. The baking powder in the brine will help make a crispier skin.

Cook on 180 Celsius (325 F) according to how heavy your turkey is.


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