Best bird of the season

APPEALING MEAL: Roast turkey is easy to prepare.
APPEALING MEAL: Roast turkey is easy to prepare.

With red meat being so expensive nowadays, here is an alternative - A turkey is a more affordable option for your Christmas lunch, and here's how to cook it:


1 x 6-8kg turkey

1 medium onion, peeled and quartered

2 lemons, 1 halved, and juice and rind of the other

30ml olive oil

4 large sprigs each rosemary, sage and thyme

5ml salt

Freshly ground black pepper


Preheat oven to 220°C.

Rinse cleaned turkey with cold water. Pat dry with kitchen paper. Place onion, lemon halves and 4 sprigs of each herb inside the bird's cavity. Secure legs with string.

Place turkey breast side up on a roasting rack in the pan.

Brush the bird with a mixture of the lemon juice, olive oil, and season with salt and pepper.

Place in the oven and roast for 15 minutes for an initial blast of heat.

Reduce heat to 160°C.

Baste turkey frequently with pan juices plus lemon and oil, and roast until an instantread thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the thigh reaches 80°C - about 3 to 3¾ hours.

With 15 minutes to go, mix the lemon rind and the breadcrumbs with a little remaining baste and place on the surface of the turkey.

Cook until golden.

Remove turkey from the oven and let stand for 15 minutes.

Transfer to a warm platter and garnish with remaining herbs.

Serves: 10

Time: 4 hours