CT FM 017: The Ultimate Guide To Roast Turkey

Cooking Tips Podcasts | Welcome to The Ultimate Guide To roast turkey from RecipeThis.com

Welcome to our seventeenth Podcast at Recipe This and welcome to our latest cooking tips Podcast.


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You can listen to the Podcast on the link above, You can also listen to the Podcast via SoundCloud, Audioboom & Stitcher. You can also read all about it below or click to download the ebook version on the banner above.

What Is Featured In This Podcast?

Introduction – in this section I will be sharing with you my experience with the trusted roast turkey.

The Ultimate Guide To Roast Turkey – discover in our easy to follow stages the secret behind the perfect roast turkey and how to achieve a succulent turkey roast without fear of it being flavourless or dry.

The First Roast Turkey I Cooked – this comes back to the first roast turkey that I ever cooked and how a simple accident turned into the most succulent turkey ever.

Dominic’s Succulent Roast Turkey – welcome to Dominic’s recipe for the best ever roast turkey. Now this is the turkey of your dreams it is also super easy to make and will have your guests begging you take some roast turkey home with them.

Podcast Sponsor – This Podcast is sponsored

Dominic’s Top Tips For The Best Ever Roast Turkey – To round off the podcast we will be sharing with you our top tips for the best ever roast turkey!

Links & Resources Mentioned In Cooking Tips FM 017:

For me Christmas would never be the same without the turkey roast dinner. I have had turkey at Christmas for many years (well apart from my teenage vegetarian phase) and we introduced Thanksgiving into our lives about 6 years ago and it was only right that the turkey would join us too.

The funny thing is away from Thanksgiving and Christmas I rarely have any turkey a all. That is because living here in Portugal it is not a common meat to eat. The traditional food will always be the pork followed by the chicken and then after this people eat a lot of fish. This means that turkey will be overlooked and you only ever see it being sold in the supermarkets over Christmas and then you have to really go looking for it the rest of the year.

It doesn’t mean we don’t love turkey because we do, but we save it for these two times of the year when it feels like that extra special treat.

But when it comes to turkey people are often overwhelmed by it. Is it cooked right, will it taste dry, will it be flavoursome enough, will people like it and the list goes on and on. We don’t react in the same way when it comes to other meat and my reasoning there is that Christmas turkey is such a big deal and with it having such a centre stage then it needs to be absolutely perfect!

Plus I also find that with a turkey due to its weight we are spending quite a lot of money on it and then have lots of leftover meals to get out of it, so if it doesn’t live up to what is expected out of it, then it will leave us really disappointed.

This is when Dominic & I come into the conversation to help you out a little with your roast turkey. Many of you know this already that read our blog and listen to our Podcasts, but for those of you that don’t Dominic used to be a chef and his speciality was working as a carvery chef in charge of cooking the best ever roast dinners for locals. They were brilliant and when he left that line of work behind, I was still lucky enough to enjoy Dominic’s roast turkey but this time he was just making it for me!

The Ultimate Guide To Roast Turkey

Stage 1 – Choosing Your Turkey

First of all you need to choose your turkey. You probably think there is not much to this but in reality there is a lot of choice.

For example you could buy organic or you could buy a regular turkey. I will say now that even though I have bought organic vegetables from time to time I could never agree to the high prices for an organic turkey. For example for a 4 kilo turkey I saw organic prices of 95€ compared to 12€ for a regular one. I also find that if you can cook a turkey well then you really don’t need to go organic with it.

The second decision you need to make is what kind of turkey that you want to buy. I love to have a traditional whole turkey and love using up the brown meat on a mixture of dishes but many people hate the brown meat and instead elect to buy a turkey crown.

The turkey crown of course is just the breast of the turkey and you are then losing the legs and you can just cook the good bit. But because you are paying just for the good stuff i.e. the breast then you can expect to pay double per kilo than you would for the whole turkey.

My personal opinion is get the whole turkey then you can use up the brown meat on some other nice dishes or even blend it to make stock or soups with.

The last decision is whether to go fresh or frozen when buying your turkey. With us we end up with fresh at Christmas and then frozen at Thanksgiving. We really don’t mind which we have just as long as the turkey is of decent quality. Plus for Thanksgiving we can only get it at that time of year frozen. Plus if you get it frozen you can check out the prices and then get it at the best price without having to get it a couple of days before.

Stage 2 – Paleo Or Not To Be Paleo?

As a family we tend to eat Paleo food the majority of the time. We love Paleo food and how amazing and how healthy it makes us feel. Even better Paleo is associated with healthy roast dinners and meat and vegetables are often a key part of the meal.

So if you love to be healthy then I would recommend that you have a Paleo turkey above a traditional one. Plus if you studied what many chefs suggest you should have as part of your roast turkey the chances are it will be Paleo without you even realising it.

But I am sure you want to know what the big differences are between a Paleo one and a none Paleo one?

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Well Dominic when he is making a roast turkey would have the under skin area filled with delicious butter and then the main skin of the turkey would be covered in olive oil and salt and pepper.

But to make it Paleo you would instead cover it with Paleo approved oil such as coconut oil and then instead of butter you would use Paleo butter such as coconut butter or another option would be to use clarified butter.

That is literally all you would have to do and here are some other alternatives to butter that you could use:

  • Duck Fat
  • Goose Fat
  • Coconut Butter
  • Clarified Butter
  • Coconut Oil

However for us our number 1 choice would be the delicious duck fat. It is so tasty and instead of paying a small fortune for some in the jar from the supermarket have a duck roast a few weeks before you plan to have your roast turkey and then save the duck fat for your turkey. It is a great way of reusing your leftovers and getting excellent value for money.

The FIRST Roast Turkey That I Ever Cooked

Well this makes me giggle whenever I mention it and some of you will think I am completely crackers and how did I ever end up being a food blogger. I am sure some of you would think I was making this up but it is 110% true.

It was Christmas 2000 and my first Christmas living with my boyfriend. We had been together just short of a year and it was going to be our first Christmas. He would be working until lunch time on Christmas Day, something that you have to accept when you are in a relationship with a chef, so me being me offered to cook Christmas Dinner just for the two of us. What I should have done (with us being skint) was to get a free Christmas dinner around at my parents, but that just wouldn’t be romantic enough for me and how hard could cooking my own roast dinner be?

I had never cooked even a whole chicken or even a pork shoulder before so this was clearly going to be above my skill level.

The sides was not going to be a problem as I have cooked all of them at some point but surely with a roast you just oil it and stick it in the oven. So what went wrong you may be thinking……..I think the term of phrase would be cooking the turkey upside down as in breast side down not up!

But no one had told me which way up it went and personally I thought it tasted rather good and because the breast part was cooking in the juices it meant that it was so moist and as far from dry as you could get. So if no matter what you do, your turkey always ends up dry then this could be a seriously good Plan B!

Dominic’s Succulent Roast Turkey

Welcome to the hubbys succulent roast turkey recipe. Whether you’re looking for a recipe for Thanksgiving, Christmas or just for a Sunday roast then this is the recipe for you.

I am sure this is the real reason that you have landed on this Podcast. We are talking about the ultimate roast turkey and it really doesn’t get any better than Dominic’s succulent roast turkey.

This turkey though doesn’t need soaking overnight like you see in many recipes, it doesn’t need to be rested for hours, it doesn’t have a crazy marinade where you have to buy several ingredients to make it happen.

It is simple, it is easy and it tastes amazing. Plus if you stick with Dominic’s recommended size of turkey if you are a family of four like us (well we are technically five but with a newborn still on the breast milk!) then you will have lots leftovers for a whole range of leftover recipes.

If you are one for leftovers then a turkey is actually perfect for you. We will have an expensive Christmas grocery shop but thanks to leftovers and being selective with our meal plans we will have enough food to do a full two weeks and even include some freezer meals that we can enjoy well beyond Christmas.

CT FM 017: The Ultimate Guide To Roast Turkey
Serves: 16
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
  • 6 Kilo Whole Turkey
  • 250g Butter
  • 1 Large Onion
  • Salt & Pepper
  1. Preheat your oven to 200c. Make sure you have a whole turkey that is fully thawed and has had its giblets removed.
  2. Lift the skin from the turkey breast by sliding your hand down from the bottom end. Put your hand in and slowly raise the skin and you don’t want to pierce it so make sure you have not got sharp nails.
  3. Slice your butter into 8 equal pieces. Place 3 lots of butter on each breast (spread equally apart) and then a further 1 on each of the legs.
  4. Season the skin of your turkey with plenty of salt and pepper.
  5. Chop the onion in half (with the skin still on) and place in the cavity of the turkey.
  6. Place silver foil over the turkey and place in the oven for 90 minutes on 200c.
  7. Ever hour baste your turkey in its own juices so that it remains lovely and moist and doesn’t go dry.
  8. Remove the silver foil and reduce the temperature to 160c for a further 2 hours 30 minutes.
  9. Remove from the oven and check to see if it cooked by placing a cocktail stick in the thickest part and if the juices run clear then it is cooked.
  10. Leave to rest for 20 minutes before serving.
This turkey would easily feed a gathering of 16 without leftovers but we have this size as a family of 4 and then use everything that is left on lots of different meals.

Cooking Tips | Dominic’s Succulent Roast Turkey Recipe from RecipeThis.com

The Podcast Sponsor

For the Podcast sponsor for November 2016 Podcast we wanted to introduce you to the Cook N Home Nonstick Turkey Roaster. It is a fantastic bit of kit and at less than $25 is a great bargain for cooking your turkey. I am also the frugal type and can imagine using this for a whole range of roast dinners and it doesn’t just have to be for Thanksgiving & Christmas!

You can find out more by going to recipethis.com/turkeytray

Dominic’s Top Tips For The BEST EVER Roast Turkey

Not only has Dominic shared with you his top turkey recipe above but he has also shared below some of his catering super tips so that there is no way that anything could possibly go wrong with your turkey!

  • Not all turkey sizes are equal – With us we are using a 6 kilo turkey which in pounds is a 13.2 pounds of bird, yet someone else might be using a 2 kilo small turkey therefore I have put together the information below in a graphic so that you know how long to cook your turkey for.

Cooking Tips | how long to roast your turkey based on the size from recipeThis.com

  • Make sure that you thaw out your turkey properly – there is a lot of dangers with undercooked meat especially with poultry. The dangers are still not as bad as with chicken but you still need to be cautious with your turkey. You don’t want to have food poisoning as an extra bonus of Thanksgiving or Christmas!
  • Make sure you buy your turkey on time – way too many people buy their turkey at the last minute. This means that you can either end up with a bad size because all the common sizes have sold out, or that you end up with a last minute frozen turkey and it hasn’t defrosted on time.
  • You can buy frozen turkeys whenever you like – Remember if you are going frozen that you are not stuck with a set date to buy it. This means that if the supermarket mass reduces the turkeys after Thanksgiving then you can grab one and put in the freezer ready for Christmas.
  • Combine the temperatures – For the best results from a roast turkey it is important that you start it off at a 200c and then you finish the cooking at 140c so that you have the best ever succulent turkey.
  • The turkey skin is god – Remember to put the effort into the turkey skin and make sure it is well seasoned in order for you to have a delicious skin that everyone will fight over.
  • You need to cook it at the right temperatures – Too many people freak out over the skin and that it’s too brown or not brown enough so either turn the temperature up or down and this ruins it. Please stick to the recipe above and then you won’t go wrong!
  • Checking if it is cooked – we don’t have a thermometer in our household as you really don’t need one if you do it correctly. To check if it is cooked cut the thickest part of the breast near the leg with something small and sharp such as a cocktail stick. If the juices come out clear then it is cooked.
  • You MUST leave it to rest – leave it to rest on a worktop in the kitchen for 20 minutes with no silver foil attached.
  • You MUST think about your leftovers – I plan the leftovers like another woman plans her wedding. In fact I probably drive my family crazy. But at the same time I will probably get 20 meals out of the leftovers so it is worth the effort. When you have eaten the turkey you want on the day carve up all the breast, remove all the brown meat and plate it up and cover with silver foil ready for all the meals you’re going to make.
  • Make sure you baste your turkey – it is essential that you baste your turkey (by pouring over the oil from the bottom) every hour while your turkey is cooking. Otherwise you will end up with an incredibly dry turkey.
  • Less is more – the best turkey is the simple one. The one that is cooked with just butter, salt and pepper is amazing. You don’t need an orange, a lemon or lots of herbs and spices. Plus if you plan to make use out of leftovers then you want a standard flavour that you can add to at a later date.
  • The rack debate – there is a lot of debates over whether or not the turkey should be stood up on a rack verses cooked in its own juices. We cook ours in its own juices mainly because our oven is not big enough for a rack. We also prefer it that way as it gives it a lovely succulent bottom.
  • Recycle the juices – the juices are fantastic for gravy or towards stock for leftover turkey soup. Those make sure you strain the fat so that it doesn’t feel like you are using a jug of fat in your cooking.
  • Easy cutting – if you accidentally over cook your turkey then I suggest that you remove the breast straight after it has rested, then chop the breast on a chopping board as it will stop the breast from going like crumbly cheese.

That’s A Wrap

Thanks for listening to our Podcast and don’t forget how easy it is to transform your turkey with the great advice given in this Podcast. You might have never cooked a turkey before and want inspiration or your turkey might have always been dry.

No matter what applies to you, save this Podcast for later or download the ebook and then you can have a succulent turkey whenever you like.

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Meet The Milners

Samantha and Dominic

Dominic & Samantha Milner are the founders of RecipeThis.com. They love cooking, blogging and being full time parents to their three food obsessed kids. They cook with their kitchen gadgets everyday and love sharing their homemade recipes. Their favourite foods include chocolate, air fryer burgers and macaroni cheese. You can learn more about them here or you can sign up for their free newsletter here.

1 comment… add one
  • avatar Gina Ritchie Nov 14, 2016, 11:48 am

    I love turkey. Thanks for sharing great tips. I really like the simplicity of the recipe. I tend to get carried away with citrus and herbs.

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