Cooks Academy Christmas Recipes!

This year, why not look forward to cooking Christmas dinner, with a little help from Cooks Academy!

Stay tuned between now and Christmas for more mouth-watering recipes and tips. For more see



Let’s start with our centrepiece, the daunting but delicious turkey.


1 Whole turkey, 7kg approx
1½ onion quartered  (reserve a ½ adding to the roasting tray)
1 lemon quartered
1 orange quartered
50g butter
10 slices bacon
Large sprig of thyme
2 Celery stalks
1 Carrot

Preheat oven to 180°C (gas 5)
Turkey takes 18 mins to the pound (454g).  10lb turkey = 3 hours and a 20 lb 6 hours!! 


  1. Rinse the turkey thoroughly, inside and out and dry with kitchen roll.
  2. Season cavity well with salt and pepper and fill with the onion, thyme and quartered fruit
  3. Take a piece of string and tie it around the parson’s nose and the drumstick.  Tie well.
  4. For ease of carving remove wings and wishbone.
  5. Spread butter all over the bird especially the legs, season and place bacon slices over the breast.
  6. Weigh the bird to calculate cooking time.
  7. Place in the roasting tray on top of the celery, half an onion and carrot pour in a pint of water and cover well with tin foil.  Roast for calculated time minus 25 mins.
  8. Uncover and baste with juices and cook for a further 25 mins to brown
  9. To check if it is cooked, push a skewer into base of a leg and if the juices run clear, it is cooked.  If not, return to oven for a further 10-15 mins.
  10. Lift turkey out of tin letting juices drain into tin and set aside in a warm area for 30-40 mins to allow the meat to relax.
  11. Strain cooking juices into a jug.  Allow to settle and discard any excess fat, keeping what is left in the jug for the gravy.  NB: Set aside the roasting tray for making the gravy


  1. Use up leftover turkey by making a turkey curry (great for freezing) or a turkey risotto for a quick St. Stephen’s Day supper.

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