Classic Christmas Roast Turkey Recipe

cooking-time15 min cooking-servings6-8 SERVINGS


  • 1 whole turkey, thawed if frozen
  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • 4 teaspoon coriander
  • 3 teaspoon black peppercorn
  • ½ teaspoon green cardamom (about 8-10)
  • 3 teaspoon fennel
  • Fresh thyme
  • Fresh rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon red chili flake
  • 1 teaspoon Garlic salt
  • Salt, according to taste
  • 2 carrots, cut in 1"" chunks
  • 2 medium onions, cut into wedges
  • 2 celery stalks, cut in 1"" chunks
  • 4 oranges, cut in halves
  • 2 lemons, cut in halves
  • 2 garlics, cut in halves
  • Fresh thyme
  • Fresh rosemary


Plan ahead by thawing your turkey before cooking. The safest way is to thaw your turkey in the refrigerator. It can take 2-3 days for the turkey to defrost fully.
  1. Once your turkey has been thawed, remove the wrapping from the turkey, discard the giblets, neck, rinse the turkey and pat dry.
  2. For the spice blend, dry roast the coriander, black peppercorn, green cardamom and fennel for few minutes. Coarsely grind (do not make it a powder) and add other herbs, chili flakes, garlic salt and salt.
  3. Rub the turkey with melted butter generously. Rub on the spice blend on the inside and out. Marinate in the refrigerator for 12-24 hours.
  4. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C
  5. Season and stuff the turkey with carrot, onions, celery, orange, lemon, garlic and fresh herbs.
  6. Place the turkey breast-side up in a roasting pan with a rack, tucking the wings underneath the body. Cross the legs and tie them with kitchen string to secure them. Place the turkey on the rack, starting with it facing breast side down.
  7. Place any remaining carrots, onion, celery (and the turkey neck, if you saved it) at the bottom of a roasting pan.
  8. Wrap the pan loosely with aluminum foil. Place the turkey on the middle rack of the oven. Remember to baste the turkey with its pan juices every 45 minutes to create even browning.
  9. After about 90 minutes, remove the turkey from the oven, take off aluminum foil and flip it breast side up, and baste the turkey with pan drippings. Roast for about another 2 hours in the oven, basting it every 30-45 minutes. 
  10. Transfer it to a carving board and let rest for 15-20 minutes, covering it back with aluminum foil.
  11. Add fresh fruit such oranges, lemons, limes and a variety of fresh herbs around the outer edge of the platter, and serve!

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