Roast Stuffed Irish Turkey with jus

- Recipe by Gearoid Lynch -


The centre-piece on the table for most Irish Christmas dinners is roast turkey. Whether you are just cooking for the family or entertaining guests, this is a show stopper and makes for a succulent, flavoursome bird - certain to impress.


(Serves 8-10)

12lb Whole turkey on the bone

250g butter (at room temperature)

Two sprigs of thyme

One packet flat leaf parsley

One lemon cut in half

Three onions, peeled, cut in half

Three cloves of garlic, peeled

Two carrots, roughly chopped

One celery stick, roughly chopped

Two bay leaves

Half a leek, sliced

One litre of chicken stock

For the stuffing

100g butter

100g onion, chopped

100g sausage meat

10g fresh sage, chopped

100g breadcrumbs

25g cranberries, fresh

30g fresh parsley, chopped


Pre heat the oven to 2200C

To make the stuffing

Cook the sausage meat, then, put into a food processor.

Melt the butter in a large pot set over a medium heat. Add the onion, and sage and cook for four minutes, until the onion is soft. Add the breadcrumbs and parsley and sausage meat and cranberries and stir for two minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning and set aside.

To prepare the butter for the turkey, chop the parsley and one sprig of thyme and mix all together.

Place the two onions, celery, leek, carrots and bay leaves on a roasting tin. Put the turkey into a roasting tin on top of the vegetables and season the cavity well with salt and pepper. Stuff the cavity with the thyme, lemon, onion and garlic.

Stuff the neck of the turkey with the stuffing and hold in place using cocktail sticks, the remainder of the stuffing can be bake separately: Line a baking dish with a layer of tin foil, followed by a layer of greaseproof paper spread out flat, then place the stuffing down the centre of the greaseproof paper. Fold or roll up the paper, making sure the stuffing is completely sealed within the paper. Seal the greaseproof paper with the tin foil that is wrapped around it. Put the stuffing into the oven for the final 20 minutes of the turkey’s roasting time.

To prepare the turkey, using your fingers separate the skin from the breast meat carefully little by little, then put the butter and herb mixture under the skin and on top of the breast meat, this will keep the breast meat moist during cooking and will also add extra flavour to the meat.

Place the turkey into a preheated oven 2200C for 20 minutes, then reduce the heat to 1750C, and cook for three more hours.

To make sure the turkey is cooked, pierce a skewer into the thickest part of the thigh – the juices should be clear, with no trace of pink. If it is pink, return the turkey to the oven and cook a little longer. The cooked turkey should have crispy golden brown skin and the meat should be cooked all the way through.

To make the sauce, remove the turkey from the roasting tin and place it on a large plate to rest, loosely covered with tin foil. Remove any excess fat from the roasting tin either by pouring it off (but without losing any of the juices in the tin) or simply remove by using a spoon.

Put the roasting tin onto the hob over a medium heat. Add the red wine and reduce by half, then add the chicken stock and reduce by half, stirring continuously. Pass the jus through a fine-mesh sieve into a small saucepan. Bring to the boil, taste and correct the seasoning.

Remove the tin foil from the turkey. Carve the turkey by removing the legs first, then separate the thigh from the leg. Carve the breast into slices.

Serve the turkey with the stuffing and jus. Happy Christmas!


Gearoid Lynch is the proprietor of the award-winning Olde Post Inn in Cloverhill and regarded as one of the best ‘gluten free’ chefs in the country. He has also recently opened The Duck Inn at the Imperial Bar, Cavan Town.


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