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(Serves 8 with leftovers)

Prep: 20 mins

Cook: 4hrs 45mins

7kg fresh turkey

2 onions, halved

1 lemon, quartered

75g soft butter

3tbsp finely chopped fresh sage

2tbsp plain flour

200ml Marsala wine or Madeira

400-500ml hot chicken stock

1tbsp cranberry jelly

Salt and pepper


Heat oven to 170C/150C fan/gas mark 3-4, and place the turkey in a large roasting tin. Tuck three of the onion halves and the lemon quarters into the cavity and season. Cover with foil, make sure there’s plenty of space between the turkey and foil for the air to circulate and seal the edges tightly, so that no steam escapes. Roast for four hours.

Meanwhile, finely chop the remaining onion half, and mix with the butter and sage. Take the turkey out of the oven and raise the temp to 200C/180C fan/ gas mark 6. Brush the sage and onion butter all over the turkey and return to the oven, uncovered, for 45 minutes until crisp and dark golden. If you’re making the roasties, then start them in the oven when the turkey goes back in, uncovered.

Transfer the turkey to a warm serving plate, cover loosely with foil and leave to rest for 30 minutes. Tip the juices out of the pan into a bowl, leave for a moment to settle, then scoop the buttery oil from the surface into a separate bowl. Spoon two tablespoons of this oil back into the tin and return to the heat.

Stir the flour into the tin using a wooden spoon, scraping the residue off the bottom of the tin as you go. Cook for two minutes, then stir in the Marsala or Madeira and bring to the boil. Make the reserved turkey juices up to 500ml using hot chicken stock and pour into the tin. Bring to the boil and simmer for a few minutes, add cranberry jelly.