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Saliha won BBC’s Masterchef in 2017. For her, cooking the perfect turkey is key to Christmas.

Saliha said: “The turkey is the main event, the va va voom of the Christmas table.

“Some people are hesitant when cooking a turkey for the first time, but if you follow just a few basic principles I guarantee it will be a hit with your guests.

“I like to keep my turkey quite classic as I have done so here and my top tip is to make sure you give yourself enough time for the bird to thaw fully before cooking it.”

Saliha worked with Humza Halal products and chooses their products for her Halal Christmas dinner.

Roast turkey recipe


  • 5kg Humza Halal Frozen Turkey (defrosted to room temperature) giblets removed
  • 150g unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 2 tsps flaky sea salt
  • Coarse black pepper
  • 3 lemons, quartered

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Preheat the oven to 160°C fan/180°C non fan/gas mark 4. Pat the skin of the turkey dry with some kitchen towel.

Remove the wishbone by gently pulling back the neck skin until you can see it, then use a sharp knife cut underneath the bone, just deep enough to ease it out.

Place the turkey in a deep roasting tray. Stuff the lemons into the cavity of the bird and rub the butter over all the skin.

Season liberally with salt and pepper and wrap the bird with plenty of extra wide tin foil before transferring to the oven. Roast for 40 minutes per kg.

BBC Good Food: Recipe for turkey bubble and squeak cakes

For the last 20 minutes of cooking remove the tin foil and baste the bird with the juices in the pan. Turn the oven up by 20 degrees to allow the skin to brown.

Remove the turkey from the oven and make sure it is cooked through by using a food thermometer to check the temperature has reached 70 degrees.

Cover loosely with foil and allow the bird to rest for at least 30 minutes before serving.

To finish off, use the juices in the tray to make a delicious gravy.

If looking for a vegan Christmas recipe, why not try Gaz Oakley’s vegan Wellington. 

The Avant Garde Vegan, Gaz, makes the meal with braised chestnut with charred pepper.

The recipe serves six and takes around 90 minutes to cook.

You can use ready rolled puff pastry and roasted red peppers.

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