My gran's turkey

My Gran's turkey with bread stuffing and how to cook the perfect turkey

My gran's turkey with herby bread stuffing is an easy recipe that makes for an excellent centerpiece on your holiday dinner table.
Course Christmas, Roast, Stuffing, Turkey
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 20 minutes
Servings 12
Author Alida Ryder


for the turkey

  • 1 x 4.5 turkey innards removed and completely thawed
  • 6 onions quartered
  • 2 garlic bulbs halved
  • handful each fresh sage and thyme
  • 4 large carrots roughly chopped
  • 2 celery stalks roughly chopped
  • salt & pepper
  • olive oil

for the stuffing

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves crushed
  • 8 cups fresh breadcrumbs
  • 3 tablespoons fresh sage finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 50 g Parmesan cheese finely grated
  • 1-2 cups full cream milk
  • salt & pepper to taste


  • Pre-heat the oven to 220°c.
  • Drizzle the turkey with a little olive oil and season liberally with the salt and pepper (including the cavity) and place in a large roasting tray.
  • Place half an onion and the fresh herbs in the cavity.
  • Place the remaining onions, garlic, carrots and celery around the turkey and drizzle with olive oil.
  • Place in the oven.
  • Allow the turkey to roast for 30 minutes then cover with foil and turn the heat down to 160°c.
  • Allow the turkey to roast for another hour - 1 hour 30 minutes or until the breast meat has reached 140°c on a meat thermometer.
  • Remove the foil and allow the turkey to roast and brown for another 30-45 minutes or until the white/breast meat has reached 160-165°c on a meat thermometer.
  • Meanwhile, fry the onions and garlic in the butter until soft and translucent.
  • Combine the breadcrumbs, herbs, lemon zest and Parmesan cheese in a large bowl and add the onions and garlic with all the butter.
  • Stir in the milk until the stuffing is well moistened but not too wet.
  • Season to taste and transfer to a greased loaf tin.
  • Remove the turkey from the oven when it is well browned (or reached 160-165°c) and allow to rest for 30-45 mins under foil and a tea towel.
  • Place the stuffing in the oven and allow to bake for 45 minutes until golden brown.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 5 minutes before removing from the tin and slicing and serving with the carved turkey.