Jamie's easy turkey – 2 ways

Flavour-packed golden turkey crown & stuffed legs

Jamie's easy turkey – 2 ways

Serves Serves 12 to 14
Time Cooks In2 hours 15 minutes plus resting time
DifficultyNot too tricky
Nutrition per serving Plus
  • Calories 301 15%
  • Fat 15.4g 22%
  • Saturates 4.6g 23%
  • Sugars 4.6g 5%
  • Salt 0.6g 10%
  • Protein 31.4g 63%
  • Carbs 8.8g 3%
  • Fibre 1.4g -
Of an adult's reference intake
Jamie: Keep Cooking at Christmas
Recipe From

Jamie: Keep Cooking at Christmas

By Jamie Oliver
Tap For Method


  • 5 metres of string
  • 1 x 3 kg higher-welfare turkey crown , with giblets (from a 5kg turkey)
  • 2 onions
  • 2 sticks of celery
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 clementines
  • 1 bunch of fresh woody herbs , such as rosemary or sage (30g)
  • 6 bay leaves
  • 500 g apricot & sausage stuffing , (see here)
  • 2 x 500 g higher-welfare turkey legs , (ask your butcher to debone the legs)
  • olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup or runny honey
Tap For Method
Jamie: Keep Cooking at Christmas
Recipe From

Jamie: Keep Cooking at Christmas

By Jamie Oliver
Tap For Ingredients


1. You can do all this prep on Christmas Eve, ready for the big day. Check the main cavity for the bag of giblets, and if they’re in there, remove them and tip into a large roasting tray. The flavour they will add to your gravy will be incredible – trust me.
2. Peel and quarter the onions, and roughly chop the rest of the veg (there’s no need to peel them), adding everything to the tray as you go. Halve and add the clementines, then throw in the woody herbs and bay leaves.
3. Fill the neck cavity with half of the stuffing (don’t stuff it in too tightly), then pull the skin back over, and tuck it under the bird, then place the turkey on top of the vegetable trivet.
4. Lay your deboned turkey legs skin-side down on a board. Now, you're aiming to create a flat rectangular surface area for stuffing, but don't worry, it doesn't need to be perfect – just try to make it roughly the same thickness all over. Start by slicing away from you into the thickest part of the meat, then fold over and open it out flat, like a book.
5. Lay 16 x 30cm pieces of string on your chopping board in two sets of eight, making sure there is a 2cm gap in between each piece. Place the turkey legs skin-side down on top of the string, ensuring there are 8 pieces under each leg. Pack the remaining stuffing into the middle of each leg, filling in any pockets left by the bones, then wrap the meat back over and tie it tightly with the string using a double-knot. Transfer to a small roasting tray. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of olive oil over each of the legs and crown, and rub it into the meat, then cover both trays with tin foil and store in the fridge overnight.

6. Take your turkey trays out of the fridge 1 hour before they are due to go in the oven.
7. Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/gas 4 and season the crown and legs with sea salt and black pepper.
8. As a guide, you want to cook a stuffed higher-welfare bird for 25 to 30 minutes per kilo, and a standard bird for 35 to 40 minutes per kilo. If you have a 3kg crown and 2 stuffed turkey legs, like I have here, roast them for 1 hour 30 minutes, basting several times with the lovely juices in the tray.
9. To check the meat is cooked, the simplest way is to stick a knife into the thickest part of the thigh or breast – if the juices run clear, it’s done. If you’re worried, you could also use a meat thermometer. You need to reach an internal temperature of 65ºC for a top-quality bird, such as Paul Kelly’s turkeys, or 70ºC for a supermarket higher-welfare or standard bird.
10. Use heavy-duty tongs to lift up your bird so all the juices run from the cavity into the tray, then transfer the turkey to a platter, and brush the legs with the maple syrup or honey. Cover with a double layer of tin foil and a clean tea towel, then leave to rest for up to 2 hours while you crack on with everything else. To see how you finish off your gravy, check out my Chestnut gravy recipe.

11. To carve the legs, cut off the string and slice, at an angle, through the juicy leg meat. For the crown, cut along the backbone with the length of your knife all the way down it until you hit the carcass. You can then lift the whole breast off the bone. Remove to a board and slice.

These nutritional values are based on 120g of cooked turkey, per person.
Jamie: Keep Cooking at Christmas
Recipe From

Jamie: Keep Cooking at Christmas

By Jamie Oliver