The perfect roast Turkey takes time, so give yourself a couple of days to prep the best Turkey you have ever tasted.

Serves:10 | Prep time:48 hours | Cook time:1.5 hours


4.5kg whole turkey, thawed (plain not pre brined)

2 tbsp salt

2 tsp dried thyme , or other herb of choice

1 tsp paprika

1/2 tsp black pepper

100g / 3.5oz unsalted butter , melted

2 heads of garlic

1 onion

fresh sage

fresh thyme

fresh rosemary

1.5 cups / 375 ml water 

Salt & pepper


48 Hours Before Roasting

  1. Two days before you plan on serving your turkey, you’ll need to dry-brine it. 
  2. Pat the turkey dry, inside and out, with paper towel. 
  3. Mix your rub together – combine the salt, thyme, paprika and pepper. Generously rub the mix onto the turkey – in all the nooks and crannies, and under the skin if you can. Sprinkle a little inside of the bird too. 
  4. Wrap the turkey tightly in cling film and place into the fridge in a baking tray, upside down. 

24 Hours Before Roasting

  1. 24 hours later, flip the bird breast side up and leave in the fridge.

Roasting Time

  1. When ready to roast, unwrap the turkey. The skin should be moist but not wet. If wet, pat dry with a paper towel. Leave out for 30 minutes before roasting.
  2. Preheat the oven to fan forced 200°C/220°C/480°F/Gas mark 9.
  3. Cut your onion and one garlic head in half horizontally and place into the roasting pan under the turkey. Place a roasting rack on top.
  4. Stuff the bird loosely with your fresh herbs and the second garlic head (cut horizontally), along with 30g of butter. Tie the drumsticks together with kitchen twine.
  5. Twist the wings under the bird and place upside down on the rack. Melt the remaining butter and brush a little over the accessible areas of the turkey.
  6. Pour water into the roasting pan (this ensures the drippings don’t burn!)
  7. Roast for 30 minutes.
  8. After this time, use a clean tea towel to turn the turkey over, breast-side up. Brush with a little butter.
  9. Turn the oven down to fan forced 150°C/170°C/300°F. Return turkey to the oven for 40 minutes. 
  10. Check the turkey, and brush generously with remaining butter.
  11. Roast turkey for a further 20 minutes, until a thermometer inserted between the breast and leg reads 75°C/165°F, or until the juices run clear when a knife is inserted into the thigh. Cover loosely with foil if browning too much during this time.
  12. Remove the turkey from the oven and place onto a plate – cover loosely with foil and rest for 30 minutes before transferring to a platter for carving at the table.


  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat or serve cold.
  • Serve with a crunchy green salad or steamed low calorie non-starchy vegetables.
  • The weight of a whole turkey is not equal to the amount of flesh that can be consumed. Assume approximately 60% of the total weight as edible flesh (so a 4.5kg turkey, will produce approximately 2.7kg raw flesh). This nutritional analysis assumes approximately 150g of cooked turkey flesh per portion.

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Gabrielle Newman is the Nutritionist and Recipe Developer for The Fast 800, an online programme devoted to helping people live healthier, better quality lives by offering healthy recipes, meal plans, organisational resources and a science-based framework for a healthy lifestyle.