Jenny Bristow cooks a roast turkey which forms the central part of the celebratory Thanksgiving meal.


  • 4-5 kg turkey
  • 1 onion
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 celery stalk (broken in half)
  • 3-4 bay leaves (creased in half)
  • 1-2 sprigs of sage
  • 110-175 g butter (softened)
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 10-12 rindless rashers streaky bacon
  • 4 dessertspoo redcurrant jelly (warmed)


  • Preheat the oven to 200°C/Gas 6. Remove the giblets and pat the turkey dry, inside and out, using kitchen paper. This will ensure a lovely crisp skin.
  • Place the onion, carrot, celery, bay leaves and sage inside the turkey. These ingredients will impart moisture and flavour during roasting. It is important that you leave plenty of space inside the bird for the air to circulate when cooking, to ensure that the inside reaches the required temperature to cook through.
  • If you are using stuffing, put it into the neck end of the turkey under the flap of skin.
  • Line a roasting dish with a double layer of foil, large enough to completely enclose the turkey. Lift the turkey in. Spread butter all over it and cover with bacon in a lattice pattern. Fold the foil around the turkey so that it is completely enclosed.
  • Roast the turkey for 45 minutes. Then reduce the temperature to 170C/gas mark 3 and cook for a further 3 and a half hours. Baste every 30-40 minutes during cooking to keep the turkey moist. Take care to avoid splitting the foil, and re-close it carefully during this process.
  • About 30 minutes before the end of the cooking time, remove the turkey from the oven and open the foil. Remove the bacon, baste and then spoon over the redcurrant jelly. Increase the temperature to 200C/gas mark 6 for the final 30 minutes to brown and crisp the skin.
  • To check if the turkey is cooked, pierce the thickest part of the thigh with a skewer. If the juices run clear then the turkey is ready. Pink juices mean that the meat is still slightly undercooked - continue cooking and test again. Allow to relax for 20-25 minutes before carving. This will ensure that the turkey is moist. Use the juices remaining in the roasting dish to make gravy.


You can find further recipes from Jenny in her book Jenny Bristow USA.