Christmas Turkey – Step 2: Prepare the Turkey

Spend a little effort preparing your turkey for cooking and we can dramatically reduce the cooking time from 4 hours to 1 ½ hours and help make our turkey the most succulent ever, packed with flavour and avoiding any dryness of the meat.

You will need to be prepared to work with a knife with a stiff blade (ideally a boning knife) and follow the steps in the video.  But don’t worry – it’s really quite straightforward.

If you prefer, your local butcher will be able to prepare your turkey in the same way.

Serves: 8 Prep: 30 mins


  • 12lb turkey
  • 6 – 8 rashers of streaky bacon
  • olive oil
  • salt & pepper


  1. Take off the wings at the joint. You can use these in gravy later.
  2. Start to cut the skin between the legs and the body of the turkey.
  3. Pull the leg back with a bit of force to snap out the joint from the socket.
  4. Cut down the rest of the leg to release it from the body of the turkey.
  5. Snap off the ‘parsons nose’ leaving just the turkey crown.
  6. Remove excess skin around the cavity.
  7. Push hand between skin and breast meat to create cavity for Thyme and Onion butter.
  8. Push butter under the skin with your hand.
  9. Roll out rindless streaky bacon between baking parchment to flatten.
  10. Dress the turkey crown with rashers of bacon.
  11. Drizzle a little Olive Oil over the turkey legs and season with salt and pepper.
  12. Your turkey is now ready to be cooked.


Getting Ahead

You can prepare your turkey on Christmas Eve and refrigerate ready for cooking the next day.

Chefs Tips

Remember to have a thorough clear down after preparing the turkey and sanitise your work surfaces and equipment well to avoid any cross contamination.

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