Turkey on Time – the perfect turkey for Christmas Day

SHORT of oven space? Don’t know how to fit in all your cooking on Christmas morning?

Well, this recipe helps by cooking the turkey during the night. That way the oven is free from 6am to noon to cook all the rest of your banquet.

The turkey cooks from 6pm overnight at 100°C till 6am, at which time you wrap it really well in heavy duty alfoil and store it in a small esky to stay warm till lunch time.

Ingredients for 1 medium turkey

  • 1 x 4 – 5 kg free range turkey
  • 500 g chicken mince
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 200 ml white wine
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • 300 g cranberries
  • zest of 2 oranges
  • 2 garlic cloves chopped
  • 2 tablespoons marjoram leaves
  • ½ cup chopped Italian parsley
  • 50 ml extra vigin olive oil (EVOO) + extra
  • salt and pepper
  • Ingredients for dry rub for turkey
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon mild paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon thyme leaves
  • 1 teaspoon chopped rosemary


Rub the 50ml of EVOO all over the turkey, then mix all the dry rub ingredients together before rubbing them all over the turkey skin. Discard any dry rub that won’t stick to the turkey and let the bird rest while you make the filling.

Cook the onion in a little EVOO in a big frypan till it’s clear, then add the chicken mince. Cook stirring well to break up the mince for five minutes. Add the wine and the cranberries stirring for two minutes. Now add orange zest, garlic, marjoram and Italian parsley, stirring for one minute.

Take the mix off the heat and add the breadcrumbs, mixing well. Cool the mix and fill the inside of the turkey with it. Tuck the wings, tie the legs and roast at 100°C for 12 hours. If you haven’t got the patience roast at 175°C for about 2½ to 3 hours till the internal temperature of the turkey is minimum 65°C.

Merry Christmas!