1 self basting frozen turkey, about 4 - 4.5kg, thawed
2 -3 tbsp butter, softened at room temperature
Spice Rub Mix - combine:
4 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp garam masala
1 1/2 tsp ground tumeric
2 tsp smoked paprika
2 tsp garlic salt
1 tsp chilli powder, or less if you prefer less heat
Other ingredients:
2 large white onions, peeled and quartered
4 cloves garlic, peeled and left whole
3 sprigs curry leaves
2 cups chicken stock
50g butter or margarine
1½ tbsp plain flour
Extra chicken stock, if required
Salt and pepper to taste
Turkey Talk! Always thaw your frozen turkey slowly in the chiller section of your refrigerator. Allow 2 days of slow thawing at the lowest shelf for a 4 - 4.5kg turkey. This minimizes bacterial contamination risk compared to quick thawing at room temperature. For even browning, rotate the turkey after each basting. Roasting time depends on the turkey size. A general guide is 35 minutes for every 1 kg of unstuffed turkey. Add 30 minutes to the total roasting time for a stuffed turkey. It's best to test the doneness of your turkey with an instant read meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh, without touching the bone. Another way to check doneness is to see that the juices running from the turkey are clear and free from pink juices. The drumstick should also be moving freely when pivoted with your hand. Resting the cooked turkey is a crucial step. Allow at least 30 minutes resting before carving it. Resting allows the juices to reabsorb into the meat while firming it up. You will have succulent, beautifully carved turkey meat. Some people like giblets and add them to the gravy. You can omit them, if you prefer a smooth gravy.


1.Preheat oven to 200 deg C. Position oven rack on lowest level. Prepare a large roasting pan with a roasting rack.
2.Remove the bag of giblets and neck from the turkey cavity and set aside. Rinse turkey inside out with cold water and wipe thoroughly with kitchen paper towels.
3.Rub inner cavity with 2 tbsp of the spice rub.
4.Turn turkey to face backbone up, brush with some softened butter and rub about 1 tbsp spice rub on the surface. Transfer to the roasting rack in the prepared pan, breast side up.
5.Insert 4 quarters of the onions and all the garlic into the cavity. Tie up the legs with string.
6.Brush remaining butter all over the turkey and rub remaining spice rub all over. Lightly press the rub in so that it adheres well to the skin.
7.Fold over the neck skin and secure with some toothpicks. Bend the wing tips backwards behind the turkey
8.Scatter remaining onion quarters and curry leaves into the pan with the reserved giblets and neck. Pour chicken stock into the base of the pan.
9.Roast for 20 minutes at 200 deg C. Reduce oven temperature to 180 deg C and roast for another 2 to 2 1/2 hours. Baste turkey every 30 minutes by lightly drizzling the pan juices over the turkey. This prevents the rub from falling off.
10.Insert an instant read thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh. It should read 75 deg C. Total roasting time for a turkey this size is approximately 2 1/2 to 3 hours. If the turkey is browning too quickly, cover loosely with foil for the last ½ hour. When done, transfer the turkey and rack to a large dish and cover loosely with foil. Let rest for at least 30 minutes. Snip the string and remove gently. Remove tooth picks from neck end.
11.Prepare gravy while turkey is resting. Discard all solids (reserve giblets if you like) from the roasting pan. Strain roasting juices into a large measuring jug and skim off as much fat as possible. Make up to 2 cups liquid with extra chicken stock, if necessary.
12.In a sauce pan, combine flour with butter, cook over medium heat stirring constantly till golden. Add the liquid stock gradually, stirring well after each addition to obtain a smooth sauce. Season with salt and pepper. If you like you can dice the giblets and add them into the gravy.
13.To serve: Transfer turkey to a large serving platter. Garnish with herbs. Serve with gravy.

Spice Rubbed Roast Turkey

It’s the jolliest time of the year…and I can’t wait to share my recipe for Spice Rubbed Roast Turkey with all of you Ili fans! Surely, this wonder roast will be the star of your festive feast. Our special Asian style spice blend rubbed inside and outside the turkey gives brilliant top notes, balancing the wholesome meaty flavours of this celebration bird. You can roast this turkey with or without stuffing as you prefer. However I prefer not to stuff it because it will cook more evenly and in a shorter time.

Roasting your own turkey at home is a rewarding experience. Rest your fears about handling and cooking such a big bird. Just follow our step by step instructions plus turkey talk tips to cook and serve up a delicious, juicy roast.

For more Christmas recipes, click here to view my Festive Gingerbread Man recipe!