Phil Vickery's perfect roast turkey

The day has come for Phil Vickery to show us the tried and tested roast turkey recipe that has not let him down once in 14 years of cooking!

The main difference between this recipe and many other roast turkey recipes is that Phil is able to cook a 5Kg bird in just two and a half hours. If that wasn't convenient enough, the turkey is cooked on a base of onions, carrots and celery with white wine and stock that is then thickened to become a delicious gravy that is enough for the whole family.

Serves: 8-10 adultsPreparation time: 25 minutesCooking time: 2½ hours, approx

Ingredients

1 x 5 kg or just under 12lb, Bronze turkey, with giblets and the wish bone removed2 large carrots, peeled2 large onion, peeled6 sticks of celery1 leek2 bay leaves2 chicken stock cubes½ bottle dry white wine2 pints cold watersalt and freshly ground black pepper55g melted butter2 tbsp roughly cornflour4-6 tbsp cold water

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 200°C, gas 6

  • The first job is to remove the giblets from the bird and if you are using a frozen bird then make sure that it is fully defrosted

  • Season the bird well inside and out with salt and pepper and pack the stuffing into the body cavity

  • Tie the legs and the parsons nose together with a piece of string and secure well, so the stuffing is held inside the bird

  • Chop all the vegetables into large chunks and place in the bottom of a large baking tray. Place the turkey on top. The tray should be large enough so the bird has at least 2 inches gap around it.

  • Pour in the white wine, cold water and chicken stock cube, and place the whole tray on to the stove

  • Bring to the boil and cover tightly with two layers of foil and pop into a preheated oven

  • Cook the bird for about approximately 2 hours

  • To check if the bird is cooked, carefully remove from the oven as there will be a lot of stock, wine and turkey juices

  • Remove the foil and insert a knife where the thigh attaches itself to the body of the bird. The juices should run clear and if not, cover again with foil and cook for a further 20 minutes.

  • When the bird is cooked, remove from the oven and turn it up to 230°C, gas 8. Brush with the melted butter and cook until browned for about 15 minutes.

  • When nicely browned, remove from the oven and carefully tip off all the stock and keep warm

  • Wrap the turkey in foil to keep warm, it will keep perfectly wrapped for 1 hour

  • Reboil the stock and juices, you may need to add a little more water in a saucepan and skim well

  • Mix the cornflour and water together and thicken the bubbling stock

  • Carve the bird; the flesh will be soft and juicy. Serve the gravy and stuffing separately.

Phillip and Holly pay close attention to Phil's roast turkey tips

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