Roast Turkey | A Christmas Classic

As far as I can remember, roast turkey is a dish my family and friends traditionally enjoy every Christmas lunch. Also every Christmas I always notice that firstly, my mom’s stuffing is simply amazingly delicious and two, that my mom’s turkey is dry and tasteless..!!(Sorry mom).

So after spending endless hours in the kitchen over the last 12 months, I have decided to take matters in to my own hands and make the Christmas roast turkey myself. Although there is only one boss or one person in charge in a Greek kitchen, we somehow managed to make it work and present a fantastic lunch with a sumptuous and delicious turkey and a mouthwatering stuffing.

As we all know roast turkey is a traditional dish that is typically made in Christmas, and Christmas occurs during winter months. For this reason is the ingredients involve winter fruits like oranges, cranberries and fresh lemons, garden-fresh herbs like sage, thyme and rosemary and whole pieces of cinnamon sticks and carnation. Then again my main ingredients of garlic, pure olive oil and red wine could definitely not be excluded  from this food “party”.


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Level of difficulty: 4/5

Serves: 4-8 people according to the weight of the turkey

Calories 262 per 146 grams

Fat per 10 gems: 16%

Protein: 18 g


  • 1 Turkey minimum 5 kg
  • 50 ml Red Cabernet Wine possible Vintage 2011
  • 90 ml pure Kalamata pure olive oil
  • 1 full glass of pure lemon juice
  • 1 orange cut into chunky pieces
  • 4-6 peeled garlic gloves
  • 2-3 whole cinnamon sticks
  • 2-3 garlic gloves
  • A bouquet of thyme, sage and rosemary tide oven proof string
  • 2 generous pinches of Himalayan salt


Preheat oven at 180 c for at least ½ hour before putting the turkey in.

Wash the turkey very well and remove the tail, neck and wings.

Then, using half a lemon, scrub the whole turkey very well and salt it ( using pepper is optional).

Place the turkey on a big rack and stuff it with the garlic gloves, cinnamon and carnation sticks and of course with your bouquet of sage, thyme and rosemary.

Using a big jar mix all your liquids, wine, oil and lemon and cut your orange into chunky pieces and squeeze it in too.

Pure ¾ of the mixture on top and around the turkey.

Pour the rest of the mixture and place the turkey in the oven for an hour.

Keep the turkey cooking (according to size) at 180 c for at least 4 hours.

When golden brown on top, cover with foil so as not burn.

Remove the foil just about 20 minutes before removing the turkey from the oven and place the sliced oranges in the rack, around the turkey so they are caramelized.

Remove the turkey when it is ready and serve with the oranges and stuffing.

Athena’s Tips

1. If you can choose a fresh – free range turkey and not a frozen one.

2. The bigger the turkey is the better the meat is. The meat is more tender and has a milder smell.

3. Choose a 5 kg turkey minimum.

5. Roasted turkey leftovers makes perfect wholegrain, mayonnaise and lettuce sandwiches.

6. Serve, mix and blend your turkey with the wine sauce and chunky orange pieces that you have cooked.

7. Always serve your turkey with the stuffing – they work miracles together…!!!

8. Last but not least,  with turkey you can work both white and red wine. If you are a white wine lover, opt for a “Sauvignon blanc” but if you are a red wine lover then opt for a “Pinot Noir”