Roast turkey with spinach and pine kernel stuffing

Restaurant: Adlington Turkey
Serves: 10
Prep / cook time 15 mins/ up to 4 hours

Want to know how to cook the perfect Christmas turkey? Better ask the experts – our local turkey supplier, Rod Adlington of Adlington Ltd, has all the tips you need to create a tasty, succulent, centrepiece for your table.

It helps to start off with a top quality bird, like Adlington’s high welfare and free range turkeys which are corn-fed and reared naturally. When it comes to cooking, follow Rod’s top tips:

  1. Cooking times – weigh the bird and calculate the cooking time, allowing 20 minutes per kg + 30 minutes at the end
  2. Let the bird settle – take the turkey out of the fridge at least two hours before you start to cook to allow the meat to settle
  3. Cook the turkey breast side down – this allows the juices from the turkey to naturally baste the meat during cooking. Half an hour before the end of cooking, turn the turkey the other way up to allow the breast skin to brown, and add more salt and pepper
  4. Let the turkey rest – this is an important step so don’t overlook it. Once the turkey is cooked and the juices run clear, take the bird out of the oven, cover with tinfoil and towels to keep warm, and leave for 20-60 minutes while you prepare the rest of the meal

Order your Christmas meat now at our Warner’s store in Upton-upon-Severn, or online

We’ve got a huge range of festive meats to choose from, including locally-reared Adlington turkeys, great value Morrison’s turkeys and turkey crowns, as well as pigs in blankets, gammon  and sausage meat from Evesham-based Outdoor Pig Company and locally-reared beef, lamb and pork from Martin’s Meat in Winchcombe. Closing date for orders is Thursday 15th December.

You can also get 10% off Morrisons The Best Pigs in Blankets 210g when you scan your Taste Club card at the till. And, don’t forget the cranberry sauce – get Ocean Spray Whole Cranberry Sauce for only £1.09 with your Taste Club card.




For the turkey

5.5kg/12lb oven ready turkey, thoroughly thawed if frozen

salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 onion, peeled and cut into wedges

1 lemon, cut into quarters

3-4 bayleaves

lemon wedges, grated lemon rind and flat leaf parsley to garnish

For the stuffing

1 tbsp oil

1 medium onion, peeled and chopped

2-4 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed

1 carrot, about 100g/4oz peeled and grated

2 celery sticks, trimmed and chopped

225g/8oz (finely shredded) fresh spinach, with the tough stalks discarded or 100g/4oz frozen spinach, thoroughly thawed and drained

75g/3oz pine kernels

grated rind and juice 1 lemon, preferably unwaxed

175g/6oz fresh white breadcrumbs

1 medium egg, beaten

6 sheets filo pastry (to serve)



Preheat oven to 190°C / 375°F / gas Mark 5, 10 minutes before cooking. Remove the giblets and neck from inside the turkey if applicable, and wipe the turkey inside and out with a clean damp cloth. Season the body cavity, then place the onion wedges, lemon and bay leaves in the body cavity. Cover while making the stuffing.


Heat the oil in a pan and gently sauté the onion, garlic, carrot and celery for 5 minutes or until softened. Remove from the heat and stir in the shredded spinach, pine kernels, egg, lemon rind and juice with the breadcrumbs and seasoning to taste. Mix to form a stiff consistency.


Stuff the neck cavity only with the prepared stuffing, then fold over the neck flap and secure by either sewing using fine twine and a trussing needle or with skewers. Roll the remaining stuffing into small balls and cook round the turkey for the last 20 minutes of the turkey cooking time.


Weigh the turkey and calculate the cooking time allowing 20 minutes per kg + 90 minutes at the end. Place the breast side down in the roasting tin and place in the preheated oven. (Cooking the turkey breast side down allows the juices from the turkey to naturally baste the turkey during cooking.) Twenty minutes before the end of the cooking time, turn the turkey the right way up and place the stuffing balls round the turkey to cook. (If you find the turkey is browning too quickly, cover lightly with tin foil) Check the turkey is thoroughly cooked by inserting a long skewer in the thickest part of the thigh. If after 1 minute the juices run clear, the turkey is cooked.


Remove from the oven, place on the serving platter, cover lightly with a clean cloth or tin foil and leave for about 15-20 minutes before carving. Use juices to make gravy. Garnish with the filo baskets, stuffing balls, lemon wedges, zested lemon rind and flat leaf parsley


Make the filo baskets by cutting the pastry into 10cm / 4inch squares. Lightly brush a square with water and place a second square on top. Repeat making 4 layers in total. Place in a deep muffin tin taking care not to tear the pastry. Crumble a small piece of tin foil and place in the centre. Repeat until the pastry has been used. Bake in a preheated 200ºC / 400ºF / Gas mark 6 for 10 minutes or until golden. Remove the tin foil and store in an airtight tin. If necessary, crisp in a hot oven for a few minutes before using. (If no muffin tins are available use inverted dariole moulds or ramekins to shape the baskets)


Make a delicious gravy by pouring the turkey juices into a saucepan and allowing to cool. Skim the fat off the top and when ready to eat, simply reheat it and stir in 2 tablespoons of flour to thicken, if required.