Norwich City ~ Carrow roast turkey

Introduction: Carrow Road is Norwich City’s kickball stadium.  It’s named after the road it was built on in 1935. Norwich used to play at the appropriately named Nest on the Newmarket Road before that.

I’m looking to discover how a proper Norfolk turkey is cooked. I have asked my Mum how to do this but she has not been forthcoming thus far. Perhaps she will remember how her Mum did it, she was REALLY good at cooking.

Preparation time: 40 mins, this takes a surprisingly long time as man handling this big bird is awkward.

Cooking time: 25 mins per kilo and a 30 min finishing blast

Resting time: 30-60 mins

Home kit: a BIG roasting tin, a small mixing bowl, a BIG carving board, a BIG sharp carving knife and fork, a warmed serving platter, Some kitchen roll

Away kit: 4-6 plates and spoons

Serves: Kickball team


  • 1 turkey , about 4kg, giblets removed
  • 125g butter , at room temperature
  • 1 lemon , sliced thinly
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • some olive oil
  • Maldon sea salt
  • 3 onions , halved, skins removed

Method: preheat the oven to 180oC

First half

Pat the turkey dry all over with kitchen paper. Mix the butter with the garlic and season well.

Gently push your fingers under the turkey’s skin, starting from the neck end of the bird, easing the skin away from the flesh. Spread the garlic butter under the skin on each breast then smooth the skin back into place.  Now slip the slices of Canary Yellow lemon up under the skin. Rub the turkey all over with olive oil and sprinkle generously with sea salt.

Put the halved onions in the bottom of the roasting tin to act as a trivet for the bird. Sit the turkey upside down in its breast so the juices from the back and legs keep it moist and cover generously with foil leaving plenty space around your bird, tucking under the tin to create a foil tent, an oven within an oven.

Cook for your calculated time, say 1 hour 40 mins for a 4kg bird.

Second half

Take it out and turn up the oven to 220oC. Remove the foil and turn the bird over and return to the oven for a further 30 minutes until golden. To test, pierce the fattest part of the thigh with a skewer, the juices should run clear, if pinkish return to the oven for 20 mins and test again.

Rest the turkey, covered loosely with foil, for at least 30 minutes and up to an hour before serving (strain the cooking juices and keep the onions to use in the gravy).

Full time results


Stick the cooked bird on the carving board and spear it with the carving fork on one side of the breast bone, taking care to disturb the meat as little as possible.

Legs off!

Using some kitchen roll bend the thigh outwards and cut through the hip joint removing the whole leg. Separate the thigh from the drumstick and stick on the serving plate. Repeat for the other leg.

Wings off!

Cut through the corner of the breast towards the wing. Again using kitchen roll wiggle the wing to locate the joint. Cut through the wing joint with a slice of breast. Place on the serving platter, someone will like it.

Breast meat last

Your bird should still be speared near the breast bone. Steady your bird. Carve the first slice off where you’d imagine the nipple to be if it were a breast. Keep the meat together by lifting each slice with the knife and fork rather than letting it fall. It should all be piling up on the serving plate by now. Niiice.