Spatchcock roasted turkey with chilli and curry leaf butter

This roast turkey is rich, warming and fragrant with curry leaves, a little twist from traditional turkey. Spatchcocking, reduces cooking time and ensures an evenly cooked turkey, a big win on Christmas day when oven space is most likely scarce. Ask your butcher to spatchcock it for you if you like and save the trims to place in the tray when roasting so it flavours the juices.


30 min


2 hr 30 min

Serving size



1 spatchcocked turkey (6kg)
300g unsalted butter at room temperature, cut into 1 cm cubes
1 ½ tsp chilli flakes
2 tsp hot smoked paprika
30g picked curry leaves
6 garlic cloves
2-3 lemons; 2 tsp zest, 3 tsp juice and the other cut in half
2 onions, peeled and cut into 1cm thick slices (300g)
300g carrot, peeled and cut in 4 cm chunks at an angle
One whole garlic bulb, cut in half
2 tbsp plain flour
500ml hot water
Fine sea salt and black pepper


1. Preheat the oven to 230C.

2. In a large food processor, blitz the butter, chilli, paprika, curry leaves, garlic cloves, lemon juice and zest and 2 teaspoons of salt until fully combined.

3. Using a paper towel, pat the turkey dry. Season all over with 1 teaspoon of salt and a good grind of pepper.
With the turkey’s legs pointing away from you, use your fingers to loosen the skin from the breasts and the legs. Spread half of the butter mixture under the skin, then smear the remaining butter over the legs, the breasts and the underside.

4. Place the lemon halves, onion, carrot , garlic bulb halves with 500ml of water in a large 26cm x 30cm parchment lined tray and place a roasting rack on top. Put the turkey skin-side up on the rack and roast for 20 mins until starting to colour in places.

5. Reduce the heat to 160C and cook basting every 30 minutes for 1 ½ to 2 hours, until the juices run clear when pierced at the thighs. You may need to top up with more water to prevent any charring to the turkey juices.
Remove from the oven, set the turkey aside on a platter to rest for 30 minutes and cover with foil to keep warm.

6. Pour all the leftover juices from the pan into a large jug or bowl, keeping the veg at the bottom in the tray. Discard the lemon halves, and squeeze the garlic halves into the juices then discard the papery skins. Increase the heat to 230C and place the veg in the oven for 12- 15 minutes until lightly coloured then set aside.

7. Meanwhile, spoon 100ml of fat off the top of the turkey juice and place in a medium saucepan on medium heat. Once hot, add in the flour and cook for 3-5 ,minutes until bubbling and lightly browned. Pour in the turkey juices slowly whilst whisking constantly and cook for 10- 12 minutes until slightly thickened.

8. To serve, arrange the roasted veg on the platter around the turkey and serve with the gravy in a jug alongside.