a donna hay christmas



Try Donna Hay's recipe for juicy poached turkey, served with a wonderfully light lemon thyme, lemon zest and peppercorn gravy. A modern Christmas meal!


  • 1 tbsp olive oil

  • 50g unsalted butter

  • 1 x 1.5kg turkey breast fillet, skin on

  • Sea salt 

  • Cracked black pepper

  • 4 eschalots, peeled and halved

  • 3 cups (or 750ml) chicken stock

  • 10 sprigs lemon thyme

  • 1 tbsp finely shredded lemon zest

  • 1 tsp black peppercorns

  • 50g of extra unsalted butter

  • ¼ cup (or 35g) plain flour


  • 1.

    Heat the oil and butter in a large heavy-based saucepan over medium heat.

  • 2.

    Sprinkle the turkey with salt and pepper and add to the pan, skin-side down, with the eschalots. Cook the turkey for 5 minutes (or until golden), turn and cook for a further 5 minutes (or until golden).

  • 3.

    Add the chicken stock, lemon thyme, lemon zest and peppercorns and bring to a simmer.

  • 4.

    Reduce the heat to low and cook, covered, for 30 minutes or until cooked through.

  • 5.

    Once done, remove the turkey from the poaching liquid, cover with aluminium foil and set aside to keep warm. Strain the turkey stock into a jug, discarding the solids.

  • 6.

    Melt the extra butter in a large saucepan over high heat until bubbling. Add the flour and cook, stirring, for 2–3 minutes or until golden. Slowly pour in the turkey stock, stirring until smooth. Cook, stirring continuously, for a further 2 minutes or until thickened.

  • 7.

    Slice the turkey and serve with the gravy.

Nutritional information

Nutritional analysis per serving (6 servings)

  • Energy 661kj
  • Fat Total 35g
  • Saturated Fat 14g
  • Protein 60g
  • Carbohydrate 22g
  • Sugar 2g
  • Sodium 971mg

Note: The information shown is Edamam's estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice.

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Posted by AnilouReport
I cooked this recipe twice in 4 days, so obviously it was a winner. However, I cooked the 1.8kg breast for way longer than 30 mins. I had a remote thermometer inserted into the middle of the breast, so I could keep my eye on the temp. I don't think it reached the correct temp until it had been simmering for around 1 hour. We turned the breast over after about 45 mins on one side and continued to simmer for about another 15 mins. It was cooked perfectly and nice and juicy still (covered and rested for at least 15 mins). Gravy was delicious made with homemade chicken stock. Thanks for the recipe.
Posted by Katrina186Report
So I had a Donna Hay Christmas this year. I knew what I was doing with the seafood but not sure about the meat side. In my family, one doesn't like ham, one doesn't like pork and so on. I saw this special on Foxtel and ran with it. My contribution was Turkey, Potatoes, Iceberg Salad with Proscuitto and Buttermilk dressing. Big hit all round. The only thing I would do differently is trust that the 30 mins simmer is enough, I left it a bit longer, it still was very moist but next time I will stop the simmer earlier. My husband loves the crispy turkey skin so maybe next time I will crisp under the griller??? Not sure.
Posted by Shane75Report
Chrissy lunch everyone raved about the turkey lovely and moist
Thanks for a great easy recipe
Posted by LifeStyleChannels Report
HI all, Our sincere apologies - we were indeed missing half the recipe. Steps 4 to 7 are now included above. We are so sorry for any inconvenience caused.
Posted by Monika20Report
That's a bit misleading. The recipe is called Turkey Breast with Gravy - but no gravy recipe. Tut, tut Lifestyle Channel.
Posted by Bill110Report
Did a trial run for Chrissy dinner on this last night and it came out really well. I used two x 1Kg Inghams (frozen) Turkey Breast Roasts (and upped the quantities of everything else correspondingly), I needed to tie them before use, but otherwise no issues. The turkey turned out lovely - very moist and tender. The only changes that I will make are that I will use salt reduced stock and go very easy on seasoning the roasts as the turkey and especially the gravy turned out over salty.
Posted by Rhett7Report
Hi guys,
I recorded the show and on playback Donna says to gently poach for 30 mins - thats for a 1.5kg turkey breast
Posted by Lisa1789Report
if you buy the donna hay magazine it will probably have full recipes in that.
Posted by Sue210Report
I too only have the 1st three steps, but based on the show it seems the last is simmer for 30 mins as Gill39 says. Then there was the gravy which is not shown. But I think it was 50gr of butter and 3 tables***ns plain flour. Make a roux - i.e. whisk till light brown then add pan juices and whisk again till slightly thickened.
Posted by Myree2Report
How long is this cooked for please