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    Roast Turkey with Citrus and Herb Butter

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    Roast Turkey with Citrus and Herb Butter

    A tasty twist on Christmas day

    • Preparation time: 15 minutes
    • Cooking time: 45 minutes per kg (about 3½ hours depending on weight), plus at least 30 minutes resting time
    • Total time: 4 hours 15 minutes 60 minutes 60 minutes 60 minutes 60 minutes 15 minutes

    Serves: 8


    • 1 lemon
    • 1 lime
    • 150g butter, softened
    • 15g pack fresh thyme, stalks discarded
    • 20g pack fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
    • 1 Waitrose Fresh Bronze Feathered Free Range Turkey (medium), about 4kg-5.99kg
    • 450g pack Waitrose Sausagemeat Stuffing (optional)
    • 2-3 fresh bay leaves
    • 250g pack Waitrose Dry Cure Smoked Streaky Bacon (optional)
    • Pigs in Blankets chipolatas wrapped in streaky bacon with rosemary (optional)
    • 1 Luxury Cranberry, Apple, Apricot and Date Sausagemeat


    1. Preheat the oven to 190°C, gas mark 5. Finely grate the zest from the lemon and lime into a small bowl and stir in 100g of the softened butter. Add the thyme and flat-leaf parsley, season with freshly ground black pepper, then mix well until evenly combined. Then cut the lemon and lime into quarters lengthways and set aside.
    2. Remove the giblets from the turkey. Season the turkey cavity. Lift the skin from the neck of the bird, using your fingers to ease the skin from the breast meat, to make a very large pocket. Push the flavoured butter evenly under the skin to coat the meat, then smooth the skin back down.
    3. Stuff the smaller neck cavity with the sausagemeat stuffing, if using, then pull the skin back over the neck. Use a cocktail stick to secure the skin flap underneath the bird. Tear the bay leaves in half and place these along with the lemon and lime quarters inside the turkey's main cavity.
    4. Transfer the turkey to a large roasting tin, breast-side up. Melt the remaining butter and generously brush over the turkey, and season. Place a square of foil loosely over the turkey to protect the breast and legs from browning too much. Roast in the oven for the calculated cooking time – remember to include the weight of the stuffing. Baste the turkey with the juices every hour.
    5. About 30-40 minutes before the end of cooking time, remove the turkey from the oven and take off the foil. Criss-cross the bacon rashers in a lattice pattern across the breast. Arrange the pigs in blankets around the turkey. Return to the oven and continue to roast until the turkey is thoroughly cooked. To check if it is ready, insert a skewer into the thickest part of the breast and thighs: the juices should run clear and there should be no pink meat. If the juices are still pink, return the turkey to the oven for 15 minutes longer before testing again.
    6. Transfer the cooked turkey to a warmed serving platter and cover tightly with buttered foil. Leave to rest in a warm place for at least 30 minutes (the turkey will stay hot for up to an hour if tightly wrapped in foil). Resting the turkey allows the meat time to relax and become firm. This makes carving easier and the meat more succulent. Garnish with extra fresh bay leaves and serve with Waitrose Cranberry Sauce With Burgundy.

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    Cook's tips

    Use the turkey giblets to make a homemade stock for the gravy. Put the giblets with a Cooks' Ingredients Bouquet Garni for Poultry, 2 torn bay leaves, ½ onion and a celery stick, both roughly chopped, and 10 black peppercorns into a large pan. Cover with 1 litre cold water, bring to the boil and then simmer for about 1 hour or until the stock has reduced by half. Strain through a sieve, cool and chill until required (it will keep for up to three days in the fridge).


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