Serves 8, 15 minutes prep, 3.5 hours cooking

Give your traditional Christmas turkey a citrus twist with our delicious lemon and orange butter recipe that not only keeps the bird lovely and succulent but gives it an amazing flavour.


  • 1 5kg Turkey, giblets removed
  • Zest and 1-2tsp juice from 1 unwaxed Lemon
  • Zest and 1tsp juice from 1 Orange
  • 4 large Onions, halved
  • 1 Thyme Sprig, leaves removed and finely chopped
  • 1 Rosemary Sprig, leaves removed and finely chopped
  • 3 dried Bay Leaves
  • 180g Butter, room temperature
  • Freshly ground Salt and Pepper to season


  1. Preheat your oven to 180˚C.
  2. Weigh the bird and calculate the cooking time at 40 minutes per kg/20 minutes per lb.
  3. Mix 140g of the butter with the zests and juice from the citrus fruits and the fresh herbs 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 over both the breasts and the tops of the drumsticks being careful not to break it with your nails. Spread the herby, citrus butter under the skin, pushing it in as far as you can – using a table spoon can really help -  then smooth the skin back into place. Put the lemon and orange halves in the turkey cavity along with 2 onion halves and the bay leaves.
  4. Rub turkey all over with remaining 40g of butter and sprinkle with a little salt. Put the remaining onions in the bottom of a large roasting then sit the turkey on top and cover both the bird and the tin completely with a double layer of foil.  Roast according to your calculated cooking times.
  5. To get a really delicious, golden brown turkey, thirty minutes before the end of the cooking time turn the oven up to 200˚C and remove the foil before returning to the oven to cook for a further 30 minutes. Top Tip: To test the turkey is cooked through, pierce the fattest part of the thigh with a skewer. If it is cooked the juices that run out will be clear and not pink - keep cooking if the juices are pink and re-check at 15 minute intervals. 
  6. Once cooked, remove the turkey from the oven and rest it for at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hour before serving. Serve with our Delicious Gravy and your favourite trimmings.

As a general guide, cook your turkey at 180˚C for:

  • 45 mins per kg plus 20 mins for a turkey under 4.5kg
  • 40 mins per kg for a turkey between 4.5kg and 6.5kg
  • 35 mins per kg for a turkey heavier than 6.5kg
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