Roast turkey with garlic, lemon and herbs

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The classic Christmas centerpiece, gently flavoured with garlic, lemon and herbs and roasted to juicy perfection.

Per Serving 812kcals, 47.2g fat (22.9g saturated), 2.3g carbs, 0g sugars, 90.8g protein, 0.5g fibre, 0.409g sodium

25 minutes
4 hours 40 minutes
Difficulty: Moderate
Serves: Serves 12-14
For the garlic, lemon and herb butter:
400g butter, at room temperature
Salt and black pepper
1½ tbsp olive oil
Zest and juice of 2 lemons
3 crushed garlic cloves
Small bunch of chopped fresh parsley
For the turkey:
6.5kg turkey, giblets removed
1 halved lemon
1 head of garlic, cut in half horizontally
4 sprigs of rosemary
4 sprigs of thyme
2 sprigs of sage
Olive oil, to drizzle


  1. Preheat the oven to 220°C/200˚C/gas mark 7. First, make the lemon butter. Put the butter into a large bowl and season with salt and pepper. Add the olive oil and mix well. Add the lemon zest and juice, garlic and parsley, and stir to combine.
  2. Season the cavity of the turkey with salt and pepper, then stuff with the lemon halves, garlic and herbs.
  3. Use your hands to loosen the skin from the breast meat, being careful not to tear the skin. Repeat with the skin on the legs, working from the lower side of the breast out towards the leg. Rub half of the flavoured butter in under the skin.
  4. Place the bird in a large roasting pan, breast side up. Rub the remaining butter all over the skin. Season well with salt and pepper, then drizzle with a little olive oil.
  5. Cover the turkey loosely with tin foil and roast for 40 minutes, then lower the heat to 170°C/150˚C/gas mark 3 and cook for a further 3½ hours, basting occasionally with the juices in the bottom of the tray.
  6. Remove the tin foil and cook for another 30-40 minutes until a thermometer registers the internal temperature at 74˚C and the juices run clear.
  7. Leave the turkey to rest in a warm place for at least 20-30 minutes before carving.