Roast turkey with lemon and parsley butter recipe

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serves: 6
Skill: medium
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  • Much fuss is made over how best to roast a turkey. But believe us – with our hassle-free recipe there’s no mystery to it.


    • Approx 4.5kg quality free-range organic turkey
    • 20g pack flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
    • 100g unsalted butter, at room temperature
    • Grated zest of 1 lemon
    • 1 lemon, quartered
    • 1 red onion, quartered
    • 2 fresh bay leaves, plus extra to garnish


    • 1. Remove turkey from fridge when you wake up, so it gets to room temperature. Dry inside and out with kitchen paper.

    • Heat the oven to 190°C (gas mark 5). Stir the parsley, butter and lemon zest together. Gently push your hand under the skin covering the turkey breast, and smear the flesh with the butter. Put the lemon, red onion and bay leaves into the body cavity, then tie the legs together with string. Transfer to a large roasting tin or oven tray.

    • Season the turkey. Cover the whole roasting tin with a double layer of foil, so the entire bird is encased. Roast for 18 mins per 450g (3 hrs for a 4.5kg bird), removing the foil 45 mins before the end of cooking.

    • Check the turkey is cooked by piercing the thigh with a knife. The juices should run clear, with no sign of pink. If not, cook another 15-20 mins. Transfer to a serving plate and cover with foil while it rests for 30-35 mins, for the juices to settle.

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    (61 ratings)
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