Christmas Turkey with Citrus Butter
Christmas dinner means Christmas turkey; this recipe keeps your turkey moist and full of flavour.
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 4 hours (plus resting time)
6 kg turkey, giblets removed
140g butter, at room temperature
1 lemon, zest and halved
1 orange, zest and halved
A few sprigs of thyme leaves, finely chopped
1 sprig of rosemary, leaves finely chopped
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
4 large onions, peeled and halved
3 bay leaves
2 tbsp olive oil
For the gravy
1 tbsp plain flour
200ml white wine
600ml good quality chicken stock
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/350°F/Gas mark 4.
2. Make sure the turkey is dry all over by patting with kitchen paper. In a small bowl mix together the butter, lemon and orange zest, thyme, rosemary and season well. Now gently push your fingers under the turkey’s skin around the neck, breasts and tops of the drumsticks; easing the skin away from the flesh.
3. Now spread the butter under the skin with your fingers and push it as far as you can. Place half of the lemon and orange, 2 onion halves and bay leaves into the turkey cavity. Now rub the turkey all over with the olive oil and sprinkle with salt.
4. Arrange the remaining onions in the bottom of a large roasting tin and place the turkey on top. Now completely cover the bird with tin foil. Now roast the bird as per calculated cooking times; 40 minutes per kg.
5. At 30 minutes before the end of the cooking time remove the turkey from the oven and increase the heat to 200°C/180°C fan/Gas mark 6. Remove the foil and place back in the oven for 30 minutes until golden.
6. Test the turkey is cooked by piercing the fattest part of the thigh with a skewer, the juices should run clear. If pink cook for a further 10 minutes and check again, continue until the juices run clear.
7. Rest the turkey lightly covered with foil at least 30 minutes to one hour before serving. Reserve the cooking juices and onions in the tin for the gravy.
8. For the gravy, pour away the excess fat from the turkey tin but leave the onions. Place the tin over a medium heat and sprinkle over the flour. Mix through with a wooden spoon and cook for 2 minutes and press down on the onions to extract the flavour. Now gradually add the wine and stock and bring to the boil scraping any bits from the bottom of the tin. Bring the gravy to a simmer over a low heat for 15 minutes. Now sieve and season to taste before serving in a warmed gravy jug alongside the Christmas turkey. Merry Christmas!