Looking for a new turkey dinner recipe this holiday season? You'll love the Citrus Roast Turkey! Sliced citrus with butter, garlic and fresh herbs penetrate your turkey with flavor. Try something new for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner!
This Citrus Turkey has such amazing flavors, your guests won't forget it! There's nothing complicated here, just fresh herbs like thyme, sage, parsley and garlic with a bit of citrus zing!
Brining Turkey - Yes or No
When it comes to hosting Thanksgiving or Christmas, you don't want to screw up the main event, the bird! Everyone wants to get it right, and some people swear by brining your turkey before you roast it! Brining is simply placing the turkey in salty water infused with herbs and spices. The turkey takes on the salty water, so when it roasts, it won't dry out and remains juicy. Check out my Brining Post, and decide if it's right for you!
Other people can't be bothered to spend all the time brining a turkey. You need a large food grade bucket that can hold your turkey and brine, preparation time to start the day before, refrigerator space to hold it for 24 hours, just for a bit of debatable juiciness. So it's up to you. If you do decide to brine this turkey, I would add an sliced lemon and orange into the brine, to kick off those flavor profiles.
Butter, Butter and more Butter
I always say, Everything tastes better with butter, and this turkey is no exception! The fresh herbs are chopped and mixed with citrus zest and butter, ready to spread over and under the turkey skin. This makes the skin crispy, and also give a a flavor boost to the chicken breast. You want to pat the turkey skin dry, and carefully separate the skin and the turkey breast. Using your hands, massage the butter mix all over the turkey.
Why Citrus in a Turkey?
The citrus is added to roast inside the cavity of the turkey with your onion and herbs. Roughly slice an orange and a lemon with a quartered onion. Stuff the cavity in no particular order with the onion, citrus and fresh herb pieces. As the internal temperature heats up, the scent of the savory citrus will flavor the turkey from the inside out as it cooks! The smell and taste is amazing! Citrus is bold enough to complement and not overpower a white meat like a turkey, it wouldn't work with red meat.
How Do I Know The Turkey Is Ready?
I honesty don't know how we survived our childhoods. Everything is temperature measured with internal probes these days. I'm not saying that's wrong, because I don't like getting sick. In the old days, turkey was cooked by a generic measurement of 15 minutes of roasting per pound of turkey in a 350°F/180°C oven. You had to make sure the turkey was defrosted properly (in the fridge), and things could go wrong. That's why more accurate temperature probes are recommended now. Do both and see how off your cooking time is!
When checking internal temperature, you want to probe the thickest part of the meat without touching the bone. I check the breast and the thigh temperature. The internal temp should be at 165°F or 75°C before taking it out of the oven. With everyone waiting, you might be tempted to take it out early, but don't! Only remove when the temperature says the turkey is ready.
Resting A Turkey
We are all so impatient, that we forget to factor in the resting time of your turkey. Add at least another 20 minutes to your planning and roasting time, to allow your turkey to rest. Resting allows the juices of the turkey to re-distribute back into the meat fibres. It allows the fibres to relax while reabsorbing the moisture. Your turkey also continues to cook while it rests, so don't worry, it won't be cold! I remove it from the pan, cover with foil, and usually throw another kitchen towel on top for good measure.
More Turkey Recipes
- Deep Fried Turkey is one of my most popular turkey recipes!
- Stovetop Stuffing with.... lots of butter 🤣
- How to Smoke a Whole Turkey
- Juniper Berry and Pepper Gravy
- Creamy Leftover Turkey Soup with Bacon
- Turkey Turnovers with Cranberry and Cheese
This Citrus Turkey Roast will be a showstopper this holiday season. Juicy and full of flavor, you gotta try this recipe! Bon Appetit! Приятного аппетита!
- 1 whole turkey used a 13 pound (6kg) turkey
- 1 stick of butter (125 grams) softened
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- 3 tbsp fresh chopped thyme
- 3 tbsp fresh chopped sage
- 3 tbs fresh chopped parsley
- 1 orange, zested and sliced
- 1 lemon, zested and sliced
- 2 tbsp orange/lemon juice
- 1 onion, quartered
- 1 tbsp pepper
- 2 tbsp salt
- Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C in a fan forced oven.
- Mix the softened butter with garlic, thyme, sage, parsley, orange zest, lemon zest, orange/lemon juice, salt and pepper.
- Stuff the cavity of the turkey with orange slices, lemon slices, onion and fresh herb sprigs.
- Carefully separate the turkey skin from the turkey breast. Pat the turkey skin dry. Using your hands, spread the herb butter between the turkey breast and skin, and generously slather the outside of the turkey. Save a bit of the herb butter for basting later.
- Loosely cover with foil and place turkey in the preheated oven.
- Cook the turkey for 15 minutes per pound (or 30 minutes per kilogram). Remove the foil when the turkey is ⅔ of the way cooked, and baste with remaining butter while it finishes cooking. The turkey is cooked when internal temperature is 165°F/75°C in the deepest parts of the turkey.
- When turkey is cooked, remove from oven, cover with foil and allow to rest for 20 minutes before serving.