Gordon Ramsay’s Turkey Feast

Gordon Ramsay encourages you to be indulgent in this recipe for a succulent roast turkey. Lemons and a whole head of garlic are stuffed into the turkey and quite a bit of parsley butter is massaged under and on top of the skin. To add juiciness and flavor, bacon is draped over the breast meat.
• 1 turkey 14-16 pounds
• Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 2 onions peeled and halved
• 1 lemon halved
• 1 head of garlic halved
• 6 fresh bay leaves
• Olive oil to drizzle
• 8 strips (or more) of smoked bacon
• 3 sticks butter at room temperature
• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• Finely grated zest and juice of 2 small lemons
• 3 garlic cloves peeled and crushed
• Small bunch of chopped flat leaf parsley leaves
• Prep Time: 30 minutes
• Cook Time: 165 minutes
• Total Time: 195 minutes
• Yield: Serves 10 to 12
1. Pre-heat the oven 425°F. Put the softened butter into a large bowl, and season with salt and pepper. Add the olive oil and mix well. Add the lemon zest and juice, crushed garlic and chopped parsley. Mix well to combine.
2. Remove the giblets from the turkey cavity. Season the cavity well with salt and pepper, then stuff with the onions, lemon, garlic halves and 2 fresh bay leaves. Gently loosen the skin beneath the breast with your fingers. Repeat with the skin on the legs.
3. Stuff half the butter mix into the opened spaces under the skin. From the outside of the skin, gently massage the butter around the breasts so that the meat is evenly covered. Finally, insert the rest of the bay leaves under the skin of the breasts.
4. Place the turkey in a large roasting tray, breast side up. Spread the rest of the butter all over the skin, and season with salt and pepper, then drizzle with a little olive oil. (If preparing a day ahead, cover the turkey with foil and refrigerate at this stage.) Roast the turkey in the hot oven for 10-15 minutes. Take the roaster out of the oven, baste the turkey with the pan juices and lay the bacon strips over the breast to keep it moist. Baste again. Lower the oven temperature to 350°F, and roast for about 2-½ hours, basting occasionally.
5. To test whether the turkey is done, insert a skewer into the thickest part of the leg and check that the juices are running clear and not pink. (Make sure to check the turkey every 30 minutes, since oven temperatures and size of turkey will determine cooking time.) If the juices are pink, roast for another 15 minutes and check again. Repeat as necessary until the turkey is cooked.
6. Transfer the turkey to a warmed platter. Remove the lemons, garlic and bacon and reserve Snip off the wings, tail and any trimmings you might throw away, and save for the Cider Turkey Gravy recipe. Let the turkey rest 45 minutes in a warm place. Remove the bay leaves from under the skin before carving. Serve with Pork, Apricot & Pistachio Dressing.

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