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How to Cook a Roasted Turkey with Lemon, Parsley & Garlic

The Easiest Guide For How to Cook A Turkey

by Helen
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The Secret To A Juicy and Succulent Turkey

Are you looking to impress your guests with a succulent turkey this Thanksgiving?  Look no further than the secret to a juicy and flavorful turkey: brining.  Soaking your turkey in a solution of salt, sugar, and spices will ensure that your bird stays moist and packed with flavor.  Give it a try and see the difference for yourself!  Before you begin to prepare your turkey for cooking, how to clean a turkey?  Be sure you have cleaned it out.  How to cook a turkey the easy way.  Below, you will find an easy recipe for how to cook a turkey.

First, ensure you have a large enough container to hold the turkey and the brine solution.  For every gallon of water, add one cup of kosher salt and one cup of sugar.  You can add flavorings such as herbs, garlic, or citrus.  Stir the mixture until the salt and sugar are completely dissolved.  Place the turkey in the brine solution, ensuring it is completely submerged.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 12 hours but no more than 24 hours.  After brining, rinse the turkey with cold water, and pat dry before cooking.  Brining can help ensure a moist and flavorful turkey.

Sides To Serve With Your Turkey

Some popular side dishes that go well with turkey are mashed potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce, green beans, sweet potatoes, and roasted vegetables. It really depends on your personal preferences and the occasion. Some people also enjoy gravy and dinner rolls for Thanksgiving or Christmas meals. Whatever you choose, make sure it complements the delicious flavor of the turkey! Pat dry before cooking. Brining can help ensure a moist and flavorful turkey.


Serves 8–10

  • 1 free-range turkey (ideally Norfolk Black or Bronze), about 5–5.5kg (buy here)
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 onions, peeled and halved
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • 1 head of garlic, halved horizontally
  • 6 bay leaves
  • olive oil, to drizzle
  • 8 rashers of smoked streaky bacon

Lemon, parsley and garlic butter: 

  • 375g butter, at room temperature
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • finely grated zest and juice of 2 small lemons
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • small bunch of flat leaf parsley, leaves only, chopped
Viking 3-Ply Stainless Steel Oval Roaster with Metal Induction Lid and Rack


  1. Preheat the oven to 220°C/Gas 7. Meanwhile, prepare the herb 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, 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 bay leaves.
  3. With your hands, loosen the skin on the breast from both ends of the bird so that you will be able to stuff the flavored butter underneath it, making sure you keep the skin intact. Repeat with the skin on the legs – from the lower side of the breast feel your way under the skin and out towards the leg, loosening the gap.
  4. 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.
  5. Place the bird in a large roasting pan with a rack, breast side up. Spread the rest of the butter all over the skin. Season well 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.)
  6. Roast the turkey in the hot oven for 10–15 minutes. Take the tray out of the oven, baste the bird with the pan juices and lay the bacon rashers over the breast to keep it moist. Baste again. Lower the setting to 180°C/Gas 4 and cook for about 2 1⁄2 hours (calculating at 30 minutes per kg), basting occasionally.
  7. To test whether your turkey is cooked, insert a skewer into the thickest part of the leg and check that the juices are running clear, rather than pink. As oven temperatures and turkey shapes and sizes vary, it is crucial to check your turkey about 30 minutes before the calculated roasting time. If the juices are pink, roast for another 15 minutes and check again. Repeat as necessary until the turkey is cooked.
  8. Transfer the turkey to a warmed platter and remove the parson’s nose, wings and tips of the drumsticks; reserve these for the gravy. Leave the turkey to rest in a warm place for at least 45 minutes; make the gravy in the meantime. Remove the bay leaves from under the skin before carving. Serve the turkey with the piping hot gravy, stuffing and accompaniments.

Recipe: Dave Ramsey

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