Thursday, December 8, 2016

Citrus and Butter Turkey

This citrus and butter turkey cooked relatively quickly and didn't require too much attention. We did a little bit more water to it though as the chicken broth evaporated. The cheesecloth worked surprisingly well to keep the turkey from burning and gave it a perfect golden skin! We had a slightly bigger turkey (about 17-18 lbs) than the recipe called for, but we just scaled everything by about 30% to account for it. It turned out great! We really just used the zest of the whole grapefruit, orange and lemon - we didn't measure it too closely, but this might also depend on the size of your citrus; ours were pretty big.

Here is the original recipe for Citrus and Butter Turkey

Ready to carve!

Stuffed with citrus

Pouring the citrus butter over the turkey

Turkey with soaked cheesecloth

Citrus Butter 
Salt/Peppered Turkey


One 16-18 lb-pound turkey, rinsed and patted dry
Black pepper
2 sticks unsalted butter
2 tablespoons finely grated grapefruit zest, plus 1/2 cup fresh grapefruit juice
2 tablespoons finely grated orange zest, plus 1/2 cup fresh orange juice
2 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest, plus 4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
8 garlic cloves, finely grated or chopped
2 tablespoon minced thyme plus 5 sprigs
1 grapefruit, cut into wedges
1 orange, cut into wedges
1 lemon, cut into wedges
4-5 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth


1. Season the turkey inside and out with salt and pepper. Transfer to a rack set in a roasting pan and let come to room temperature.

2. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400°. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter. Whisk in the citrus zests and juices along with the garlic and minced thyme; let cool slightly. Transfer half of the citrus butter to a small bowl and refrigerate until spreadable. (We had to freeze for about 10 minutes as it was not solidifying in the fridge)

3. Run your fingers under the breast and thigh skin to loosen it, then spread the chilled butter under the skin and over the breast and thighs. Stuff the turkey cavity with the thyme sprigs and the grapefruit, orange and lemon wedges. Dampen an 18-by-18-inch double-layer piece of cheesecloth with water and squeeze dry. Soak the cheesecloth in the remaining citrus butter and drape it over the breast and legs; pour any remaining butter on top. (We had to use two cheesecloth pieces, one for each thigh/leg and half of breast)

4. Roast the turkey for about 30 minutes. Add the stock to the roasting pan and continue to roast for about 1 hour and 45 minutes longer, rotating the pan a few times, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the inner thigh registers 165°.

5. Carefully peel the cheesecloth off the turkey. Transfer the turkey to a board; let rest for 30 minutes. Skim the fat off the pan juices and transfer to a gravy bowl. Carve the turkey and serve with the pan juices.

What we liked:

This was one of the best turkeys we have had - it was moist and delicious. The only thing is that it did not have much of a "citrus" flavor. 

What we didn't like:

Nothing, it was great!

What Kaspian thought about it:

He was not too into the meat this holiday. 

Next time:

No change needed to this recipe. 

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