Christmas turkey with clementine and bay butter

Looking for a delicious Christmas turkey recipe? Look no further! Our “Christmas Turkey with Clementine and Bay Butter” is a real crowd pleaser.

We start by rubbing the bird with salt, creating a brine effect that locks in moisture and ensures incredibly juicy meat. The citrus flavors of clementine and fragrant bay butter permeate every bite, adding a refreshing touch to the roast. Not to mention the aromatic notes of thyme and a hint of sherry add an extra level of complexity to this festive centerpiece.

Treat yourself to this sensational roast that will impress your guests and leave them wanting more. This recipe guarantees an unforgettable Christmas that will be remembered for a long time.


  • 5-5½ kg oven-ready turkey, neck and giblets removed and reserved
  • 1 onion, halved
  • 5 bay leaves, crumbled if dry, torn if fresh
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaf, plus some for sprinkling
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 85g coarse sea salt
  • Zest of 1 orange, plus extra for sprinkling
  • 100 g butter, soft
  • Zest and juice of 1 clementine
  • Splash of sherry
  • large sprig of thyme, leaves plucked
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 tbsp flour
  • 250 ml dry sherry


Dry curing
Barney says, “Brineing a turkey to make it juicier
and tasty is popular in the USA,
But it requires a large container, liters of water
and space to leave it overnight. There will be my method
You get the same juiciness but with minimal effort.
The process involves seasoning your turkey
Add a flavored salt mixture beforehand and then leave it in
the fridge in a roasting pan – it’s all about that
20 minutes more effort. Before you roast your
For the turkey, just rinse off all the salt.

Preparation steps

  1. Brine the turkey up to two days in advance.
  2. If you have a spice grinder or mini food processor, add all the salt mixture ingredients and grind to a wet salt.
  3. If using a mortar, grind the herbs and pepper together, then add the salt and orange peel and grind well again. Put aside.
  4. Rinse the turkey thoroughly and pat dry with paper towels.
  5. Place the turkey in its roasting pan and season generously all over with the salt mixture.
  6. Place the turkey in the pan, breast side up, cover with plastic wrap and let rest in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. (This can be done a day in advance, but the longer you leave it, the more the flavor of the salt rub will penetrate the bird.)
  7. For the clementine-laurel butter, mash all the ingredients in a bowl, season a little and set aside.
  8. Can be made 2 days in advance or frozen for up to a month.
  9. 1 hour before cooking, remove the turkey from the refrigerator and thoroughly rinse off all the salt.
  10. Pat dry, rinse the roasting pan, place the turkey back in the pan and let it sit uncovered at room temperature for about an hour.
  11. Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas 4.
  12. Calculate a cooking time of 40 minutes per kg for the first 4 kg of turkey, then 45 minutes for each additional kg.
  13. Rub most of the butter all over the turkey – no seasoning necessary.
  14. If you did not use the neck for the ready-made sauce (see “Suitable”), put the neck in the can with the onion.
  15. Cover the dish loosely with foil and roast for the calculated cooking time.
  16. For the final 30 minutes, remove the foil, baste the turkey, sprinkle with the remaining thyme and orange zest and increase the oven temperature to 200°C/180°C fan/gas mark 6.
  17. (Now is the time to add the fillings and fried potatoes if you’re using them.)
  18. When the turkey is nicely browned and cooked through, remove it from the oven and let it rest on a warm plate loosely covered with foil and a tea towel.
  19. If you have prepared our make-ahead gravy (see “It goes with it”), you can add the pan juices.
  20. To make your gravy fresh, pour off most of the fat but leave the pan juices in the can and place over low heat.
  21. Stir in the flour to form a paste.
  22. Pour in the sherry and let it sizzle for 1 minute. Then gradually add 850ml water and simmer until a thick sauce forms. Be sure to scrape the sides of the can to loosen any remaining residue.
  23. Strain the gravy into a pot and reheat to serve – the gravy probably doesn’t need any extra seasoning since the turkey juices are salty enough.

Nutritional Information

674 32g 13g 2g 1g 0g 93g 2g

Equipment and tools

  • roaster
  • Basting brush
  • kitchen twine
  • Meat thermometer
  • Carving knife and board

Allergen information

This recipe contains the following allergens:

  • Dairy products (butter)
  • Sulfites (sherry)

Storage and leftovers

If you have leftovers, you can store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Use leftover turkey in sandwiches, salads, or soups.

Alternatively, you can freeze the cooked turkey for up to 3 months. Be sure to wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or place it in a freezer bag before freezing. Thaw in the refrigerator before reheating.

Health Benefits of Christmas Turkey with Clementine and Bay Butter

When it comes to holiday celebrations, the Christmas turkey is a classic centerpiece that brings a feeling of warmth and togetherness. Not only is it delicious and comforting, but it also offers a number of health benefits. Combining the juiciness of turkey with the spice of clementine and the fragrant aroma of bay butter, this recipe takes the traditional Christmas turkey to a whole new level. Let’s explore the health benefits of this festive dish.

1. Lean protein source

Turkey is an excellent source of lean protein, making it a nutritious choice for your Christmas feast. Protein is essential for building and repairing tissue, supporting the immune system, and synthesizing enzymes and hormones. With approximately 5-5½ kg/11-12 pounds of oven-ready turkey in this recipe, you’ll get a generous amount of high-quality protein.

2. Rich in vitamins and minerals

Turkey is packed with essential vitamins and minerals that contribute to overall health. It is a good source of B vitamins, including niacin, vitamin B6 and vitamin B12, which are important for energy production, brain function and red blood cell formation. In addition, turkey provides minerals such as zinc, selenium and phosphorus, which play important roles in various body processes.

3. Immune-boosting properties

The combination of clementine and bay butter in this recipe adds flavor and also provides immune-boosting benefits. Clementines are a great source of vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant that boosts immune function and helps protect against common diseases. Bay leaves, on the other hand, contain compounds with anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties that can support a healthy immune system.

4. Low sodium

This Christmas turkey recipe involves a dry-brining method that uses a flavored salt mixture. While salt is often associated with health concerns, dry curing allows you to control the amount of salt used. By rinsing off the salt before roasting, you can enjoy a flavorful turkey with minimal sodium, making it a healthier option for those watching their sodium intake.

5. Mindful preparation

Barney’s method of dry-brining the turkey beforehand and storing it in the refrigerator allows for careful preparation. Taking the time to season the turkey and planning ahead promotes a mindful and relaxed cooking experience, which can have a positive impact on overall well-being and reduce stress levels during the holidays.

As you gather around the Christmas table this year, consider making this recipe for Christmas Turkey with Clementine and Bay Butter. Not only will it tantalize your taste buds and impress your guests, but it also offers a range of health benefits that contribute to your well-being.

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