Turkey with citrus fruits and thyme

This recipe for Turkey with citrus fruits and thyme is a real treat for non-Muslims who love traditional Christmas dishes. With a simple hint of citrus, this turkey will make a delightful centerpiece for your Christmas feast.

The combination of juicy turkey with refreshing citrus flavors and fragrant thyme is sure to impress your guests. Thanks to the easy preparation, the selection is stress-free and you can enjoy the holidays with your loved ones.

Whether you’re an experienced chef or just starting out, this stunning recipe guarantees an unforgettable dining experience. Get into the Christmas spirit and enjoy the harmonious fusion of flavors. It’s time to enjoy the tender, flavorful deliciousness of turkey with citrus and thyme.


  • 4½-5.6kg/10-12lb turkey, thawed if frozen, giblets removed
  • 2x 20g bunch of lemon or normal thyme
  • 1 orange
  • 1 lemon
  • 8 tbsp olive oil
  • Lightly Spiced Christmas Stuffing (see “Goes Well” below)
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 4 carrots, halved lengthwise and cut into pieces
  • 1 large onion, roughly chopped
  • 50 g butter, soft
  • 300ml/½ pint red wine
  • 1 heaped tablespoon of currant jelly
  • 600 ml turkey or chicken stock
  • 10 small red onions, peeled and quartered lengthwise but still attached to the root
  • 2 onion pumpkins or 2 small butternut pumpkins (total weight approx. 500 g), cut into thin wedges and peeled

Preparation steps

  1. Cut off the leafy tips of the thyme, but not the hard, woody branch ends (save these for the cavity).
  2. Finely grate the orange and lemon peel into a small bowl and mix with chopped thyme, olive oil and spices.
  3. Using the back of a metal spoon (or use a pestle and mortar), mash the mixture into the oil to release the flavor. Set aside to steep.
  4. Preheat the oven to fan 170°C/fan 190°C/gas 5.
  5. Wash the turkey inside and out and dry well with paper towels.
  6. To make carving easier, you can now cut out the control arm, but this is not absolutely necessary.
  7. Place the reserved third of the stuffing into the neck of the turkey, pushing it toward the breast. Do not overfill as the filling will expand as it cooks.
  8. Attach the neck tab with a small metal skewer.
  9. Weigh the stuffed turkey and calculate the cooking time – allow 18 minutes per 450g/1lb.
  10. Season the turkey generously inside and out with salt and pepper.
  11. Halve the orange and lemon and add them to the cavity along with the thyme sprigs and two bay leaves (press the fruit together when dipping).
  12. Tie the turkey legs together to give the bird a good shape.
  13. Place the chopped carrots and onions and remaining bay leaves in a large roasting pan.
  14. Place the turkey on top of the vegetables, brush the skin with the butter, and cover with loose foil.
  15. Roast the turkey for the calculated time, basting it every hour with the pan juices.
  16. Meanwhile, place the red onions and pumpkin in a shallow roasting pan and add half the thyme oil. Make sure it gets directly into the cut surfaces of the onions. Set the tray aside.
  17. Half an hour before the turkey is finished cooking, remove the foil and let the turkey brown.
  18. After 15 minutes, drizzle the turkey with the remaining thyme oil.
  19. To test whether the turkey is cooked, insert a skewer into the thickest part of a thigh – the juices should run clear.
  20. If they are still pink, cook for another 20-30 minutes and test again.
  21. Remove the turkey from the oven and set the oven to 180°C fan/200°C top/bottom heat/gas mark 6.
  22. Transfer the turkey to a serving platter, cover tightly with foil, and let rest while you add vegetables and garnishes.
  23. Place the red onions and squash in the oven and roast for 30-40 minutes.
  24. At the same time, roast the bacon-wrapped sausages (see Lightly Spiced Christmas Stuffing on the right) for 30 minutes.
  25. Now make the sauce.
  26. Remove any fat from the roasting pan.
  27. Stir the wine and currant jelly into the carrots and onions in the mold.
  28. Bring to a boil and cook quickly for 8-10 minutes to reduce the quantity by half.
  29. Scrape the sticky bits from the bottom of the can with a wooden spoon while the sauce is cooking.
  30. Pour in the stock and simmer for 10 minutes until a dark, tasty sauce forms. Season with salt and pepper.
  31. Strain the sauce into a saucepan (discarding the vegetables), bring to the boil again and serve in a warm jug.

Nutritional Information

572 23g 7g 11g 2g 1g 75g 0.64g

Equipment and tools

  • Large frying pan
  • dulcimer
  • Knife
  • Aluminum foil
  • Basting brush
  • Tongs
  • Meat thermometer

Allergen information

This recipe contains the following allergens:

  • butter

Please check all ingredients for possible allergens and adjust recipe accordingly.

Storage and leftovers

After cooking, store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

To reheat, place the turkey in a microwave-safe bowl and heat until warmed through. Alternatively, reheat in a preheated oven at 175°C (350°F) for about 15-20 minutes.

Health Benefits of Citrus Fruits and Thyme from Turkey

The combination of citrus and thyme in this turkey recipe not only adds a pop of flavor to the dish but also brings several health benefits. Citrus fruits like oranges and lemons are known for their high vitamin C content, while thyme is rich in antioxidants and other beneficial compounds.

Rich in vitamin C

Both oranges and lemons are excellent sources of vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant that plays a crucial role in maintaining a healthy immune system. Vitamin C helps protect our cells from damage, aids in the absorption of iron and increases collagen production, which is essential for healthy skin, bones and blood vessels.

Antioxidant power of thyme

Thyme is packed with antioxidants, which are compounds that help neutralize harmful free radicals in the body. These free radicals can cause oxidative stress and contribute to chronic diseases such as heart disease and cancer. By including thyme in your turkey recipe, you’re giving your body an extra dose of these beneficial compounds.

Anti-inflammatory properties

Citrus fruits and thyme both possess anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce inflammation in the body. Chronic inflammation is linked to various health conditions, including heart disease, diabetes and certain types of cancer. Including these ingredients in your meal can help support a healthy inflammatory response.

More nutritional benefits

In addition to their vitamin C and antioxidant content, citrus fruits like oranges and lemons also provide fiber and various other vitamins and minerals. Thyme, on the other hand, is a good source of vitamin A, vitamin K, iron, manganese and calcium. These nutrients contribute to overall health and well-being.

By incorporating citrus and thyme into your turkey recipe, you not only boost the flavor but also increase the nutritional value of your meal. Enjoy this delicious and healthy turkey with citrus and thyme during your festive celebrations!

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