Orange & tarragon roast turkey

Orange & tarragon roast turkey

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
(1 ratings)


Magazine subscription – 3 issues for £3

Cooking time

Prep: 25 mins Cook: 3 hrs, 30 mins - 4 hrs

Skill level

Moderately easy


Serves 8 with leftovers

Roasting your Christmas turkey with a flavoured butter locks in moisture for a zesty, juicy finish ready to garnish with trimmings

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition info

Nutrition per serving

Save to My Good Food


  • 5-5½ kg/11-12lb turkey, rinsed and dried
  • 100g butter, softened
  • 1 orange
  • 15g pack tarragon, 2 tbsp finely chopped, rest tied in a bunch with string
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 150ml dry white wine
  • sage or tarragon sprigs, to serve

Compare prices

Want to see what this recipe costs at different supermarkets? Compare in one place here:


  1. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Line a roasting tin with a very generous length of double-thickness foil. Weigh the turkey to calculate the cooking time, allowing 40 mins per kg for the first 4kg, then 50 mins for every kg over that weight (a turkey this size should take 3½-4 hrs).
  2. Put the butter in a bowl and finely grate the zest from the orange on top. Add the chopped tarragon, garlic and seasoning and mix well. You can make this 3 days ahead.
  3. Gently push your fingers under the turkey skin, starting from the neck end of the bird, easing the skin away from the breast and the top of the drumsticks. Now spread the flavoured butter under the skin, taking care not to tear it. You won’t be able to reach all the way down to the drumsticks, but you can ease the butter along by smoothing it through the skin. Quarter the orange and tuck into the turkey cavity with the onion and the bunch of tarragon (step-by-step). You can do this the night before.
  4. Season the turkey with salt and pepper, then lift it onto the foil-lined roasting tin. Pour the wine into the cavity of the turkey, then bring up the sides of the foil and cover the top of the bird with a layer of foil. Roast according to your calculated time.
  5. Thirty mins before the end of cooking time, remove the foil from the top of the turkey and add the potatoes to the oven.
  6. To test if the turkey is cooked, pierce the fattest part of the thigh with a skewer – the juices that run out should be clear, not pink. If they are pink, continue to roast, checking at 10-min intervals.
  7. Remove the turkey, transfer to a warm serving platter and let it rest, covered loosely with the foil, for 30-40 mins before carving. Meanwhile, turn up the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6 and cook the potatoes for 30 mins more, with the stuffing and sausages. Serve the turkey decorated with herbs.

Recipe from Good Food magazine, January 2012

Ads by Google

Comments, questions and tips

Sign in or create your My Good Food account to join the discussion.


Show comments
pipsipops's picture

Made this for New Years lunch and it was delicious. The turkey was gorgeously moist, not dry at all and was cooked perfectly. Even people who said they weren't fussed on turkey said how lovely it was. Fabulous!

borumha2's picture
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

I made this for St. Patrick's Day lunch, it was so good I'm coming back for Christmas. Very nice recipe.

tarajanine's picture

Tried this last year and will be doing it again this year, fantastic flavours. To ensure a really moist bird, I brined mine for 24hours beforehand too - it's definitely worth the extra effort!