Gordon Ramsay explains how to prepare a turkey

Gordon Ramsay has shared his cooking method for making the juiciest and most delicious roasted turkey for your Christmas dinner.

The Michelin-star chef is known for perfecting the roast dinner and has shared that placing six slices of fatty bacon on the thickest part of the turkey will prevent the turkey from drying out while the bacon fat will help make the turkey extra succulent.

In a video online, Gordon said: “For me, without question, the star of the Christmas dinner is a delicious turkey. The secret success behind a great turkey is making sure this doesn’t dry out and it’s all in the preparation.”

Not only will this cooking technique make your Christmas turkey even more delicious, but will help the meat cook evenly as the breast tends to cook a lot quicker than the other sections such as the dark meat.

Lean meat such as turkey needs additional care before it is roasted as it is less likely to retain moisture, and Gordon has shared his recipe on making an “amazing” herb butter to spread on your turkey as well to make sure it is both juicy and succulent.

How to make Gordon Ramsay’s juicy Christmas turkey 


For the turkey:

  • One 5kg turkey (ideally Norfolk Black or Bronze)
  • Eight rashers of smoky streaky bacon
  • Two onions (peeled and halved)
  • One lemon (halved)
  • One garlic bulb (halved)
  • Six bay leaves
  • Salt and pepper

For the herb garlic butter:

  • 375g butter (room temperature)
  • Grated zest of two small lemons
  • Three garlic cloves
  • Chopped parsley leaves
  • One tablespoon of olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

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  1. To begin, preheat the oven to 220C/Gas Mark 7.
  2. Prepare your herb garlic butter. Place the room-temperature butter into a large bowl and season with salt and pepper. Add the olive oil and mix well.
  3. Continue to thoroughly mix the butter and add in the lemon zest, crushed garlic cloves and chopped parsley. Once ready, set aside for now.
  4. Now prepare the turkey. Remove the giblets from the turkey cavity and then season the cavity with salt and pepper. Then, stuff the cavity with the onions, garlic halves, lemon, and two bay leaves.
  5. Using your hands, loosen the skin on the breast of the turkey from both ends of the bird so you are able to stuff the herb garlic butter underneath the skin while keeping it intact.
  6. Loosen the skin and place the butter on the legs of the turkey as well. Do this from the lower side of the turkey breast and feel your way under the skin towards the leg.
  7. Stuff the turkey with half of the herb garlic butter mix into all the open spaces under the skin and spread the rest of the butter on the outside of the skin until it is evenly covered.
  8. Insert the rest of the bay leaves underneath the skin of the breast.
  9. Once prepared, place the turkey on a large roasting tray, breast side up. Season it well with salt and pepper, and then drizzle with olive oil.
  10. Roast the turkey in the hot oven for around 10- 15 minutes. After the time is up, take the roasting tray out of the oven, baste the turkey with the pan juices and then lay the bacon rashers over the turkey breast to keep it moist.
  11. Lower the oven setting of the oven to 180C/Gas Mark 4 and cook the turkey for two and half hours (around 30 minutes per kg). Make sure to check on the turkey while it is cooking to baste it occasionally.
  12. In order to check the turkey is properly cooked, insert a skewer into the thickest part of the leg. Is the juices are running clear, it is likely ready while if the juices are pink it still needs to cook. Check your turkey around 30 minutes before it is meant to be ready, and cook for an additional 15 minutes if the juices are pink before checking the leg again.
  13. Once the turkey is fully cooked, transfer to a platter dish. Remove the parson’s nose, wings and tips of the drumsticks and reserve them for gravy. Let the turkey rest in a warm place.

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