1. 18 lb Turkey – Skin on, remove neck and giblets, fully defrosted
  2. 3 halved garlic heads – horizontally
  3. 3 lemon slices
  4. 6 thyme sprigs
  5. 6 rosemary sprigs
  6. 1/2 cup olive oil
  7. 4 oz unsalted butter
  8. 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  9. 4 tsp minced garlic
  10. Salt
  11. Cracked pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). Lower oven shelf to the lowest part of your oven.

  2. Combine the Herb Butter ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Reserve half of the herb butter in the refrigerator for later.

  3. Line a large roasting pan with foil or parchment paper. Arrange the 4 halves of garlic cut-side down on the bottom of the pan with 4 sprigs each of thyme and rosemary, half of the olive oil and 1 slice of lemon.

  4. Thoroughly pat turkey dry with paper towels. Stuff with the remaining heads garlic halves, lemon slice, a squeeze of lemon from remaining slice, herbs and a drizzle of olive oil.

  5. Melt the remaining butter. Rub butter all over the turkey and under the skin. Season generously all over with salt and pepper. Place turkey on top of the garlic and herbs in the pan. Drizzle with the remaining oil.

  6. Cover and roast 2 hours for a small turkey under 10 pounds (5 kg), 3 hours for a 10-14 pound turkey (5-7 kg), or 4 hours for large turkey over 14 pounds (7 kg plus).

  7. Uncover, baste with pan juices and continue roasting for 20 – 30 minutes until the skin is golden browned.

  8. Turn turkey over to be breast-side up. Using the reserved herb butter, use a spoon to spread it over the top of your turkey for extra flavour (the turkey will be hot and the butter will melt nicely over the skin). Pour any remaining juices over your turkey.

  9. Reduce heat to 300°F (150°C) and continue roasting while basting every 15 minutes, until completely cooked through (*see notes).

  10. For extra crispy skin, broil for a further 10-15 minutes, keeping your eye on it so it doesn’t burn, until the skin is crispy and golden browned all over.

  11. Tent turkey with foil and allow it to rest for 15-30 minutes before carving and serving.

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