Butter-Basted Lemon and Lime Turkey

Butter-Basted Lemon and Lime Turkey
Serves 10-12

• 1 lemon
• 1 lime
• 3 oz. softened butter
• 12 lb oven-ready turkey, thawed if frozen
• 1 onion
• 8 oz streaky bacon
• Bay leaves and thyme sprigs, to garnish


Grate the rind from the citrus fruits, reserving the flesh. In a bowl, mix the butter, lemon and lime rinds and season with salt and pepper. Spread the butter over a sheet of foil big enough to cover the area of the turkey breast. Cover with another sheet of foil and press down to make an even layer of butter. Chill until firm.
Preheat the oven to 180°F. Remove the giblets from the turkey and wash the bird inside and out. Dry well with kitchen paper. Quarter the lemon and lime, peel and halve the onion. Put these in the cavity of the bird.
Loosen the skin of the breast by sliding your hands (take off rings first) between the flesh and the skin — not a pleasant job, but worth doing. Peel the foil from the chilled butter (keep one piece of foil for a later stage) then slide it between the breast and skin (it will break up a bit but this is easier than spreading soft butter). Smooth the skin back over the butter then season the turkey generously inside and out. Tie the legs together at the top of the drumsticks to give the turkey a neat shape.
Weigh the bird to calculate the cooking time – allow 20 minutes per pound, plus an extra 20 minutes added on. Put the turkey in a dry roasting pan and loosely cover the breast with a sheet of the buttered foil. Do not enclose the whole turkey in foil.
Roast the turkey for the calculated cooking time, basting with the pan juices every 30-40 minutes. Half an hour before the end of cooking, remove the foil to crisp the skin, baste with the pan juices and lay the bacon in a lattice over the breast.
To test if the turkey is cooked, pierce the thigh with a skewer at the thickest part. If the juices run clear, it’s done; if they are a little pink, give it 15 minutes more, and then test again. Transfer to a serving platter and cover tightly with foil; rest for 15 minutes to make carving easier.