gordon ramsay's turkey the secret to a perfect holiday feast

Gordon Ramsay’s Turkey: The Secret to a Perfect Holiday Feast

Tantalize your taste buds this holiday season by mastering Gordon Ramsay’s secret technique for cooking the perfect turkey! With the festive spirit and culinary expectations at their peak, everyone’s quest for the ultimate holiday meal centerpiece is more vibrant than ever. I am thrilled to share the genius behind Gordon Ramsay’s celebrated turkey recipe.

Known for its succulent meat, golden skin, and rich flavors, this guide will unveil how to infuse your turkey with the perfect blend of lemon, parsley, and garlic, complemented by Ramsay’s signature herb butter. Ready to undertake a culinary journey that guarantees applause from your dinner guests? Keep reading as the secrets unfold, elevating your holiday feast to gourmet heights with every slice of the delightful Roasted turkey.

Roasted Turkey Recipe

Roasted Turkey Recipe

Make this the year you stun your guests with the epitome of flavor and tenderness with our Gordon Ramsay-inspired turkey recipe. A symphony of lemon, parsley, garlic, and luscious herb butter creates a roast turkey.

3.9 from 190 votes


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  • 1 turkey

  • 2 onions, peeled and halved

  • 1 lemon, halved

  • 1 head garlic halved horizontally

  • 6 bay leaves

  • 8 slices smoked streaky bacon

  • 1 2/3 cups (3 1/2 sticks) butter at room temperature

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 2 small lemons, zest and juice finely grated

  • 3 cloves Garlic, peeled and crushed

  • 1 small bunch flat leaf parsley, leaves only, chopped

  • sea salt & freshly ground black pepper

  • additional olive oil to drizzle

  • For Gravy
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter (or use the equivalent amount of fat from meat drippings if available)

  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour

  • 2 cups broth (beef, chicken, or vegetable, depending on your preference or what you’re serving it with)

  • Salt, to taste

  • Black pepper, to taste

  • Optional: herbs and spices like thyme, rosemary, garlic powder, etc., to taste


  • Preheat the oven to 428°F.
  • Combine the butter, olive oil, finely grated lemon zest and juice, crushed garlic, and chopped parsley in a large bowl.
  • Remove the turkey giblets, season the turkey cavity with salt and pepper, then stuff it with the onions, lemon, garlic halves, and 2 bay leaves.
  • Gently loosen the skin on the turkey’s breast and legs while keeping it intact. Distribute half the flavored butter in the spaces under the skin and gently massage it from the outside to spread it evenly over the meat. Insert the remaining bay leaves under the skin.
  • Place the turkey, breast side up, in a large roasting pan. Spread the remaining butter over the skin, season well with salt and pepper, and drizzle with olive oil.
  • Roast the turkey in the preheated oven for 10–15 minutes. Then take the pan out of the oven, baste the bird with the pan juices, lay the bacon rashers over the breast to keep it moist and baste again. Lower the oven to 350°F and cook for about 2½ hours, basting occasionally.
  • To test whether the turkey is cooked, insert a skewer into the thickest part of the leg to see if the juices run clear, not pink. Check about 30 minutes before the calculated roasting time is up. If the juices are pink, roast for 15 minutes, then check again.
  • When the turkey is cooked, transfer it to a warmed platter and let it rest in a warm place for at least 45 minutes before carving. Remove the bay leaves from under the skin before serving. Serve with hot gravy, stuffing and side dishes of your choice.
  • For Gravy
  • Melt the Butter: Melt the unsalted butter in a saucepan over medium heat. If you’re using meat drippings, heat them instead of butter.
  • Make the Roux: Whisk in the flour and continue stirring to create a roux. Cook for a minute or two until the mixture is lightly browned and smells slightly toasted. This will help thicken the gravy and remove the raw flour taste.
  • Add Liquid Slowly: Add the broth to the roux, whisking constantly to prevent lumps from forming. Pour slowly and keep the whisk moving to ensure a smooth consistency.
  • Season: Add salt, black pepper, and any other desired herbs or spices. Stir well. If you’re using meat drippings, be cautious with the salt, as drippings can already be quite salty.
  • Simmer: Bring the gravy to a simmer and cook until it thickens to your desired consistency. Keep stirring occasionally.
  • Adjust and Serve: Taste the gravy and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Once the gravy is thick and flavorful, remove it from the heat.
  • Strain (Optional): For an extra smooth gravy, strain it through a fine-mesh sieve to remove any possible lumps.
  • Serve the gravy hot over mashed potatoes, roast meats, or any other dish that could use some good, flavorful gravy.

Recipe Video


Is it better to cook a turkey at 325 or 350?

It depends on your preference and the recipe you are following. Cooking a turkey at 325°F is recommended for a slower, more even cooking, which helps prevent the bird from drying out. On the other hand, cooking at 350°F will cook the bird faster, which can be more convenient if you’re short on time. Both temperatures can yield delicious results if you monitor the internal temperature to ensure it reaches a safe 165°F in the thickest part of the breast and thighs without overcooking.

Should a turkey be covered or uncovered when roasting?

Whether to cover a turkey during roasting depends on your desired outcome for the skin. Generally, you should start roasting the turkey uncovered so the skin can brown and become crispy. If the skin is browning too quickly, you can loosely cover the turkey with aluminum foil to prevent it from burning. Some recipes may also call for covering the bird for some cooking time to help retain moisture.

Do you put Liquid in the bottom of the pan when roasting a turkey?

Adding Liquid to the bottom of the roasting pan can help create a moist environment within the oven, which may help prevent the turkey from drying out. The Liquid can also be used to baste the turkey and to make gravy after the turkey is cooked. Common liquids include broth, water, or wine. However, ensure the Liquid does not touch the turkey, as you want the skin to dry enough to crisp up.

How do you roast a turkey so it isn’t dry?

To roast a turkey without it drying out, consider the following tips:

  1. Brine the Turkey: Soaking the turkey in a saltwater solution before cooking can help to keep it moist and flavorful.
  2. Use a Meat Thermometer: Cook your turkey until the internal temperature reaches 165°F in the thickest part of the breast and thigh. Avoid overcooking, as this is a common cause of dryness.
  3. Let it Rest: After roasting, allow the turkey to rest for 15-30 minutes before carving. This lets the juices redistribute throughout the meat.
  4. Baste the Turkey: Basting the turkey with its juices or a marinade during cooking can help keep the surface moist.
  5. Roast at a Lower Temperature: Roasting at 325°F can help cook the turkey more evenly and prevent drying.
  6. Add Fat: Rubbing the turkey with butter or oil or covering the breast with bacon before roasting can also help to lock in moisture.
  7. Avoid Frequent Opening of the Oven: Heat escapes every time the oven door is opened, leading to longer cooking times and increasing the risk of drying out the turkey.

As the aroma of your perfectly roasted turkey, prepared with Gordon Ramsay’s secret technique, fills your dining room, prepare yourself for the oohs and aahs that are sure to follow. With its succulent meat, heavenly herb-infused flavors, and golden, crispy skin, your holiday feast will be a resounding success.

So carve up your masterpiece, serve it alongside your favorite sides, and bask in the warm glow of shared joy and deliciousness. A special thanks to Gordon Ramsay for his culinary wisdom that transformed your kitchen into the heart of unforgettable moments. May your table always be surrounded by good company and your plates brimming with delights like these. Cheers to delicious traditions and new memories savored, bite by bite!”

Last Updated on January 17, 2024 by John Siracusa


  • John Siracusa

    Hi, I'm John. I've worked in the Food Service industry for over 25 years, working in my family's business. Cooking for me has always been an art infused with traditions. My career was inspired by Hell's Kitchen, the West Side of Manhattan, which has one of New York City's best independent restaurant communities. I also admire Gordon Ramsay's no-nonsense approach to always being your best.

3.9 from 190 votes

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