Dishing Out Recipes: Lemon-Herb Turkey with Lemon-Garlic Gravy

Lemon-Herb Turkey with Lemon-Garlic Gravy

Everyone is obligated to provide turkey at Thanksgiving, it’s tradition! But why not make it the holiday tradition that counts?!

With this scrumptious lemony-herb smothered turkey, you’ll never go back to the primitive ways of cooking your holiday poultry. Nothing beats going gourmet during the holidays!


Lemon-Herb Butter:
1 large lemon
1 small head of garlic
3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 small shallot, chopped
1/4 cup fresh sage, chopped
1/4 cup fresh thyme, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 large pinch of powdered saffron or saffron threads

1 14-16lb. turkey, rinsed, patted dry inside and out (reserve neck, heart, gizzard for Shortcut Turkey Stock)
3 lemons, thinly slices
10 fresh parsley sprigs
6 fresh sage sprigs
6 fresh rosemary sprigs
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 cups Shortcut Turkey Stock or water

2 cups (or more) Shortcut Turkey Stock
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 small shallot, chopped
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon peel
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
2 teaspoons fresh sage, chopped
salt and pepper to taste


Lemon-Herb Butter:

  1. Using a knife, pierce about 4 deep holes in the lemon and place in a microwave safe bowl. Cover and microwave on high for 2 minutes. Place garlic head in microwave safe bowl and add enough water to cover garlic. Cover and microwave on high until soft, about 3 minutes. Allow garlic to cool and peel.
  1. Pour lemon juice from bowl into a small cup. Cut lemon in half and squeeze the remaining juice into the same cup; reserve for gravy. Scrape down fruit from inside the lemon halves and discard. Chop lemon peels.
  1. In a mini food processor, blend lemon peel and garlic until finely chopped. Add butter and all remaining ingredients; blend in processor.


  1. Set rack at lowest position in oven and preheat to 325 degrees.
  1. Transfer 2 Tablespoons of Lemon-Herb Butter to small bowl and reserve for gravy. Sprinkle main turkey cavity with salt and peer and coat with 2 Tablespoons of Lemon-Herb Butter.
  1. Starting at the neck of the turkey, carefully slide your hand between the skin and the meat in order to loosen skin. Spread Lemon-Herb Butter over thigh and drumsticks on both sides. Position a few lemon slices under the skin. Spread remaining Lemon-Herb Butter over breast meat and arrange lemon slices atop the butter beneath the skin. Fill the main cavity with any remaining herbs and lemon slices.
  1. Place turkey on a rack in a large roasting pan. Rub the outside of turkey with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Pour stock into pan.
  1. Roast turkey until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh registers at 165 to 170 degrees, about 3 hours. Tilt turkey so the juices from the main cavity run into the pan. Transfer turkey to platter. Tent loosely with foil; allow to rest for at least 30 minutes. Reserve pan.


  1. Scrape juices and bits from reserved roasting pan in a large glass-measuring cup. Spoon off fat, reserving 2 Tablespoons. Add enough stock to juices to measure 1 2/3 cups.
  1. In a large heavy saucepan, heat the reserved 2 Tablespoons fat over medium high heat. Add garlic and shallot and sauté for 2 minutes. Add flour, whisking until golden, about 4 minutes. Add pan juices and 2 cups stock. Bring to a boil, whisking until smooth. Reduce heat and simmer until gravy is reduced to desired thickness, about 4 minutes. Whisk in the reserved 2 Tablespoons of the Lemon-Herb Butter, reserved 2 Tablespoons lemon juice, lemon peel, and sugar. Then add the herbs. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  1. Drizzle Lemon-Herb Turkey with the Lemon-Garlic Gravy and serve.

Serves 10-12

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